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

Aurora Borealis rhinestone brooch w/ruby bead flowers
Close-up view of flower
Back of Elsa Schiaparelli brooch
Maker's mark

Ruby & Aurora Borealis Brooch by Elsa Schiaparelli


MAKER: Elsa Schiaparelli

SIZE: 3" diameter

CONDITION: Excellent

DATE: 1955-1959

MARKS: "Schiaparelli" (in script) on oval cartouche


This Aurora Borealis rhinestone brooch features a trio of layered flowers. Clusters of ruby-glass beads form the centers that sit atop the rhinestone petals. In person, this piece looks like a display of fireworks – the iridescence of the navettes is hard to capture in photos. The setting of this 1950s Elsa Schiaparelli jewel is silver-tone metal with a roll-over safety clasp. Even the back of the brooch is textured! With this statement piece, all you need to complete your jewelry accessories is a pair of faux or real diamond stud earrings. If black and white is more to your taste, scroll down to see the same design in that color combination.

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Ruby & Aurora Borealis Brooch by Elsa Schiaparelli

$545.00 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.