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Expert in vintage costume jewelry from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s & 1950s

Citrine, Golden Topaz & Mother-of-Pearl Brooch & Earrings Set


MAKER: Alice Caviness

SIZE: Brooch: 2 1/4" x 3"; earrings: 1 3/8" x 1 1/4"

CONDITION: Excellent

DATE: c.1955-1956

MARKS: Brooch: "ALICE CAVINESS" in block letters on oval cartouche. Earrings: none.


This vintage wreath brooch and earrings set by Alice Caviness features amazing layers of components wired onto a decorative brass frame. Included are citrine- glass stones in multiple shapes and sizes, faceted golden-topaz beads, mother-of-pearl disks, aurora borealis diamanté, and textured brass leaves. The jeweled frame of the brooch is mounted on another that holds the pin and roll-over safety clasp; each earring has a round filigree back with the ear clip. The complexity of the design and construction seen here are often present in this maker’s work, which I believe is underrated. This set is definitely not for the faint-hearted! I will include the matching bracelet, which has only three of its four strands of beads, but it is wearable. Scroll down to see a similar pair of earrings by Caviness.

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Citrine, Golden Topaz & Mother-of-Pearl Brooch & Earrings Set

$395.00 USD
Why Buy Vintage Costume Jewelry?

One reason is that it’s environmentally friendly. Resale fashion and vintage jewelry has become a preferred sustainable and affordable shopping choice by today’s discerning fashion and eco-conscious consumer.

Another major reason is the quality. Although vintage costume jewelry was made for all levels of the marketplace – from dime stores to high-end fashion boutiques and jewelry stores – you will find only the best pieces here. They were well-designed and carefully made to last. The manufacturers represented here used only the finest materials – glass stones and beads from Bohemia, Austria, and France, and faux pearls from France and Japan. Settings were primarily sterling silver, gold-filled, or base metals heavily plated with gold, silver, or rhodium. Stones were hand-set, and pieces were hand-finished.

The northeastern part of the U.S. was the center of the industry, with the largest companies located in Providence, Rhode Island by the end of World War II. During the Depression, the quality of costume pieces climbed to new levels when many jewelers and craftsmen had to switch to this segment of the industry. In addition, it attracted many skilled workers who fled the political situation in Europe for the U.S. For these reasons, designs and manufacturing techniques rivaled those employed in the making of fine jewelry.

A third reason to buy costume jewelry is its uniqueness. Having survived for so many decades in such wonderful condition and having been selected for their aesthetic quality, the pieces you’ll find here are unlikely to be found elsewhere.

True vs Fake - how to shop vintage costume jewelry with confidence

Barbara Schwartz, a noted costume jewelry historian, is the author of "True vs Fake" , an in-depth blog series providing examples of how vintage costume jewelry can be accurately attributed. She also shares tips on how to avoid being duped into buying misidentified vintage costume jewelry.

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