Jewelry, Limit $5

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but we all know friends can turn into best frenemies faster you than you can say 10 carat. For those of us that love all things sparkly and shiny (and not super bitchy), we bring you this week’s jewelry challenge.

Item 1: Silver Pendant inset with Gaspeite

  • Denise’s Price: $1
  • Retail: $415 (note from Jackie: no documentation has been provided to support this assertion)
  • Location: Garage sale
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Denise’s Story:

After my mum scooped up any jewellery of value, I rifled through her leftovers.  This is a sliver pendant with a smooth bezel and rope braid detail inset with gaspeite, marked Mexico. Gaspeite is a rare mineral, first discovered in 1977 and named after the location Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, Canada.  It is an extremely rare nickel carbonate mineral and initially discarded as a worthless byproduct of nickel sulfide mining.  Today, most specimens are sourced from Western Australia or New Mexico.  History shmistory – I consider this a great find for $1 and personally love the colour.

Item 2: Silver Bracelet

  • Denise’s Mom’s Price:  $1
  • Retail:  $1,000 (Seriously, where’s the proof ladies?)
  • Location:  Garage sale


Denise’s Mom’s (Diane) Story:

95% of the time Diane really deliberates/overthinks (a painfully long time) about buying something and then has buyer’s remorse regardless of how much the item cost.  This was a rare exception where Diane snapped it up like she was robbing them (she kinda was) and has been very happy with it.  The woman selling this bracelet received it as a gift from a friend who went to Greece.

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When we googled and found a similar bracelet, we were stunned at the price of $1,000.  We’ve been making up stories that the gift was from a rich love interest turned sour and she wanted to get rid of this due to the bad memories hence the $1 price.  The pictures don’t do it justice (I’m sure Jackie agrees and could have done better) but there are red stones, carvings of birds and it’s marked silver.  No matter the retail value, it is definitely worth the $1.

Item 3: Sarah Coventry Brooch

  • Retail Price: $30 – $40
  • Jackie’s Price: $5
  • Source: Old Mill Boathouse Garage Sale

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Jackie’s Story:

Sarah Coventry was one of the most well-known–and awesome–makers of costume jewelry in the 1970s. Their headquarters, known as the “Land of Oz” in Newark, New York, featured a poppy field, a rainbow driveway, and even men dressed as munchkins. Forget earrings–I would have driven across the country just to see those stocking.

Given their choice of security guard attire, it may be no surprise that the company was largely fueled by women. The company was one of the first to sell their products via direct marketing rather than traditional retail placement. Employing hundreds of women to host home-based fashion shows and jewelry parties, Sarah Coventry gave countless stay-at-home mom’s their first taste of income generation. Sadly for the company (but good for the ladies) that model began to fail as women began moving into the workforce and they went bankrupt in the late 1980s.

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What I love especially about this particular piece, is that not only does it make me think of women in power suits and men in stockings but it was one of the few manufactured in Canada–as evident in the tiny stamp on the back.


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