Year: 2013

The Creepiness Factor

Hello!  Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.  With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be apt to talk about the perceived creepiness surrounding antique jewelry. Whenever someone finds out that I sell antique jewelry, the inevitable question pops up, “Aren’t you scared? You don’t know who wore it before.” I guess that’s the reason why I initially targeted foreign buyers.  Foreigners generally embrace the rich history behind each piece.  Some of them don’t even want it cleaned and like it as is. A lot of us, Filipinos on the other hand are a little wary of wearing something really old especially if we don’t know who wore it.  I guess some of us are still very superstitious.  I suspect that it one of the reasons why some local buyers like to have the antique jewelry pieces cleaned to look like new.   Or maybe that is just how they remember their grandmother’s jewelry to look like. It’s so funny I had my first bazaar early this month and the most common question I …

Another reason not to buy poorly made reproduction jewelry

I saw this lanzadera or navette-shaped ring and thought it was lovely.  It was clearly not an antique- although it was masquerading as one and since it was cheap, I thought I’d buy it for myself.  Big mistake. A day after wearing it, a cubic zirconia stone fell out.  I had it fixed and kept on wearing it for a couple of weeks.  Yesterday, the replacement stone fell out again.  Oh boy, I got what I paid for.  ;p Just for comparison, check out the workmanship on the vintage silver lansadera ring on the right.

Finally, my very own antique star pendant!

An avid antique collector recently commented that since I sell vintage jewelry, I must have a to-die-for old jewelry collection.  I laughed at the comment.  The truth is, I don’t have any old jewelry- not unless you count my Php400 ($10) brass tamborin necklace which I bought more than 10 years ago in Balikbayan Handicrafts (a tourist/Filipiniana store).  While I love vintage jewelry, business comes first.  A business-savvy mentor advised me not to get attached to my stocks. But it’s hard not to get attached.  I acquire items that I like so in case it doesn’t sell, then I wouldn’t mind keeping them personally.  In fact, I do have a favorite item in my online shop- an antique gold star with diamante (small rough cut diamonds). It’s so beautifully made.  Looks dainty yet sturdy and has a bit of weight to it.  I told myself that if it doesn’t get sold within a certain period then it’s meant for me. That waiting period has long passed.  I get nervous whenever someone “favorites” that item- thinking …

Lansadera Rings

I was so fascinated when I first saw this ring.  I thought it was of Indian origin until my mom pointed out that it’s a “lansadera” ring.  Apparently it’s a local vintage design that was very popular in the 1930s to the 1950s. “Lanzadera” is a Spanish word for shuttle, a boat-shaped piece of wood used as a device in the loom. They normally have “diamante” or rough cut diamonds in them which were considered lucky in those days.  The pointed ends make for good self-defense too. ;P Here are some more designs: These rings and even the earrings version normally come encrusted with diamante but I was able to acquire one that has pearls instead.  Looks a little different from the ones I usually come across with. These rings look like armor or knuckle rings that are very fashion-forward now.

How to tell if a Philippine tamborin-style jewelry is an antique

Is that antique, vintage or new? With the revived interest in vintage and antique jewelry, it’s getting more difficult to tell if a Philippine-made tamborin-style jewelry is antique.  When I first started my online shop, I had to rely on what the antique dealers told me.  They would either say, it’s an antique, at least a hundred years old or the vague answer, “Luma na yan” (meaning “That’s already old” ).  Um, okay.  I can’t really blame them, there are very few reference books on these things.  So how do you tell? The more seasoned sellers would say that antique tamborin beads are very smooth when you run your fingers through them. Same goes for the relicario (or reliquary pendant that usually accompany this tamborin style jewelry).  While this is probably true, I’ve seen some antique tamborins that are not really smooth.  Maybe they were hardly used by the previous owner or the wearer took really good care of the piece. Another way is to look at the finish.  This one refers to old gold-plated …