NEW AND VINTAGE COSTUME JEWELRY DESIGNERS
MANUFACTURERS MARKS, REFERENCE INFORMATION & HISTORY
Special thanks for these pages is given to Shirley Wiesmann who has compiled this data on company history and their designers from a wide variety of sources.

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M & M DESIGNS, MARK MERCY: 1993 - Present

Mark Mercy founded his own company, M & M Designs 1n 1993 after having worked for Stanley Hagler. The jewelry produced contains delicate filigree backing using antique and modern glass, mother of pearl, and Limoges porcelain. Mark" Stanley Hagler N,Y.C.". Mark: "Stanley Hagler N.Y.C." on name tag. Note: Common Law Trademark entitles Ian St. Geilar and Mark Mercy or both to use the Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. tag legally even today. The company is still in business today.

MAJORICA PEARLS: 1899 - Present

Majorica Pearls produced by Majorica Jewelry, Ltd. are found off the island of Mallorca, Spain and are the most precious, finest quality, man-made simulated pearls in the world. The company’s headquarters is located in Barcelona, Spain. The pearls are created by the human genius of applied science using crushed oyster shell and fish nacre and dipped by hand over 100 times to create the luster and feel of the real pearl. The natural essence, extracted from marine species of the Mediterranean Sea’s warm waters and perfectly reproduces the iridescence, beauty, resistance and perfection of the finest natural pearls. The Majorica Pearls are organic, man-made whose beauty is said to be equal to that of the most expensive fine pearls. They are recognized worldwide for their superior quality and workmanship and the company, Majorica Pearls, is the oldest continuous pearl manufacturing company in the world. The Majorica Pearls have been subject to a number of resistance tests including invariability to color, iridescence and brilliance along with extensive tests to resist foreign agents such as humidity, heat, perfume, beauty creams, and perspiration.

All Majorica man-made pearls, designed and styled in necklaces, bracelets, pins etc., are internationally guaranteed for 10 years carrying on the new piece, an attached International /Certificate of Guarantee with free replacement of any pearl showing defects in workmanship or material subjected to normal use. The clasp and the thread are not guaranteed. Mark: MAJORICA” on the back of the clasp, “MAJORICA 1/20 G.F.” (on earrings silver over gold filled).

Majorica distributes its products in over 100 countries, in major world airlines, and within the most prestigious “duty free” stores throughout international airports. The styling of the pearl jewelry pieces is from basic to trend, with the look of real, with colors ranging from white, crème, rose, grey, aubergine (dark purple), pink, peach, Tahitian black to pastel hues such as lilac, and with prices ranging from $38 to $795. Majorica Pearls are enchanting pearls to wear and sure to be admired. Internet providers of Majorica Pearls are Antonio Jewellers and Prestige Arts & Jewels. The factory’s web page has been developed on http://www.majorica/com/. M2VC located in Irvine, Calif., as of April 12, 2005, was chosen by Majorica Jewelry Ltd. to provide an online catalog for their products.
 

MAMSELLE  (B. B. GREENBERG CO.): 1962 - 1987

The B.B. Greenberg Co. was founded in 1962 by CEO Burleigh B. Greenberg producing “MAMSELLE” costume jewelry with headquarters at 333 W. River St., Providence, RI. The company employed nearly 900 people at its height.

Prior to forming his own company, about 1930 or so, Burleigh B. Greenberg became Exec. Vice President for the Brier Manufacturing Co., a jewelry company that specialized in imitation diamond jewelry using stones imported from around the world set in gold filled base metal and manufactured under the “Little Nemo” Trademark. As CEO, Greenberg’s detailed position in the company was to oversee all the operations, marketing, design/trends, and production along with handling the company’s legal and finance concerns. Greenberg did the hiring of department heads and all the designers as well as selling to the large accounts and setting up business relationships with suppliers in Europe and Japan up until 1962 when he formed his own company producing his costume jewelry under the “MAMSELLE” Trademark. Burleigh Greenberg is credited with bringing plastics into the jewelry business from Germany and the jewelry industry to Japan and Korea after WWII. He was also a friend of the late Daniel Swarovski and the first importer of Swarovski stones at a time when they were still in Czechoslovakia. (Information obtained from William Greenberg, son of Burleigh B. Greenberg in June 2009).

