Where Do We Source Our Vintage Jewelry?

Where Do We Source Our Vintage Jewelry?
Many of you have often asked “where do you find so much cool vintage jewelry?” While many will say it’s a trade secret, most of our sourcing comes from YOU! That’s correct, we buy from the public! If you have vintage jewelry that you aren’t wearing, you can email us to set up a buying appointment.

However, a few times a year, we do go in the hunt for amazing vintage jewels. We just went on one of those amazing buying trips, starting at the famous Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, MA. We spent a few days in the rain, scouring miles of fields of antiques dealers to bring y’all home some gems. And since we were on the east coast, we popped into Providence to check out a vintage jewelry warehouse. This was 60,000 sq ft of jewelry heaven. Of course we had to do something digging to find the best stuff. Here’s a bit of history on how Providence became the vintage jewelry manufacturing capital of the world!

Did you know that J jewelry manufacturing began in the Providence in 1794? By 1880 Rhode Island’s jewelry industry accounted for more than one quarter of the nation’s jewelry production. Cohn and Rosenberg, or Coro was the first to move to Providence in 1911, followed by Trifari, Monet, Jewel Co. of America, Kienhofer & Moog, Anson, Bulova, Gorham, Swank and Speidel.
By the 1940’s Rhode Island had become the Jewelry Capital of the world. Producing 80% of the costume jewelry made in America.

In the 1950s and 1960s, vintage costume jewelry reached the height of its popularity, with many companies vying for a share of the market. Some of the most famous designers of this era include Trifari, Boucher, and Eisenberg, all of which had a significant presence in Providence. These designers were known for their innovative designs, high-quality materials, and attention to detail, and their pieces are now highly sought after by vintage costume jewelry collectors.
Costume jewelry represents 40% of all jewelry made in America. The other 60% is more expensive jewelry of precious metals and stones, primarily produced in New York, New Jersey, California and Florida.

The industry peaked in Providence in 1978 with 32,500 workers, then began a swift decline. By 1996, the number of jewelry workers shrank to 13,500. As recent as 1986 there were 900 jewelry firms with the majority of the businesses being small independent operations employing 25 to 100 employees. Sadly by 2015, the number of employees had shrunk to 5,723.

The jewelry district no longer operates as such, the city of Providence has taken initiatives to create an “Innovation and Design” district in its place. That said, major brands such as Shinola and Tiffany are still produced in the region. And Providence is still a very interesting city to visit because it’s full of history!