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Thursday, 5 October 2017

Halloween Jewellery Treats.

Our favourite holiday of the year, Halloween is on its way so ' treat ' yourself to a some spooky bling and check out some of the superstitions and beliefs of these Halloween symbols.

 These black cat and crescent moon earrings are formed from cloisonne enamel and are also available in red.

Whilst in America and parts of Europe black cats are believed to be unlucky,  in the UK the opposite applies,  black cats are believed to be lucky and one appearing at your doorstop was a sign of impending prosperity. Whilst in Japan black cats are associated with being lucky in love. ( Note to self buy 10 black cats ).


This antique Victorian brooch, is hand carved from a piece of Whitby Jet, an unusual antique spooky talking point.

In the Victorian era mourning jewellery was often worn to mark the passing of a loved one, popularized by queen Victoria after the death of her beloved Albert, Jet became the only accepted court jewellery.  Some of the mourning style pieces have concealed sections contains a lock of the departed's  hair.

This spider web ring complete with dangling spider would make a quirky and fun accessory to a Halloween outfit. 

Nowadays spiders get a pretty unfair deal when it comes to Halloween, being seen as some sort of spooky witches helper.  In medieval times if you saw a spider on Halloween it was actually believed to be the soul of a loved  one watching over you, prior to this they were believed to be fore tellers of prosperity and it was bad luck to kill one.

This wide chunky skull and cross bone bangle would make a great addition to any pirates haul of treasure. 

The skull and cross bone symbol whilst perhaps most commonly associated with pirates, dates back to the late middle ages as a symbol of death. It's still commonly used today as a hazard symbol often used to denote poisonous chemicals.

Thanks for reading through and wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Moody Blues Are In!

One of the colours creating a stir on catwalks for the Autumn/Fall 2017 season is blue, or rather moody blue. So cast out from your mind nautical, seaside and neon shades of blue and think more along the lines of Midnight, Cobalt and Oxford shades of blue. 
A great way to be on trend yet still set your own is to combine vintage and modern to create your own unique look. We have included a few of our favourite pieces from our website in the hopes of inspiring you.

This stunning vintage chunky sterling silver and lapis lazuli gemstone bracelet, combines shades of blue silver and gold creating a bold look. 

The deep blue hues that the gem stone Lapiz lazuli is formed from has been prized for thousands of years, it was once powdered to form the most expensive paint pigment ultramarine.

Although not vintage this 14ct gold and cobalt blue foiled glass necklace, combines one of the other ongoing trends, pearls! The mixture of the pearls and cobalt blue glass helps soften the overall look of the necklace.

Pearls are always a great addition to any jewellery box, classic and timeless they are easily incorporated with any outfitted. They never really go out of fashion.

This retro bracelet is formed from enamel bonded to copper in a crazy/fun flower design dating from the 1960's -  70's.

This vintage, enamel, flower bracelet mixes moody blues with lighter blue shades, forming a vibrant fun bracelet oozing classic retro vibes.

Cloisonne enamel makes up the design of  this lovely brooch, dating from the 1980's.

Another enamel piece but this one is cloisonne enamel forming a large, eye catching vintage butterfly and flower raised design brooch.

We hope we've managed to inspire a few ideas, if moody blues aren't quite for you as you love blue in all of its shades then check out our blue jewellery pinterest page dedicated to blue jewellery of any shade.

Friday, 1 September 2017

New Arrivals For September.

As with all months, September will see some unique new arrivals to the shop. So I'll take this opportunity to highlight some of our new favourites.  This post really will be all about bracelets, as we have luckily been able to source a number of vintage and unusual pieces.

Whilst not vintage the colours displayed in this abalone shell inlaid bangle are simply stunning.  Formed from natural shell slices set on a steel core, creating a unique and vibrant design.

Miracle bracelets can be harder to find than their other types of their jewellery so it was great to come across this Scottish themed charm bracelet.

