So my husband took me out for my birthday to a flea market! Swanky huh? 

To me it is the perfect outing. I love going through all the junk, seeking the diamond in the rough or another miniature oil lamp for my kitchen window!  I put up on Facebook that I had a great day ‘picking’ and then to dinner. 

My sister-in-law asked me what picking was. Hasn’t everyone heard of the term pickers? No? Well it’s someone who hunts flea markets, estate sales, thrift stores, etc. and looks for the good deals. I do this looking for vintage jewelry for my shop, or to repurpose into a new piece. I also collect oil lamps for myself. 

Someone recently told me if they had seen something of mine in a used store they wouldn't have paid $5 for it but they liked it. Well, I was taken aback. I assumed people realized that they were paying for the time spent scouring flea markets, antique malls, and auctions. In addition to the years spent learning what is valuable and what is not. Not to mention the cleaning, repair, shop fees, advertising. I guess not everyone understands this.  

If you are a collector and you find something in a flea market on your own, it feels like winning the lottery. But if you are like me with my oil lamps, you will often pay the higher price when you see something you just have to have. You know the chances of finding the very same vintage or antique item you have fallen in love with is very slim. 

 I would like to add here a beware notice. When buying vintage jewelry, be sure you know exactly what you are getting, if not sure, choose a knowledgeable seller. One of the reasons this is important is that not all vintage jewelry sellers on Etsy know what they are doing. I belong to an Etsy group called VJSE (Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy). It is a vetted group and an award winning group. Doing a search for what you are looking for with VJSE tagged on to the end will get you the listings from our group. 

One of the things I see regularly is a listing with an aurora borealis (AB) crystal marked as coming from the 1940s or earlier. The AB crystal technique was invented in 1955 by Swarovski and Christian Dior. You can read more here:http://www.swarovskigroup.com/S/collaborations/ChristianDior.en.html  

Another misconception lies around the copyright symbol. The copyright symbol was first allowed to be used on jewelry also in 1955 and yet you will see people claiming a piece with the symbol on it is pre 1955.  

The thing I find humorous though is the people who list jewelry from the 1928 Jewelry Company as coming from the year 1928. The company simply signs their pieces 1928, if at all, so it is easy to see how this happens but one should be able to expect someone selling vintage jewelry to know this. Often it is unsigned but can be recognized by the because of the distinctive patterns that they used on the backs of their pieces. See photo above for example and go here to see piece: https://www.etsy.com/listing/90850036/1928-car-brooch-touring-car-automobile 

Keep your head up high! - Margie