The “MAMSELLE” costume jewelry designed by the B.B. Greenberg Co., started in 1962. With Burleigh Greenberg as founder and CEO, his detailed position in the company revolved around overseeing all the operations, marketing, design/trends, and production along with handling the company’s legal and finance concerns. Greenberg did the hiring of department heads and all the designers as well as selling to the large accounts and setting up business relationships with suppliers in Europe and Japan.

“MAMSELLE” costume jewelry consisted of gold plated base metal with brushed and polished surfaces. Some designs had colored paint highlighting the enamel. Some had colored and clear crystal rhinestones, faux pearls, and imitation stones embedded in the metal of the pins, brooches and pendants produced. Some of the jewelry consisted of letter initial pins (A-Z) of gold plated metal with brushed and polished surfaces, some with etched diamond cuts in some of the gold plated metal designs. Trademark: “MAMSELLE” stamped in the back of a jewelry piece. Jewelry designed included lady bugs, turtles, ducks, birds, bunny rabbits, bears, owls, cats, dogs, fish, horses, lambs, Sea horses, leafs, mushrooms, flowers, wreaths, Christmas trees, and hearts made into pins and pendants.

In 1987, Burleigh B. Greenberg sold the B.B. Greenberg Company. The company ceased operations of “MAMSELLE” jewelry under the B.B. Greenberg Co. name.
 

MARBOUX: SEE BOUCHER, MARCEL

MARILYN WELLER: Unknown Date to Present

Marilyn Weller, jewelry designer and owner of Trends in Personal Style or Marilyn Weller Jewelry Design, is located in San Rafael, California. She designs handcrafted, sporty, elegant in character jewelry using semi-precious stones, pearls, silver and vermeil utilizing inherent design patterns, with all elements of design in character with the pieces being timeless to incorporate into ones adorned clothing accessories. It is said that the unique gemstone jewelry and beaded jewelry produced by Weller has patterns with color, shape, sparkly texture, scale and length.

The unique upscale gemstone and beaded jewelry is hand-made, produced into necklaces, bracelets and earrings (clip-on, pierced) using semi-precious gemstones found throughout the world in an amazing array of color, metals, and other organic, non-organic materials including pearls, glass, wood, lava, bones, resins etc. creating the unusual and rare pieces of jewelry for her stunning and unique one-of-a-kind designs that are available in very limited editions. Marilyn Weller is truly a one-of-a-kind wearable art jewelry designer.

Marilyn Weller’s jewelry is not mass produced but is one-of-a-kind or limited editions jewelry and is not available in department stores. It is exclusively available at boutiques, from special galleries and jewelry stores around the U.S. and also on her internet site, for those customers who may not have access to the specialty locations.

It is unknown when Marilyn Weller started producing her own jewelry. Her internet sites are as follows: Custom Handcrafted Jewelry by Marilyn Weller Jewelry Design, and RegMar Jewelry handmade designers jewelry FREE Shipping. For additional information, contact her at her email address: www.marilynwellerjewelry.com and her other address, Marilyn Weller Jewelry Design, 38 Lagoon Road, San Rafael, CA 94901, Phone 415-456-8923. Her designs are carried at Duarteau Boutique, 919 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA. Phone 415-258-0313.
 

