Reprinted with permission from 
Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry
P.O Box 265
Glen Oaks, NY 11004
VCFJ@aol.com
and the author

DeLizza & Elsterís signature style: A riot of Color

Jan Young Moderator: Discovering Juliana and D&E Jewelry Group

 

If you are a collector of vintage costume jewelry, it goes without saying that at least one piece in your collection is unsigned - devoid of a makerís mark. You can try to steer clear of anything that isnít signed, but letís face it, you will lose in many ways if you continue to pass up these buying opportunities.

One of the most collectible lines of costume jewelry was manufactured by DeLizza & Elster (D&E), a company that began their business in 1947 and closed in 1990. The jewelry manufactured by this company is unsigned. Many well-known companies purchased their jewelry, usually either affixing hang tags, cards, or their logo (if provided). If you canít remember how that first piece of unsigned jewelry ended up in your collection, read on.

First Impressions

You are looking at a jewelry case of costume jewelry and in a flash - something catches your eye. What was it? 

The brilliance of the stones or the unusual style or shape? Who can explain it, really? There is something magical (I think) about the sparkle of rhinestones and art glass in a well-plated piece of costume jewelry.D&E used Swarovski crystals as well as foiled and unfoiled rhinestones, and art glass. Some of their most popular pieces are filled with sparkle and fire, dangling crystals, and special effects stones.

Is your unsigned piece D&E?

D&E used open and closed back settings, or a combination of the two. The more prominent stones in the open backed settings were generally unfoiled. Sometimes opaque stones were used to add a more dramatic look. Other companies used the same techniques. How would you determine if it was a D&E? As the prices climb higher and higher and more people list items with the marketable name of Juliana, will you know what is and isnít one?

Lasting Quality

There is costume jewelry and then there is Costume jewelry. I personally favor the latter because I believe the jewelry that was well made many years ago costs more than the rest of the jewelry. That is why I believe the higher end pieces and sets of Juliana and D&E jewelry have held up so well for so many years.

D&E used a 5-link bracelet that has become any easy identifier for new collectors and dealers adding to their inventory of D&E jewelry. Whether these bracelets are 20, 30, or 40 years old, you can tell that they were well made and will probably last 20 or more years (with proper care and maintenance, of course).

Are the links on your bracelet the links? Do you know how to tell the difference? We have discovered bracelets, with the same links, that are not D&E, and other variations of links claiming to be D&E, which are not.

I have unsigned jewelry!

I am pleased to announce that some of the most breathtaking jewelry I collect is unsigned. I have learned that you can examine the way a piece is made and find those same attributes in other pieces. Once you know what to look for, it is very easy to spot more of the same.

Specialty Groups are Great

It wasnít until I joined an online group that specializes in Juliana and D&E jewelry that I realized there were specifics to look for and many pieces to view and use for comparison; there were examples of attributes found on confirmed pieces and attributes that were verified as not being D&E. By applying this new found knowledge to my unsigned jewelry, I was able to accurately identify D&E jewelry.

It takes the guesswork out of finding the most recognizable. As a collector, I will never achieve 100% accuracy, especially on what is considered a more atypical style, but I can learn and use my knowledge to differentiate between unsigned jewelry and unSIGNED jewelry.

To join the group, visit the website at

groups.yahoo.com/group/discoveringjulianajewelry 

If you have a collection of D&E and you would like us to include your D&E link to our collection, please send an email to discoveringjulianajewelry-owner@yahoogroups.com.

DeLizza & Elsterís "A riot of Color" Photo gallery

 

 To learn more about Delizza & Elster or Costume Jewelry, continue your search here......

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