Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Wonderful World of Weiss

by Diane Wells, owner of www.mimiyaya.etsy.com

When I first started collecting Weiss jewelry I had no idea of the value; I just knew that it was so pretty! After buying an entire lot of jewelry with several Weiss pieces, I decided to learn more about this talented designer with the help and advice of a local antique dealer.  I also began selling Weiss pieces in her shop. Later, I began adding Weiss jewelry to my own Etsy shop including pieces from my personal collection.  

Albert Weiss founded the Weiss Jewelry Company in 1942. Prior to opening his own company, he worked as a designer for Coro, another highly collectible vintage jewelry company.  Weiss jewelry is known for its high quality, and their signature style is to absolutely cover their pieces with the finest Austrian rhinestones.   The company was famous for using smoky rhinestones called “Black Diamond.”

Weiss Black "Diamond Earrings 
from MaggiesCorner

Weiss was also one of the first to use Swarovski’s aurora borealis (AB) crystals. 
Weiss 1950s Starburst Aurora Borealis Brooch
from BuyMyVintageLuv

And, in a complete change of pace, Weiss was also famous for their flower brooches and pins.

Fun Flower Pin ad
Click for more Weiss ads

By the 1960’s, the company’s designs were so popular they had to contract with Hollycraft, another jewelry manufacturer, to fill orders to keep up with demand. Albert Weiss retired in 1969 and the company closed for good in 1971.  There is now a company that is making reproductions under the Weiss name.

Weiss remains highly sought after by vintage jewelry collectors.  In recent years, there have been a lot of ‘fake’ pieces from Asia that have flooded the market. For this reason, it is important to buy from reputable jewelry vendors and know the marks. Weiss hallmarks include "WEISS" in block
Example of true Weiss mark
print, the mark of "Weiss" in script and "Albert Weiss" or A W Co. with the W looking somewhat like a crown. This last mark was introduced sometime in 1951.

Luckily for beginning collectors, Weiss jewelry is available in a wide range of prices.  The talented team members of the VJSE Group Team are always finding new and stunning Weiss pieces to offer our customers. You can be assured you are getting quality Weiss jewelry if you buy from members of this team!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the VJSE Team.