MARVELLA: 1911 - Present

The Weinrich Bros. Co. was founded by Sol Weinrich about 1911 in Philadelphia, PA specializing in imitation jewelry and simulated pearl jewelry under the name Marvella. Marvella Pearls, Inc. was the name chosen about 1950 and, around 1965, the name was changed to Marvella, Inc. Before World War II, the jewelry consisted primarily of gold plated metal topped with enamel, simulated pearls and plain and faceted beads using brilliant faceted crystal beads with rhinestone roundels as spacers. The beads, called aurora borealis, were of the highest quality with spectacular change of colors. The Marvella jewelry produced used many trademarks. Marks: "Marvella" in script on pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, and pearl bracelets, since Jan. 1911, "Marvella MINERVA QUALITY" for pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, pearl bracelets and pearl brooches and other pearl jewelry with stones since Jan. 1939, "Marvella SIMULATED PEARLS, They’re Nature Dipped" since Jan. 1941, "Marvella Replica of INDIAN OCEAN PEARLS" since 1941, "MARVELLISSIMO" for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, clips, brooches, lockets, finger rings, charm bracelets, and charms since Jan. 1948, "Marvella Pearl Nuggets" since 1948, "Marvella Fabulous" in script since Jan. 1949, "Marvella SNUG-FLEX" since April 1950, "Natura" in script since May 1954, "Natura "95" in script since June 1954, "MARVELLA with a copyright symbol" after 1955, "MATURELLE" for simulated pearls since June 1957, "MARVELLIER" since Jan. 1958, and "MARVELLETTE" since Sept. 1958 "MARVELLESQUE" since June 1958, FRESHURA" since Dec. 1958, "MARVELLESCENCE" on necklaces, brooches, earrings etc. as well as beads, pins and jewelry initials made of or plated with precious metal since June 1963. Marvella Inc. was purchased by the Monet Group in 1981, by Crystal Brands Jewelry Group in 1988 and is now owned by Liz Clairborne Inc. as of 2000 with production moved out of the U.S.A.

MAZER: 1917 - 1951 AND JOMAZ; 1946 - 1970s

The Mazer Brothers, Joseph and Louis, began their jewelry business in Philadelphia, PA in 1917 and moved the jewelry establishment to NYC in 1927. Later, the company changed its name to Joseph Mazer and Company, Inc. Marcel Boucher worked as a designer for the company but left in the mid 1930s to form his own company. The Mazer company experimented with different techniques to create metal alloys. It manufactured high quality jewelry using Swarovski rhinestones and crystals and the jewelry sold in the middle price range of costume jewelry. It is avidly sought after by collectors today. In 1946. Joseph Mazer left the company to form Joseph J. Mazer and Co. (better known as JOMAZ). Louis Mazer remained with the original company until 1951, the last year the jewelry was made there. The early 1950s jewelry was designed by Andre Fleurida. Adolfo designed some of the 1970s pieces for the company. The earlier jewelry is marked "MAZER BROS.", " Mystere" in script for earrings and brooched since July 1949, while the later pieces are marked "MAZER" 1946 to 1981 or "JOMAZ" 1946 to 1981 and "JOSEPH MAZER". The jewelry produced contains beautiful craftsmanship with spectacular use of Swarovski rhinestones that can be mistaken for genuine jewelry. Other designer using the Mazor trademark carrying their signature were Thierry Mugler 1978, Adolpho 1970s, and Sandra Miller. The jewelry pieces by Mazor are of high quality with superior stones and designs and are highly sought after by collectors. The companies made costume jewelry up to the 1970s.

MIRACLE: 1946 - Present

The A. Hill & Company (Birmingham) Ltd. In England began producing Miracle jewelry in 1946. The jewelry produced has the medieval look that is antique inspired from Celtic, Irish, and Scottish styles including many different English historical styles for Anglo- Saxon, Viking and Baroque. The jewelry design pieces are made with antique pewter, silver and gold base metals with faceted or embedded colorful imitation gemstones of agate, quartz, topaz etc. and semi-precious stones and rhinestones. Many pieces of Miracle jewelry are metal detailed on the back side which is appreciated by collectors today.

Mark or stamped to name a few of the Miracle marks: “A Miracle Creation” hallmark in a small cartouche in the 1950s, “Miracle” in 1960s-1980s, “ Miracle with or without a number, or with or without an R for copyright date“, “Miracle Anglo-Saxon”, Miracle Viking”, and “Celtic Jewelry + (in Irish Gaelic)”.

