Monday, July 11, 2011

Gifts of Grace Designs Website

Please take a look at our website

Here's one of the most recent vintage necklaces added to the site.

Dramatic Vintage Brass Shield Pendant with Lion, Fleur de Lis and Red Crescent Rhinestones on Hand Strung Necklace of Baroque Freshwater Pearls, Opal, Red and Gold Crystal Beads

Product Description $149.99
• Vintage pendant has detailed fleur de lis with ring at top covered in faux pearls
• Unsigned pendant is likely from the 1960’s and is in good vintage condition
• Pendant has 3 bezel-set pear shaped cabochon opalescent and 3 red crescent shaped rhinestones
• Hand strung necklace has antique gold tone fleur de lis bail
• Lariat style drop necklace shape
• Opalescent crystal beads
• Deep red crystal beads with asymmetrical faceting
• 8-9mm white freshwater baroque pearls
• Fancy floral wreath and bird gold tone toggle closure
• Approximate Length: 32", Drop Including Pendant: 5", Pendant: 2.25" x 3.25"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Share Our Passion for Vintage Jewelry Designers

As we have been developing our vintage pendant necklaces, we have been immersed in the fascinating history of costume jewelry design  The designers from the 1930's to the 1980's are so inspiring.  We used their wonderful jewelry to integrate into our own, bringing the look of a beautiful, classy and romantic time to the present.  Times were hard in the USA and Europe when this jewelry was made. These were years of world wars, cold wars and The Great Depression. Precious metals were being used for war efforts, not jewelry.  The situation inspired fine jewelry designers to create costume jewelry instead.  But they made this like it was still fine jewelry and that's why it is so beautiful and well made.  It is why these pieces have lasted 50 years or more.

Use this information in conjunction with our website at
It will help you learn more about the vintage designers who made many of the pieces we are working with today.  This isn't an exhaustive list and we are not experts in this field, but we love this jewelry and think you might find the information interesting.


ART jewelry was produced by MODE ART JEWELRY CREATIONS, INC., made fine costume jewelry from the mid 1940s until the 1970s.  They offered a broad range of designs similar in design to Florenza and Hollycraft.  They often resemble the Victorian and Renaissance Revival jewelry.  Their pieces are of high quality and combine fine filigree or very ornate filigree and stamped metal work with colored rhinestones.  The company was founded by Arthur Pepper.  Some pieces are signed ART, ArtMode and ModeArt.  They were located in New York.  This brand of vintage jewelry is becoming highly collectible.  The company ceased operations in the late 1970’s.


Founded in 1950 in New York City, “Celebrity” jewelry’s actual founder is unknown. The likely dates of this company’s operation were 1950s - 1970s.  It is highly probable that Celebrity costume jewelry was sold through house parties much like Sarah Coventry jewelry was.  There are unmarked pieces of their jewelry in the marketplace.  Somewhere had only a paper tag and if it were a part of a set, only one piece would be marked.   They did both gold and silver tone jewelry with rhinestones and metal filigree.


Coro was in business for 79 years, from 1901 to 1980.  It was one of the largest jewelry manufacturing plants in the world and was at one time the maker of half of all the jewelry sold in the world.  Emanuel Cohn and Carl Rosenberger started the company and shorted the name to Coro, Inc.  They purchased their own manufacturing plant in 1929 in Providence, RI and employed over 2,000 people. To segment their marketing efforts to customers in different income levels, they split their lines into various distribution channels controlling what retailers could carry which lines. The company also started the Corocraft brand in1933 in England and moved soon after into Canada which set them on an international strategy.  They used Vendome as their high end line replacing Corocraft and by the 1950’s designated Coro as their mass market line. The company was sold in 1957 to Richton-International Corporation and continued until the 1970’s.  They went out of business in the USA in 1979.


Florenza jewelry was made in the USA between 1948 and 1981 by a New York company.  Florenza was first used as a jewelry brand name in the late 1940's and ended when the Company closed in 1981.  Dan Kasoff actually started producing jewelry in the 1930s.  Later his son, Larry Kasoff, operated his company under the name Dan Kasoff, Inc.  Although they manufactured from an earlier date, they did not start making jewelry under the Florenza name and marking it Florenza until 1950.  They used 2 marks on their jewelry:  Florenza in script outside a circle was first, later Florenza in block letters in an oval or rectangle followed.  Not all Florenza jewelry was marked.  They also made jewelry for other brands including Coro, Capri, Kramer, Weiss Carnegie, and for cosmetic companies including Revlon, Estee Lauder, Max Factor, and others.  The cosmetic companies sold Florenza’s solid perfume containers.

Their designs had an exclusive distinctive look and quality that is both Victorian and Renaissance revival.  Their beautiful styling is as beautiful and relevant today as it was when the pieces were originally made and marketed.


