Start Collecting – Napier and Sarah Coventry Costume Jewelry
Napier’s original company was founded in 1875, but the name Napier wasn’t used for jewelry until 1922. New Napier jewelry is still being produced, and can be found in most major department stores. Today’s ordinary costume jewelry just might be tomorrow’s collectibles, just as everyday vintage jewelry is in demand today.
Napier made a wide range of jewelry, intended for everyday use. Traditional designs are a feature of Napier jewelry, usually seen in silver tone or gold tone.
Napier Sterling is very collectible, and of course not as easily found as the gold-and silver tone pieces. Christmas pins are very collectible, and Napier Christmas tree pins are good choices. Christmas tree pins were made in gold tone and silver tone, some with rhinestone ornaments and garlands.
During the 1950s Napier produced a very popular line of chunky charm bracelets. Coins, Oriental motifs, animals and figures are very collectible.
There are many Napier marks, including “Bliss”, (1920), “Napier” in a cartouche (1920), “A” inside a circle (1923), “by Napier” in a shield (1942), and “Napier Quality” (1946). The most common is “Napier” in block letters. As with most costume jewelry, the copyright mark, © was added to the signature after 1955.
Napier produced a charming gray poodle pin from 1955 to the 1960s. Poodle pins were especially popular in the ’50s and ’60s, and many designers produced poodle jewelry.
Sarah Coventry costume jewelry has been sold at home parties since the 1970s. I remember my neighbors hosting jewelry parties that featured fashionable and affordable pieces. There was a wide range of styles and quality, with consistent attention to detail. Elaborate rhinestone pieces were well made, and there were many lower priced items as well.
For the collector, it’s a good idea to focus on complete sets of rhinestone jewelry, preferably in mint condition. Prices of Sarah Coventry jewelry are still quite low, considering the beauty and craftsmanship of the necklaces, pins and earrings. As more collectors discover these pieces, prices should rise. Try to find signed Sarah Coventry sets in their original boxes for maximum investment value.
Some of the marks you’ll see on Sarah Coventry jewelry are “SarahCov”, “Sarah” in capital letters, “Coventry”, “saC’, SAC’, or “SC”. All have the copyright symbol, ©, since they were produced after the 1950s, when the symbol was applied to costume jewelry.
As always, be sure that any vintage piece you are considering purchasing is in as close as possible to perfect condition. And even if it’s not vintage, the beautifully made contemporary Napier and Sarah Coventry jewelry are always fun to wear.