May 5, 2011

Vintage Designer Jewelry: spotlight on Chanel

“Jewelry should be viewed with innocence, with artlessness,
just as we enjoy the sight of an apple tree in blossom
at the side of the road as we speed past in a motor-car.”
---Coco Chanel

Chanel jewelry is timeless, classic, chic, and well, really expensive.  The name is synonomous with luxury.  Funny, really, when you consider that Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel began creating jewelry and clothes because she couldn't afford the high-end fashion of her early days.  Truly a rags, to bedsheets*, to riches story.

I simply adore her style and jewelry, and own a precious few pairs of vintage Chanel earrings.  Someday, I hope to run down the streets of Paris like Kiera Knightley, doused in Chanel No. 5 and donning Chanel's latest frocks and jewels... but for now, I have to save for my three-year old's college fund...

Authentic Chanel Vintage CC swing pearl clip earrings by HelloVintageChanel on Etsy
Marilyn Monroe took long bubble baths, the recipe: a cap full of Johnson's baby oil, and a full ounce of Chanel No. 5

Vintage Chanel Gold Floral Mabe Pearl Earrings by eclecticappealjewels on Etsy

Chanel introduced her first luxurious costume jewelry in the early 1920’s. Her simple dress designs and plain fabrics she used, were ideal for wearing jewelry.

Chanel Charm Bracelet by oldhollywood on Etsy

Some of the earliest Chanel jewelry was unsigned.  It was sold with or as part of an outfit it was specifically designed to complement.

Vintage Chanel GRIPOIX blue clip on earrings by vintageheirloom on Etsy
Chanel invented the “Little Black Dress” in 1926, which French Vogue dubbed “Chanel’s Ford”, for its practicality and marketability.  She is also credited with popularizing the concept of “costume jewelry” in the 1920s, creating seasonal jewelry that mixed fake pearls with real stones.

Chanel Gripoix Red, Green & Faux Pearl Maltese Cross Brooch by Chic Antiques on Ruby Lane
Chanel was orphaned at age 12, and spent six years in an orphanage.

For information on dating Chanel Jewelry check out this great ebay guide.

Please visit the featured shops above by clicking on the links under the photos!  If you have vintage Chanel jewelry for sale, please feel free to comment with a link to the listing... I won't charge you, but I would love a new follower or friend on Facebook ;)

Also check out my shop on etsy for Vintage Costume Jewelry and Bridal Jewelry

* she was a mistress to powerful, rich men who would later finance her business endeavors


  1. The old song "Can't Touch This" comes to mind when trying to buy Chanel Jewelry. Highly coveted by collectors and I totally's fantastic with its chic and classic styling. You've found some great affordable pieces...superb post!

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