The bracelet is formed from a chunky curb chain set with five Scottish style charms, including thistles, crosses and bagpipe players. It  may often get missed as a Miracle design as its the back of some of the charms that bear the signature and this can often be fairly indistinct.

This unusual enamel green and white bracelet, recently aquired also deserves a mention, Its a striking little gem of a bracelet.

The bracelet is stamped Stybro to the back, sadly we haven't been able to find much on this designer other than that they may have been based in London, the bracelet is a quality piece so we'll definitely be looking out for more from this company.

One of our favourite styles of jewellery is the space age/ jet set style of jewellery. This stainless steel cuff bangle is a great representation of the style.

Formed from smooth sleek curves in an open cuff design, this modernist,  space age style bangle is a real statement piece.

These were just a few of the bracelets that have been recently added to the shop, please feel free to stop by and have a browse through some of the other designs available in our bracelets and bangle selection.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Autumn Fall Jewellery

Each time I go out now,  I'm noticing patches of fallen leaves scattered sparsely upon the floor. There's definitely no denying it, Autumn/Fall is on its way.  Whilst I will miss Summer,  Autumn is actually my favourite season. I love the way the nights slowly lengthen and the feelings of cosyness I get from being wrapped up warm inside on colder days.  But my absolute favourite thing about Autumn is the colour.

This vintage brooch by British designer Miracle is reminiscent of the vibrant colours on display in Autumn.

For a few short weeks in Autumn the  natural world treats us to one last explosion of colour before winter arrives and the leaves fall away.  If you want to accessorize to compliment the season you could try reflecting some of the vibrant colours around you.

 This foiled glass bangle showcases some of the richness of colour seen during Autumn.

If you wish to go further than just wearing autumnal colours you can incorporate some leaves or even berry style pieces to your jewellery box.

This elegant brooch by designer Sarah Coventry features autumn colours from its central smoky topaz coloured rhinestone bordered by textured leaves.

  More jewellery inspired by Autumn is available on our Autumn dedicated pinterest board.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

August Gemstones.

August Gemstones/Birthstones.

August is an unusual month in that it has three birthstones associated with it. Peridot, spinel and sardonyx. Peridot a lovely green gemstone is perhaps the most well known one of the three and is also associated with prosperity luck and good fortune.( All great reasons to wear it ! )

This tumbled peridot gemstone chip bracelet is an excellent and affordable way to add some peridot bling to your wardrobe.

Peridot is one of the oldest gemstones,  ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to appreciate its beauty.  The largest is owned by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C  and is an impressive 319 carats. Amazingly peridot is the only gemstone found inside meteors and is the first gem to be discovered on another planet, in 2003 deposits were discovered on mars!

Sadly not from a meteor, but this vintage sterling silver and peridot modernist style ring is still stunning.

Spinel is the most recent stone associated with birthdays in august, it has been used as a gemstone for centuries. Available in a variety of colours it is often mistaken for other gemstones, perhaps one of the most famous ones is the ' Black Prince's Ruby ' found in the state crown! ( For centuries it was believed to be a ruby, but is actually a substantial uncut spinal of approximately 170 carats ). As a gemstone spinel is believed to have soothing and calming qualities.

A large icy blue spinel is set in an ornate oval open work nine carat gold surround, in this elegant vintage pendant from the early 1970's.

Sardonyx actually is the traditional birthstone for August, it's a type of banded onyx gemstone and is believed to stand for courage and victory, sardonyx is a popular stone used to carve cameos.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Luckenbooth Jewellery and its history

Luckenbooth - You may see this term used to describe certain types/styles of  heart shaped jewellery.  What does it actually mean?  Well its not a new type of jewellery, this particular design goes back to the 1600's and originates from Scotland.  A lot of jewellery was sold from Scotland  and continues to be so,  but the Luckenbooth originates wholly from there.  In its basic earliest designs it was a heart with a crown above it, though through time it has being adapted, so you will find two linked hearts, with a crown, two crowns and hearts and embellishments such as doves.

