March 17, 2009

Costume Jewelry Designer Albert Weiss

Since I put on my lovely Green Weiss leaf for St. Patrick's Day I thought I would give you some information about this creative designer.

Albert Weiss learned his craft working at the huge Coro Company. He opened his own company in New York City in 1942. He is well known for the use of high quality Austrian rhinestones with excellent clarity. He started using rhinestones that looked like the German Smokey quartz and it was termed “Black Diamond”. Many of his designs are wonderful insects and butterflies that are actively sought after by collectors. Some of his Aurora Borealis jewelry is truly stunning and innovative. You will find jewelry marked WEISS, WEISS Co. hang tags and boxes might have A.W. Co with the “W” in the shape of a crown. After about 1955 you will see the © symbol. Both Fred Rezazadeh and Judith Miller believe that Weiss jewelry is underrated and under appreciated.

I always look for his earlier pieces, an unusual design and anything with really beautiful rhinestones.
Here are photos of some the marks you will find on his jewelry.

References taken from “Costume Jewelry a Practical Handbook and Value Guide” by Fred Rezazadeh.

In the last few years there have been fakes being sold so be sure to look at the piece carefully. Here is a great article with photos helping you determine if the piece you like might be a fake.

If you are not familiar with Fred Rezazadeh's book, I have used it frequently for reference. There are some designers you will not find in other books. The are lots of photos and additional sections showing Unmarked Costume Jewelry, Imported Costume Jewelry, Gold Filled & Silver Jewelry, Other Metals, Plastic Jewelry and Bead & Simulated Pearl Jewelry.
I only used prices found in books as a guide to value not a definitive price. The market is changing daily.
Wishing you a wonderful day.