Cavewoman: Enamels and charms are among my favorite vintage bracelet styles. The large black cuff was a find at a store in New York City called Ciro. I discovered this store quite by accident, almost 30 years ago, on one of my first shopping trips there. I was dazzled by the amazing costume jewelry in the window, and when I went into the store to browse, I was dazzled by the prices. I never saw costume jewelry that cost hundreds of dollars. The Ohio girl in me was shocked, but the city girl dwelling in my heart and soul did not hesitate to pull out the wallet! This wide cuff fits my small wrists as if it had been custom made for me. The black enamel is balanced by the large emerald-cut crystals, four of them, all different colors. The piece is signed by Ciner, one of the finest costume jewelry makers, and I wonder if they are still making jewelry.
The little floral enamels were a happy discovery in a long-gone dress shop in a little town near here. I couldn't resist them, so colorful and fun and Summery. The white enamel is now discoloring a bit, giving away their age (over 35 years old now) but still they bring a smile to my face to this day.
The stretch bracelet made of mother-of-pearl chips in pinks and white was a gift from my Dad when I was a little girl. He'd gone on a trip and brought these back with him, from Buffalo, NY. I don't know why he was in Buffalo. The bracelet is marked inside with the word Japan. I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, but a piece of jewelry from my hero Dad was not a regular occurrence, so I treasured it. I still do. I found the other pink stretch bracelet at a flea market and I think the beads are Venetian glass. There are none missing! And I think it had a tag on it of maybe $5. Also marked Made In Japan, it bears a patent number and mark "J.S.F.K." inside on one of the metal bars. In between the two stretch bracelets is a lovely coil-style rosary bracelet made of perfect Austrian crystals with aurora borealis finish. This was a gift from my Godmother for my First Holy Communion. It's almost 50 years old.
The aqua crystal and gunmetal mesh fake wristwatch was a gift from my friend whose mother sold vintage jewelry here in town for many years. She knew I liked wristwatches, and jewelry, and she found in her mother's collection this fun combination of the two.
One of the true prizes in my bracelet collection is the superb marquise and round crystal bracelet that I bid on at an auction house in a nearby town. When I walked through the preview tables that day, I knew there was no way I wasn't coming home with that bracelet. The blue marquise crystals have an aurora borealis finish that is in pristine condition. I have (or my camera has) failed to capture the sparkle in this beauty. It's unmarked and that doesn't matter a bit to me.
The domino bracelet is made of vintage bakelite game pieces. It's just for fun, of course, and I don't even wear it!
Now the charms. I was given a kitty charm so many years ago that I don't even remember. I added to my kitty charm collection for years, with the intention that someday I'd have them all made into a bracelet. So, the chain itself is not new, but I looked for several years for just the right bracelet for the kitties.
The charm bracelet that holds too many charms to even wear anymore is a collection of charms that I've found here and there, and some were gifts. Some of the charms were given to me when I was a teenager, when my Grandma went to Italy and bought charms for all her granddaughters. She told me the story of smuggling them back into the USA in a little cloth bag she'd made and stuffed into her bra. Grandma had her knitting basket on her arm when going through Customs. Under the yarn and the sweater she was knitting, she had hidden a provolone and a salami. Customs took the food but never found the gold. Grandma was sure they were having salami and provy sandwiches in their back room that day. I bet she was right. I was glad they took the food and didn't find the charms! I don't think Grandma was as glad as I was!