DWH - Luckenbooth Necklace

The Luckenbooth to the left is a 80's pewter formed pendant by Scottish designer David William Harkison.  With stunning simple lines, in the more traditional Luckenbooth style. 

Luckenbooths got their name from where they were sold the locked booths of jewellers.  The original ones were formed mainly in silver and if stones were to be used, it was usually garnets and they were mainly designed and sold as brooches.  Later designs have moved this popular symbol into all jewellery forms, so you will find luckenbooth, earrings, necklaces and rings, amongst other things.

On the right are a pair of  cloisonne enamel, Luckenbooth earrings, by ' Fine Enamels '  Fish and Crown.  Designed in vibrant coloured enamels, with small dainty drops, a stunning late 1990's - 2000's.  

Originally exchanged as a token between lovers but as times moved on they began to be circulated as a protection against witches/evil. They were sometimes pinned to a baby's cradle for protection, or worn by nursing mothers,  but whether believed in as a token of love or a talisman against evil, they are still vibrant and popular today.
To the left is a vintage sterling silver double luckenbooth heart brooch by renowned Scottish Silver smiths the ' Ward Brothers ' studded with faux citrine stones and signed WBS Scotland to its back, a really pretty piece.

We try to always hold some Luckenbooth designs in stock, on our Scottish and Celtic jewellery page, as well as other popular Celtic and Scottish Designs.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

This Weeks New Arrivals To KCA Vintage Gems

We had some lovely new arrivals in the shop this week,  this lovely cloisonne brooch by Fish and Crown in purpley/blue was one of the brooches added.  I know the brooch comes in either blue flowers or red,  it is a modern brooch,  that I have often seen described as vintage whilst it is beautifully made its certainly not old.  The flowers depicted on the brooch are violets.  Fish and crown is a manufacturer of cloisonne and sterling silver jewellery, they began production in the 1980's so some of their earlier items  are indeed vintage.  Interestingly whilst commonly known as Fish and Crown jewellery, ( the backs are marked with a fish, two fish or a crown and a fish ) the brand itself appears to be specifically named Fine enamels owned by an American Company Fish enterprises.  Their enamel work is strikingly beautiful often featuring floral designs.
Fish And Crown Enamel Floral Blue Brooch

Another lovely cloisonne brooch was also added to the shop this week,  although unsigned it appears to be a smaller version of a floral brooch by Sea Gems.  Sea Gems is a British enamel and silver jewellery designers based in Cornwall,  they too began in the early 1980's so some of their earlier designs are classed as vintage too.
Floral cloisonne Enamel Oval Brooch

Some lovely items from the Miracle jewellery company were also added, including this lovely Celtic style Ribbon brooch and pendant set.  Set with lovely blue art glass.
Vintage Miracle Celtic Ribbon Set

Another Miracle jewellery piece was also added this week, a lovely faux tortoiseshell brooch in an art nouveau design.  The brooch has a link to the back so that it can be adapted and worn as a pendant.
Vintage large faux tortoiseshell brooch by Miracle

Fans of animal jewellery will love this Noah's Ark brooch with animals approaching the ark and already inside,  its designed in silver tone metal.. I have seen this design both in sterling silver and pewter, this one is unsigned but so kitsch.
Vintage Noah's Ark Brooch

Also added to the shop this week was this vintage triple stranded twist necklace, its very reminiscent of sphinx designs but is unsigned.  The necklace is designed in gold tone metal with two of the strands being cobra chains and one being a serpentine chain, twisted together creating a striking  necklace.
Vintage Twisted Three Strand Necklace

These were just a few of the new pieces that I added to the shop this week, I am hoping to spend a little time this week researching some of the more obscure companies that I have not being able to find out much about.  Fingers crossed it proves to be a productive week.