Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chinese Export Jewelry

As I buy and sell...and collect antique and vintage jewelry, I fine myself drawn to Chinese export pieces. These were sold at Chinatown souvenir shops during the first half of the 1900's probably up into the 1960's. For many years the value of these pieces was somewhat dismissed as an ethnic novelty, but these pieces are things of beauty! They are often marked only "China Silver" and have a gold wash that has worn through. When tested these pieces reveal that they are indeed sterling silver! The filigree work is beautiful and often embellished with fine cloisonne work. The stones used in these pieces are usually genuine and masterfully carved. The values of these Chinese souvenir pieces have jumped from a hundred dollars for a simple bracelet to thousands for some. Even the pieces that are copper with silver plate such as the carved coral piece below have great value. I just treasure them!

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