The factory in Shenzhen, China produces 2,000 pieces of Miracle jewelry monthly and have indicated that good quality is ensured with its skilled workforce. The company sells 80% of its market here in the U.S.A. with exports to the Middle East and has expanded its clientele through exhibiting its jewelry in Hong Kong.

Miracle jewelry celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1996 and has been the leading designer of Celtic, Irish and Scottish style jewelry in the world with their designs initiated from historic pieces and library accumulations over the years. Miracle jewelry is considered in the range of medium to high-end priced, cost wise, with diamonds in 18K white gold from their classic and elegant to trendy styles. Using the antique pewter, gold and silver base metals each piece of jewelry is highlighted by the embedded imitation agate, quartz etc. stones, along with rhinestones, gemstones, and semi precious stones. Miracle jewelry is still being produced today in 2007.
 

NOLAN MILLER: 1957-Present

Nolan Miller, a costume and jewelry designer was born in Burkbarnette, TX and moved to Los Angeles, CA after graduating from the Choinard Art Institute with the intention of designing costumes for the film heroines. He became friends of Aaron Spelling and through him, gained an entry into the film studios and later was lucky to take over the crucial design job left vacant by the death of Edith Head.

Nolan Miller founded and was President of the Nolan Miller Couture in Beverly Hills, CA in 1957 designing costumes and jewelry for the famous film stars including Loretta Young‘s, entrance ensemble for her TV show, Eva Garbor’s of Green Acres negligees, and other celebrities fashions for Natalie Wood, Joan Crawford, Lucile Ball, Jaclyn Smith, Linda Evans and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few.

In the 1980’s, for the Dynasty Show on TV, Miller designed the dresses and jewelry worn by Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Krystal Carrington and other ladies of the case with these creations becoming the symbol of the dress style of the 1980’s. Miller’s design studio had to produce 35 to 40 new outfits every week, 2 days spent each week to discuss a wardrobe and 5 days to make all the clothes and jewelry. In the 1990’s, after the Dynasty Show was cancelled, Nolan became a private couturier with some designs produced to dress the toy Mattel Barbie Doll along with designing outfits and jewelry for other movies up through 2002 (Hotel, Poker Alice, Hollywood Wives, Finder of Lost Love 1984, Hart to Hart, Sin Deep, and Peter Gunn 1989, Soapdish & All I Want for Christmas 1991, Life of the Party 1998, Love Boat, Titans, and in 20020,Charlies Angeles). AntiqueDress.com Museum Memorabilia Collection lists several of the Nolan Miller dresses worn by celebrities through the years. Miller’s lavish use, both of fine and costume jewelry on pins, earrings, necklaces, and pearls, using stones being fake or real, were worn day a night on the shows. His jewelry designs contain Austrian rhinestones and crystals, faux colored pearls, real precious stones and simulated colored stones with gold plated and silver plated metal bases. Nolan Miller’s jewelry is now selling on QVC and it is said to be capturing all the glitz, glamour, and excitement of Hollywood without spending a fortune. His creative jewelry designs coordinate and complement one’s wardrobe look. Some of his collection lines include: Glamour Collection, Crystal Heirloom, and Sun Luster. Mark: “Nolan Miller”. He also, still today, has a fashion line designing dresses, suits and separates.

MIMI DI N: 1960 - Retired, No Longer Designs Jewelry

Mimi di N (N stands for last name Niscemi) was born in Sicily and started working for a jewelry manufacturer who produced Schiaparelli jewelry, and for Arnold Scassi in the 1950s as a designer with jewelry marked "Jewelry by Scassi". In 1959, she worked for Robert De Mario, then Brania with jewelry marked "Brania/Mimi di N". Mimi di N opened her own shop in 1960. Her jewelry was dramatic, bold and elaborate, some with byzantine style using gold and silver plating, enamel, rhinestones, glass cabochons, and simulated pearls. Mark: Mimi di N". She also designed and sold belt buckles. Mimi has retired and no longer designs jewelry. Her jewelry is highly collectible.

