Wednesday, September 16, 2009


One thing that has become really enjoyable about what Beth and I do, is that we meet some really great people. People that have been in the jewelry business for many years. Their stories of traveling around the world to visit designers and manufacturers are just great! One person we met this summer told us of visiting small manufacturers in Italy and Germany. Many of whom are no longer in business. They were often small family businesses and once the patriarch died, the business died with them. Really a shame, because the craftsmanship that came out of these little shops will never be seen again. We saw some of these great beads, settings, and cabochons. We just fell in love with the colors and shapes and quality. We knew we had to take the plunge and buy some because we weren't sure we would see such great vintage items again.

The person we talked to also talked of supplying many of the great costume jewelry designers of the last 30 years. It was so wild to listen about how demanding and detailed these designers were. How they would request certain colors and shapes. The process of filling these orders. Fascinating! One design house that this person supplied was the Les Bernard Company. One of the great costume jewelry makers of the last half century.

What we didn't know was that we purchased some of the components that he supplied to Les Bernard. After we returned home we were searching the web for information on Les Bernard and low and behold we see this picture... If you will notice the grid on the necklace, it matches the grid at the top of this post. Not only do we have that grid... we have many more shapes and sizes.

For Beth and I, this isn't a matter of name dropping. It's a matter of history. Beth has always loved old beads. I have always loved history. And when you get the chance to match vintage beads with interesting history... you have a great story!

Happy treasure hunting!

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