Vintage Costume Jewelry

Today’s Vintage Monday features vintage costume jewelry.

The pieces that I’m sharing belonged to my grandmother, great-great aunt who raised my grandmother, and my cousin’s grandmother.  I don’t know the age of these pieces but would guess they are from the 1930’s through the 1970’s.

I’m starting with this pin and clip earring set because it’s my favorite.  Isn’t this a pretty design?

Vintage Pin and Clip Earring Set

This pretty pin and clip earring set is marked “Lisner”.  Lisner jewelry can be found for sale on both eBay and Etsy and appears to be quite collectable.

Vintage Lisner Pin and Clip Earring Set

This belt buckle is in its original box from Bowen Jewelry in Lynchburg. 

I would love to know who it originally belonged to because to my knowledge, I have no relatives who lived in Lynchburg.  My best guess is that it was a gift to my great-great-aunt.

Vintage Belt Buckle from Bowen Jewelry in Lynchburg, VA

Bowen Jewelry is still in operation today.  They have a large collection of estate jewelry and Mr. SP has treated me to a piece or two over the years. 

I showed this belt buckle to Bif Bowen but he wasn’t especially interested in it.  He did tell me that I could donate it to the store for their vintage display.  I chose to keep it.

Vintage Belt Buckle from Bowen Jewelry in Lynchburg, VA

Look at all of these pretty clip earrings!  My mother displays her vintage jewelry collection on lamp shade in her bedroom.  Wouldn’t these be pretty clipped to the edge of a lamp shade?

Vintage Clip Earrings

Have you ever tried to wear clip earrings?  Oh-my-ouch is all I have to say about that.  This is just a few of the clip earrings that Granny had in her jewelry box.

Vintage Clip Earrings

Next we have vintage pins and one pendant that must have once been on a necklace.

Beautiful Vintage Pins

More pins!  Aren’t these fun?  

My aunt thinks that my grandmother got the lobster pin from the Maine delegation at an NEA convention.  My grandfather was a teacher, principal, and school superintendent and regularly attended NEA conventions.  Those trips were the only “vacations” that my grandmother got to take.

Funky Vintage Pins

I can imagine Granny pinning one of these to her dress for church on Sunday.

Vintage Floral Pins

Granny was very active in 4-H and won many awards.  This pendant was awarded for winning the “County Style Show Champion”.  I would imagine that she made and modeled an outfit to win this award.

4-H Award Pendant

I hope you enjoyed seeing this jewelry.  Now that I’ve gotten it all out to share with you, I’m motivated to think of ways that I can enjoy it.  If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment!

And if you like this post, please pin it for others to discover!

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Vintage Costume Jewelry - See a collections of costume jewelry from the 1930's to the 1970's.


  1. I so love looking a old pieces. it s like looking into the past. I have some pieces from both grandmothers. Thanx so much for sharing! I wonder do ever make up stories about any of these pieces of history? I do!

    1. I do wonder where each piece came from and if it was purchased for a particular event. I wish I had photos of relatives wearing this jewelry!

      1. My hubby was an only child so he inherited many things which included an extensive costume jewelry collection. We’re talking a large suitcase full. He also got many old photographs of people long long gone. I was going thru the stuff one day and came across an old picture of a child with a pendant around it’s neck. Low and behold I had the pendant that the kid was wearing. Pretty cool. I still don’t know who the kid is but it sort of dates the old pendant.

        1. That is so neat that you found a picture of a child wearing a pendant that your husband inherited. Do you display any of your collection?

  2. Some beautiful pieces, Paula! I especially like the one with the blue stones that you said is your favorite. So many sparkly pieces–just love them! You spoke of finding ways to enjoy them in the present. I would wear them! Not all of course, as some wouldn’t suit–especially the clip-on earrings–but the brooches you might pin on a coat or dress. By the way, I grew up wearing those clip-ons. They were okay for an hour or maybe two but after that your ear lobes went numb! When they hurt was when you took them off and the blood came back! Yeow! Glad those are out of style! Some were very beautiful, though. Thanks for showing your treasures.

    1. I have one necklace with clip earrings that I didn’t take a picture of (probably from the 70’s) that I used to wear to school on occasion. I once tried to wear the earrings and I think I lasted about an hour. Granny’s ear lobes always looked long and flat to me. Maybe it was from wearing those earrings for many years! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  3. I have never seen a dressy belt buckle. That could be a fun thing to work into your holiday attire or even with jeans. And yes, I tried to wear my grandmother’s clip earrings. Oh my – couldn’t do it. Even with those sponge pads!

    1. That belt buckle might look really pretty on a strip of black velvet ribbon. I need to remember that at Christmas!

  4. These are beautiful vintage jewelry pieces. I lived in Lynchburg for 25 years, and I well remember the Bowen store downtown as well as the old “Bowen mansion” on Garland Hill — although the Bowen family no longer lived there when I was living in L’burg. I’m so glad that you’ve kept these vintage pieces of jewelry that belonged to your family members. It’s such a nice way to remember them.

    1. I’m going to have to figure out which home on Garland Hill was the old Bowen mansion. I love to drive those streets to look at the old homes there. Thanks so much for commenting so that I could discover your blog.

  5. Oh, my goodness, Paula, you have so many vintage treasures! These are just gorgeous. I’m thinking you need a glass-topped table or a shadowbox frame in which you could keep these beautiful pieces on display. Beautiful!!

    1. I need to get a few shadow box frames. I’m thinking that some framed jewelry would make a great display in my bedroom.

  6. Those are beautiful pieces, Paula. I have my mom’s costume jewelry and I’m trying to decide what to do with it. I’d like to find pictures of her wearing the pieces and then give the jewelry and picture to her great-granddaughters.
    Would your mom let you show a picture of her lampshade with the jewelry on it? I’m curious about how it looks.

    1. Giving your granddaughters a piece of jewelry with a picture of their great-grandmother wearing it is a great idea! They might not appreciate it now, but they will when they get older. I’ll see my mom this weekend for Mother’s Day and I’ll ask her to take a picture of her lamp shade.

  7. I have seen dress forms covered with fitted black velvet with pins on them to sell. I think shadow boxes or a glass topped table would save a lot of dusting/cleaning though. Maybe even mounting them in a wreath shape. Using a quiet brocade as a background would be classy. (Remember the Christmas trees made with single earrings?). I took my grandmother’s cameo clip-on earring and stitched it (so it couldn’t slip off) to a black velvet choker; those blue pins and earrings would be gorgeous on royal blue satin, silver brocade ribbon, etc Or stitched on to an evening bag to jazz up the clasp. If you got pix of your mom, those “team” picture frames with the spot for the team picture and smaller oval for the child would be great (gotta love Goodwill); make a simple foam core box instead of the frame backing (about 1/2″ deep, cut sides to fit the frame, glue edges and hold together with flat head pins), back the jewelry section with something vintagey or velveteen. Maybe even have reprints of the picture colored (my mom used to do that before color film), journal the history on the back of the frame. It would be gorgeous. ALSO, from someone who has learned the hard way, when you wear the pins, DO NOT wear them where your car’s shoulder harness hits: it will invariably bump the pin enough for the pin clasp (yes, even a safety clasp) to come undone and you’ve lost the pin when you get out of the car! At best, it may loosen prongs on stones, and there’s nothing worse than a lovely pin with a gap-toothed look! Personally, as a doll house lover, I would take the round silver leafy rhinestone ones, stand them up on the open clip and tuck a little round mirror (1″ish) behind it for glitzy dollhouse decor! Gotta think outside the jewelry box!

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