 

MIRIAM HASKELL: 1926 - Present

Miriam Haskell, a jewelry designer, opened her own store in New York City in 1926. She produced costume jewelry of elegant artistic ability, ornate and beautiful designs using faux pearls, rhinestones, turquoise, shells, Bakelite and coral that were hand wired in brass and copper to create unique designs of flowers, animals and other organic materials. Miriam Haskell jewelry has been know through the years for its high quality workmanship, designs, and materials. The jewelry pieces were handmade and handset using goldtone metal, an antique Russian gold metal finish developed by Haskell and Frank Hess. Miriam purchased her beads from France and Italy with her crystals imported from Bohemia. During WWII, Haskell used alternative materials including plastics for patriotic designs. After the war, the designs became more vibrant, colorful and feminine looking, more elaborate, larger pieces and multi bead strands with pearls imported from Japan. Frank Hess worked for 

Robert" early 1940s, "Haskell designing jewelry although, Haskell in her lifetime, supervised the production of all the jewelry pieces. The 1950s brought Haskell jewelry with incredibility elaborate designs using stones, pearls and beads and filigree in new and exciting ways. The business was purchased in 1954 by Morris Kinsler. In 1984, Sanford Moss became owner but the business was sold again in 1990 to Frank Fialkoff, who is still producing today, the Miriam Haskell jewelry of traditionally the same quality and originality that bears the Miriam Haskell name. No jewelry was marked between 1926 and 1947. The company used many marks to identify their jewelry. Mark: "Miriam Haskell" in metal on the clasp, the hook, in a crescent shaped cartouche or oval stamp.

MONET: 1928 - Present (Now Owned by Liz Claiborne Since 2000)

The Monocraft Products Company was founded in Providence, RI in 1928 by two brothers, Michael and Jay Chernow. The company first produced gold plated monograms on handbags. The business expanded and around 1937 began manufacturing jewelry under the name of Monet. Monet jewelry is of the Art Modern design. In the 1940s, the company started using sterling silver and silver plating along with the gold plated previously used as base metal. The jewelry produced is very durable with lasting quality. Monet was also responsible for several technological advancements in jewelry, the friction ear clip and the barrel clutch for pierced earrings. The Monocraft Products Company, that produced Monet jewelry, was acquired by General Mills in 1968, purchased by Crystal Brands Jewelry Group in 1989 to 1994, acquired in 1994 to 2000 by Chase Capital Partners, Lattice Holding, and in 2000 was purchased by Liz Claiborne Inc. with production of the jewelry moved out of the U.S. Mark: "MONET", "MONET with copyright symbol" after 1955. Monet jewelry has been in production for more than 75 years and has successfully adapted to the constant changing images and designs of our changing times. The Monet jewelry made today still maintains its high quality and quantity of production. It is still able to change styles and designs capable of meeting the competitive market of today in costume jewelry.

 

MONOCRAFT: 1927 - 1937

The Monocraft Products Company, NY was founded in Providence, RI in 1927 by two brothers, Michael and Jay Chernow. The company specialized in gold plated, silver plated and brass plated monograms and initials on handbags starting in 1927 with the items marked: "Monocraft". The company started manufacturing and producing costume jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, broaches, earrings, and ornamental clips under the name Monet around 1929 but this jewelry was not marked "Monet" until 1937. See Monet for additional information.

 

MOSELL: 1940 - 1980

Frederick Mosell started the Frederick Mosell Jewelry Co. NY in 1940 when he migrated to the USA from his home in Paris. He started out with novelty jewelry pieces and soon was producing elegant design pieces. He only worked for a short time in New York, and is best know for his sophisticated designs that are reminiscent of elegant Egyptian revival. Some vintage gold plated necklaces,  brooches and earrings of starfish, ferns, and leaves (to name a few) had small to large rhinestones and cabochons in their fine detail work, and were very elegant, and suitable for either wearing with the evening dress or casual outfits. Jewelry pieces by Mosell are very hard to find and are quoted in jewelry guides as “very hot”. Marked: “MOSELL”. Mosell jewelry stopped production in 1980.
 

