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

Black onyx dangle earrings with marcasites in sterling
Onyx, marcasite & sterling Wachenheimer Bros. earrings
Close-up view of faceted onyx
Earring backs
Maker's marks

Onyx, Marcasite & Sterling Earrings by Wachenheimer Bros.


MAKER: Wachenheimer Bros.

SIZE: 1 3/4" x 1/2"

CONDITION: Excellent

DATE: c.1929


REFERENCE: November 9, 1929 ad in "Vogue"

These black onyx dangle earrings in sterling silver are part of the maker’s Wachenheimer Real Stone Jewelry line, launched in the late-1920s. They feature a faceted, square stone set with a top border of marcasites and suspended from a marcasite-encrusted slim sterling bar. A square-cut, prong-set onyx sits at the earlobe. These all-original screw-back earrings can be modified for pierced ears. This pair in the “Geometric” pattern was advertised in the November 9, 1929 issue of Vogue. Scroll down to see a selection of onyx Art Deco pieces to wear with these versatile and stylish jewels.

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Onyx, Marcasite & Sterling Earrings by Wachenheimer Bros.

$295.00 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.