|Vintage Napier Cleopatra Necklace £39|
Most vintage costume jewellery is unsigned, but with experience it is fairly easy to identify a piece. If the jewellery is signed, it makes research alot easier. There are many sources of information, but I find the Illusion Jewels website most useful. It is an American site absolutely packed with facts about researching costume jewellery, including an indispensable A to Z of jewellery marks and signatures, http://www.illusionjewels.com/costumejewelrymarks.html.
A couple of tips. Pat pending dates a piece to pre-1955. In 1955 the American copyright law was amended to allow jewellery to be copyrighted, and jewellery companies began to use the copyright symbol (a c in a circle).
For an excellent solid background read the gorgeous book 'Costume Jewellery' by Judith Miller, which features many vintage collectable pieces.
By the way vintage is defined as 20-75 years old. Anything older is antique, and younger 10-20 years old is retro.
Fun, glamour and style... the fascinating world of costume jewellery.
Costume Jewellery (DK Collector's Guides) Buy from Amazon UK
Costume Jewelry (DK Collector's Guides) Buy from Amazon USA