N.W JEWELS: June 2000 - Present

Nathen (Nate) Waxman reestablished some of the Swoboda jewelry lines in Los Angeles, CA, on an internet website in June 2000, under the name of N.W. Jewels. He is producing the unique and exclusive designs of both originals and a limited quantity of re-issues plus his own new designs. The company, Swoboda, Inc., was originally founded by Edward Swoboda in Los Angeles, CA in 1956. N.W. Jewels offers jewelry that is unique and exclusive that emphasizes natural gemstones set in heavy gold plated metal with an antique finish. The company is famous for its broaches for it is said they do not tarnish, and last indefinitely. The company has most recently introduced the use of precious gems to include ruby, emerald, and sapphire in their designs. Categories of jewelry now being produced include rare Swoboda, floral, crown, critter, Christmas, and precious gem broaches, necklaces, earrings, crosses and pendants. Their value and their rich look will please the purchasers of the N.W. Jewels jewelry.

NADJA BUCKLEY: 1940 - 1979

Little is known about Nadja Buckley who was a renowned 1940s designer of supremely elegant, fabulous and massive jewelry that was sold in the finest department stores (Macy’s to name one) and upscale jewelry stores. The costume jewelry pieces, maintaining a tradition of outstanding design and craftsmanship, were made in gold-washed silver metal with many containing semi-precious stones and some contained pieces of cubic zircons. Even her rings were massive and fabulous in appearance. Her jewelry had the look of or could be mistaken for real fine jewelry.

Nadja Buckley designed jewelry for Georg Jensen in 1948, the greatest design company of the 20th century, producing necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings and rings in sterling silver metal. Her jewelry pieces had the overall look of opulent (very wealthy or rich) and showy (of striking or attractive appearance) content and it was advertised in Vogue and Glamour magazines introducing her jewelry designs in 1948 up through 1979. A 1945 issue of Harper‘s Bazaar featured a Nadja Buckley silver compact studded with zircons that was selling for $900 at Bonwit Teller, a one time outstanding 5th Avenue retailer with stores throughout the U.S. A., that imported designer clothes and accessories from Europe, and in 2000 declared bankruptcy. In 1945, the $900 price, at that time in history, was a large portion of the average working person’s salary for the year. Mark: “Nadja Buckley 925”, “Georg Jensen (in oval) 925S, #assigned to designer, and may include Denmark”.

Nadja Buckley’s jewelry pieces are very rare and exceedingly hard to find. They are sought after by collectors and highly priced because of their excellent design quality and workmanship along with Buckley’s association, for a time, with Georg Jensen. Mark: “Nadja Buckley”, “Georg Jensen (in oval) 925S and designer’s #and some labeled Denmark”. Nadja Buckley’s ceased jewelry operation in 1979.

NAPIER: 1875 - 1999

The company was founded in 1875 as Whitney & Rice in Attleboro, Mass. manufacturing silver products. The company was sold in 1882 and its name changed to Carpenter and Bliss, and shortly thereafter, in 1878, became E. A. Bliss and Co., Inc., New York. With rapid expansion starting in the late 1880's, in 1890, the company moved to Meriden, Conn. Mark “M. Co. inside a large B” on jewelry in 1908, “N” in an oval shape box for jewelry necklaces, bracelets etc. since Dec. 1923, “NACO” for jewelry and cases since Dec. 1923. After WWI, the company shifted its emphasis from silver products to production of modern or costume jewelry.

The name for the jewelry, “NAPIER” was named after James Napier, its President in 1920, (who headed the company until 1960), changing the company’s name to Napier-Bliss Co. In 1922, the name was changed again to the Napier Company located now in Meriden, CT. Marked: “NAPIER” for jewelry since Oct. 1920, and “By NAPIER” in a box for scarf pins, bracelets, brooches, dress clips, bar pins, rings, dress and shoe buckles etc. since July 1942, and “NAPIER with a copyright symbol” after 1955. Trademarks all included the name “NAPIER”.