Hattie Kanengeister was born in Vienna, Austria in 1886 and died in 1956.  She came to the US with her family at age 6.  She is another clothing designer who became a jewelry designer.  Hattie and Rose Roth owned several dress and hat shops in New York City in the early 1900’s.  They were very successful retailers and Hattie spun off her own company called “Hattie Carnegie, Inc.” from which she designed jewelry that went with the dress lines she and Rose Roth developed.  Hattie was a talented designer who made her own unique style of high end jewelry.  She got a boost in Hollywood when Joan Crawford became a fan of her line and wore her jewelry.  Larry Josephs bought Carnegie’s company after her death and closed it in 1970’s.


The Hollywood Jewelry Manufacturing Company NYC was formed by Joseph Chorbajian, a Turkish immigrant in 1938 in New York.  Their jewelry was known for high quality workmanship and beautiful designs, using a lot of rhinestones across many colors with height and depth to their designs.  Their first marked jewelry was in 1948.  They first used the Hollycraft Corp mark in the 1950’s, then later Hollycraft.  During the 1950’s Hollycraft was a leader in much of the creation of costume jewelry and most of the jewelry they made in the 1950’s was dated.  They made jewelry into the late 1960’s and its jewelry continued to be sold until 1971.  They also made jewelry for other companies.


Founded in New York in 1943, designer Louis Kramer went into business with his brothers Morris and Henry to make high end quality jewelry.  They produced beautiful high quality jewelry using the best Austrian rhinestones and crystals available and were known for their intricate pave work, simulated pearls, and other simulated stones.  Their marks included "Kramer of NY", "Kramer of NY City" and in the 1950s "Kramer" on an oval plaque.  Their higher priced jewelry usually used the “Kramer” or “Kramer of New York” marks.  They produced jewelry for Christian Dior in the 1950’s marked “Kramer for Christian Dior” or Dior by Kramer.”  They were known for the finest jewelry design and did many pieces with birds, insects, flowers, butterflies, and other nature symbols.  Their jewelry showed an incredible variety of stones and colors.  The company closed in the 1970’s.


Miracle jewelry was founded and produced by The A. Hill & Company (Birmingham) Ltd., in England in 1946.  The inspiration for the line is Celtic, Irish and Scottish with a medieval look including English historical styles.  The designs have heavy antique pewter and gold base metals and feature faux and real semi precious gemstones, primarily multiple colors of agate.  Most designs have a heavy, matte appearance.  They are also very detailed on the back sides.  The company celebrated 50 years in business in 1996 and is the leading designer of Celtic jewelry in the world.  It is still in business today.


Reinad began as a company making jewelry and ornamentation for the apparel industry in 1922.  By 1941, they launched their first independent jewelry collection using the name Chanel Novelty Company.  Many of the items in this first collection used enameling and heavily ornamented rhinestones in pins.  Designs were novel and included flowers and coats of arms.  They made jewelry in the best quality and therefore these items are widely sought and collectible today.  Their designs which were made in early 1941 and signed “Chanel” in script are extremely rare.   Coco Chanel sued Reinad in 1941 and won.  The company changed its name to Reinad Novelty Company in late 1941.  The jewelry was thereafter signed “Reinad.”  Reinad made jewelry for other better brands including Eisenberg, Carnegie, Staret and Boucher.   Today Reinad signed jewelry pieces are highly collectible and rare ranging from 1922-1950.


Sarah Coventry was founded by Charles H. Stuart in November 1949 and was named after his granddaughter, Sarah Ann.  He had previously founded Emmons. 
Sarah Coventry jewelry was popular because of the quality and the beautiful jewelry designs.  What set it apart was that it was sold through home parties and not through regular retail distribution.  Like Mary Kay and Tupperware, Sarah Coventry offered a good product with beautiful design, but also a tool for post war women to have their own businesses and make money.  The home sales continued until 1984.


Albert Weiss was one of the finest costume jewelry designers of the 1940’s.
Weiss was a New York company founded in the 1940’s and the company closed in 1971.  Some of their jewelry was made Hollywood Jewelry Co and Weiss applied their signature mark to it.  Weiss had both low and high end product lines.  They made many highly collectible jewelry pieces. Their first mark was "WEISS" in block letters and later the mark of "Weiss" in script was added and "Albert Weiss" or A W Co. with the W resembling a crown.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gifts of Grace Designs Launches Jewelry

We are excited to launch our hand made, one of a kind faith based jewelry.  These necklaces are made with vintage pendants, which are often signed collector pieces that can be up to 50 years old.  The necklaces are designed and hand strung from freshwater pearls, Austrian crystals, stone and other unique beads.  The toggle closures are all unusual and beautiful.  Each piece will be one of a kind.  There are some sample photos below.