These patents provide an invaluable source of information as to the designer and date of pieces, and in some cases (with unsigned items), as to the identity of the manufacturer as well.We have been doing our homework to supplement the superb resource provided by the Brunialti's great books (see below).Philippe’s background designing very high end fine jewelry for firms like Cartier and Van Cleef and Arples brought a wonderful sense of luxury and style to the company.The designs he created for Trifari vintage jewelry have the style and glamour of fine jewelry and were very popular.But an unscrupulous seller, like the one below takes removes old stones and installs saphirets or sappharines in their place.The final result is offered on e Bay, and perhaps elsewhere as OUTSTANDING VINTAGE SAPHIRET BROOCH, gleaning hundreds of dollars a shot.Since the 1920s, Trifari has been one of the most respected and admired producers of costume jewelry in the United States.Founded in the 1910s by Gustavo Trifari, the Italian-immigrant son of a Napoli goldsmith, the company has designed jewelry that’s been worn by countless high-profile clients, from Mamie Eisenhower to Madonna.
In 2000, Liz Claiborne bought Trifari (along with Monet and Napier).
All new pieces were mass produced overseas with Trifari cards.
These are not vintage and should be listed as "Fashion Jewelry," but many uneducated sellers list them as "Vintage." If you see a listing that claims a piece is an "Unsigned vintage Trifari" it is either a newer (lesser quality) Trifari manufactured overseas or it is NOT Trifari at all.
Future articles in this series will discuss how to date patented jewelry and jewelry without signatures and/or hallmarks.
According to Lang Antiques’ Antique Jewelry University, the term “hallmark” refers to any stamps or marks on jewelry and usually includes one or more of the following: Purity marks for older silver pieces can differ from those commonly seen today.