Napier was considered to be the oldest fashion jewelry house in the U.S. Most of the costume jewelry, made is modern and simple in basic geometric form and floral motifs designs, that lacks fancy ornamentation and embellished glitter of other costume jewelry, but has backgrounds of sterling silver and silver plating with some of the background metalwork having a sculpture look that resembles Mexican and Scandinavian silverwork. Napier’s collectibles include the unique early designs along with the sterling silver designs and the unusual Oriental inspired coin and charm bracelets of the 1950s. The Napier jewelry was mass produced in large quantities and marketed through major department stores. It designed and manufactured a simple, yet elegant line of costume jewelry avoiding the most expensive materials like aurora borealis rhinestones to keep the cost down. It created jewelry with high style and superior craftsmanship updating the styling, quality and value for the modern American woman, ranging from career jewelry to casual wear and special occasion. Victoria & Company Ltd., later called Victoria Creations purchased the company in the late 1980s, and in the year 2000, Jones Apparel Group became its owner also buying the “NAPIER” brand. Jones Apparel Group ceased operations of “NAPIER” jewelry in 1999.

NETTIE ROSENSTEIN: Early 1935 - 1975

As a small child, Austrian born Nettie Rosenstein (originally Nettie Rosencrans) emigrated to the United States with her family as a small child. She and her sister started a millinery business in New York, in the early 1920s, devoted to women’s clothing and apparel. She retired from the fashion world in the late 1920s. She returned to the fashion industry, the 7th Avenue House of Couture in 1932 designing new women’s fashions and accessories including jewelry, lingerie, perfume, body soap, and handbags. In 1961, Nettie discontinued her fashion line, keeping only the costume jewelry, perfume, and handbag branches of the business. Rosenstein’s jewelry, with its high quality pave diamante rhinestones, poured and glass color stones, and strong imaginative designs, using sterling sliver in 1942 to 1946 and gold plated and rhodium metals and enamel designs that were produced between the 1930s and 1940s that are highly collectible. Mark: "Nettie Rosenstein" and "Sterling Nettie Rosenstein", name in script. Her shop was closed in 1975 and she lived until the age of 90 dying in 1990. A limited amount of Nettie Rosenstein jewelry is still available and sought after today.

NEIMAN MARCUS: 1907 - Present

The Neiman Marcus Company was founded in Dallas, TX by Herbert Marcus, Carrie Marcus Neiman and her husband Al Neiman in 1907 purchasing and selling under their company’s name and the company also began acquiring majority interests in brand-name items, under designers names, an expertly edited assortment of jewelry including rings, bracelets, charms, pins, earrings, necklaces along with tabletop collections and decorative items. In the beginning designer’s jewelry included Coco Chanel and Miuccia Prada . Herbert’s son Stanley Marcus joined the firm in the 1920s. Mark: "Neiman Marcus, date" in script, and also jewelry designer marks. The Neiman Marcus stores are still in business today selling their own new lines plus named designers jewelry.

NINA RICCI: 1932 - Present

France in 1932 producing extraordinary designs for women. Their Paris, France head office incorporated eleven floors of offices with 450 workers before WWII with designs studios and workrooms, boutiques, salons, and several showrooms whose operations developed to cover ready-to-wear, leather goods, and fashion accessories - scarves, glasses and jewelry. Other offices were found in Japan and Singapore along with Boutiques and stores found worldwide. Nina Ricci’s name was used on the costume and precious jewelry designs made into necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, earrings and rings in Sept. 1960. Nina Ricci died in 1970.

In 1984, D’Orlan Jewelers Ltd. of Toronto, Canada formed a partnership with the Nina Ricci Enterprises of Paris, France (known throughout the world in the fashion industry for French designs and French luxury goods including perfumes). This partnership occurred due to the impression made by Maurice J. Bradden, D’Orlan’s founder in 1957 because of the classic designs of high quality and the ability to develop high fashion jewelry lines that complemented the Nina Ricci image. Together the companies developed a high standard plating process that highly regarded to include a 22 karat triple-plated finish over a pewter base metal that ensures a consistency of color. This process has been incorporated into the Nina Ricci jewelry lines.

