Big, bold, sparkling pieces of costume jewelry are not only a joy to wear, they are avidly gathered and worn by savvy collectors. Super sized, dazzling “faux” jewels created quite a stir, from the early 18th century paste stones and on.


The first “pretenders” were high lead crystals invented by jeweler Strass. Once the industrial revolution began, manufacturers started producing jewelry for those who did not have a royal pocketbook, but still had the desire to wear a pretty sparkly piece brooch or bracelet. Gold plating, pinchbeck, was developed, and Daniel Swarovski’s foil backed stones, which he patented in the late 1800’s, meant high quality costume jewelry became all the rage.

Coco Chanel began showing large rhinestone jewels with her designs, and every woman realized how fun it was to wear jewelry!  Women in the 1950’s, many who worked outside the home for the first time, relished in buying themselves a special piece of jewelry to dress up their work outfits, or their famous LBD. {Little Black Dress} Costume jewelry had arrived, and is here to stay!



Eisenberg & Sons began in 1914 as a womens fashion company. Jonas Eisenberg founded the firm, and jewelry was used to accessorize the clothing designs to make it appealing to the clients. The brooches and necklaces were so often “misplaced” after clients left, that the company began focusing exclusively on its jewelry line. These days, collectors avidly snap up any and all signed Eisenberg pieces they can find. There is nothing like a showy, brilliantly studded Rhinestone Fur Clip by Eisenberg to make you feel like you are wearing something extraordinary. You can’t take your eyes off a woman who walks into a room and makes it go WOW!


This huge Fur Clip is a gorgeous example of a very early Eisenberg piece of jewelry, ca 1930. This design represents the opulence and allure that characterized the company’s style from the mid 1930’s to the 1940’s. One of the largest I have ever seen, it has sparkling Austrian Crystal Rhinestones, beautifully cushion cut, in a floral inspired design tied with a Bow. Signed Eisenberg Original 400.


Gustavo Trifari, the son of a Napoli goldsmith, founded Trifari in 1910. The company did not really achieve high success until the French designer, Alfred Philippe became the head designer, his background designing heirloom quality fine jewelry for firms like Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels brought a wonderful sense of luxury and style to the company. The Trifari Vintage Costume Jewelry Designs he created have all the glamour of fine jewelry, they are the most collectible of Trifari jewelry. The exceptional level of jewelry making technique and craftsmanship of Trifari jewelry designed by Alfred Philippe until 1968 is what makes his pieces so immensely collectible.


Exceptional Rhodium Plated Flower Basket Pin designed for Trifari by Alfred Philippe. Lovely glittering flowers and leaves are arranged in the basket, a stunning piece for your collection, or a divine beginning of one! Made between 1938 ~ 1940, of rhodium plated metal and rhinestones, signed Trifari on the back. 450.00


Trifari Art Deco Rhodium Plated Dress Clips, by Alfred Philippe.



De Lizza & Elster was formed by co-founders William DeLizza and Harold Elster in 1947, to produce brooches, buttons and other jewelry pieces for high end firms. They produced costume jewelry of high quality, their designs, particularly the “Juliana” pieces that they made under their own label between 1964 – 1966 are avidly collected. Their pieces were produced with certain manufacturing ways, like stones completely encased in rhodium plated backs.


Exceptional Clear Rhinestone Brooch, stunning in both design as well as large size. Make heads turn when you enter the room, perfect for holidays, or every day, this is not for you if you are shy. Multi shaped sparkling Rhinestones shine in this three~dimensional design, catching the light and reflecting a glow. Every prong-set set stone is bright and clear. The variety of shapes of stones add to the beauty of this piece, a luxurious addition to your antique and vintage jewelry collection. Unmarked, by DeLizza & Elster. 225.


Absolutely breathtaking Vintage Round Domed Rhinestone Brooch, with different sized prong set glittering beauties, what makes this pin particulary stunning is that there is a second “dome” of round Rhinestones giving this piece a great layered quality. From a collector’s estate, this is truly a gorgeous pin, a joy to wear and very collectible. Rhodium plated on the back, I couldn’t find the signature, but pieces like this were made by DeLizza in the early to mid 1900’s. 165.00

Do you love large, bold pieces of jewelry to show off your own enviable fashion style? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about your favorite piece of WOW jewelry.

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