The D’Orlan and Nina Ricci’s costume and precious jewelry has been sold throughout the world in Nina Ricci Stores, in high-end department stores and boutiques. The jewelry produced by D’Orlan for Nina Ricci since 1984 had the look of newness. The workmanship and details on the jewelry being produced by D’Orlan is of very high quality. All D’Orlan stones are machine cut from the Swarovski Austriann lead crystals (rhinestones) and precious stones that are multi-faceted and set by hand, in gold or silver, gold-tone or silver-tone metals or a 22 karat triple-plated finish over a pewter base metal, in settings of pave, prong, bezel or channel depending on the jewelry style of rhinestones or precious stones and metal content used. The designer mark is Nina Ricci/Paris. Robert Ricci died in 1988 and the company was taken over by Nina’s son-in-law Gilles Fuchs.

Creed Canada, an exclusive Canadian distributor for many years purchased all remaining D’Orlan and Nina Ricci jewelry produced before the manufacturer, D’Orlan Company, closed its doors in March of 2006. It sells some of the D’Orlan and Nina Ricci Fashion Jewelry, necklaces, earrings, brooches, bracelets, D’Orlan box sets and pendants on its website along with other name brands including Rachel, La Scala, Beaded Jewelry, Religious Jewelry, Chains, La Manufacture Watches, and Fontenay Watches. See the
Website: creedcanada.com

The Nina Ricci Company is still in business today producing many fine luxury items, women‘s ready-to-wear clothing and accessories including handbags and shoes, watches and jewelry set with pearls, diamonds, rhinestones and precious stone made into necklaces, pendants, bracelets, brooches, rings and earrings , men’s shops apparel, home décor items, perfumes and fragrances, and sunglasses with the Nina Ricci trademark stamp.

ORA: 1921 - Present

The Oreste Agnini Company, Chicago, IL was founded in 1921 by Oreste Agnini. He emigrated to the U.S. from Italy in 1903. The company acquired the trademark ORA in the late 1940‘s, a name that was a combination of the company’s co-founders (OReste Agnini and Ralph Singer). The company was the first jewelry manufacturing operation in the city of Chicago. Agnini had displayed his artistic talents early in life that lead to the designing of jewelry. His drawing skills became apparent during WW I sketching observations while behind enemy lines. Ralph Singer, another emigrant from Italy, joined Agnini in the jewelry manufacturing business, soon after the company’s founding, changing the name to Agnini & Singer with Singer, not only handling the factory operations, but also doing much of the jewelry designing. Singer had previously been a diamond setter in the U.S. All the stones used in the production of their jewelry were of the highest quality made in Czechoslovakia and purchased in Rhode Island. The company manufactured beautiful and very fine quality costume jewelry. The company supplied much of the jewelry (pins and broaches) for the Eisenberg dresses and clothing before the formation of the Eisenberg Jewelry Company. Agnini & Singer were also responsible for jewelry that was featured in the 1939 Chicago World's Fair symbol, as well as the crowns for the Mardi Gras queens.

Early pieces of ORA jewelry were not marked, probably those produced in the 1920s, 1930s,and 1940s, and probably many of the high quality, unsigned pieces displayed the delicate, Old World workmanship admired today were early examples of Oreste Agnini's work. Eventually the business was known as ORA Designs. Mark: “ORA” began appearing in the 1940s. Other marks: ORA CREATIONS”, and “ORA ORIGINALS”. In 1952, Oreste Agnini retired and sold his half of the business to Ralph Singer who named the business “The Ralph Singer Company“. Ralph Singer died in 1963. After Singer’s death, his son-in-law, Raymond Pausback, ran the business, becoming a partner with Ralph Singer’s widow, Celeste, and eventually buying out her half of the business. Pausback sold the business in the 1980’s to Sanford Smith Sr. When the latter died, his son Stanford Smith Jr. became owner of the Ralph Singer Company and continues in that capacity up to this date in 2005. Stanford Smith II is still producing ORA jewelry today along with a product fashion line and fraternal jewelry. The ORA jewelry is now marked “ORA”.

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry Makers And Designers

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