One of the best designers of costume jewlery for beginning, or of course experienced collectors, is Coro. It was so plentiful, and so affordable, that I know youve seen examples – in your moms or grandmas or even your own jewelry box.
So many beautiful Coro pieces from the 50s and 60s are still around, that Coro jewelry is an affordable way to get started buying good-quality pieces.
The Coro jewelry company was started in 1901 by Emanuel Cohen and Gerald Rosenberg. They did not personally design or manufacture jewelry they contracted with designers and jobbers to produce it. Their genius was in their business skills, and by 1920 Coro jewelry was being sold in dime stores all over the country. Even during the Depression, Coro was able to build a new factory.
A unique Coro brooch is called the Coro Duette two separate dress clips connected with a patented clasp.
Another prized Coro style, actually borrowed from Trifari, is Jelly Belly pins. They are figural pins, often of animals, with a clear acrylic stone placed in the center, or belly of the pin. Highly sought after by collectors, Jelly Belly pins can cost several hundred dollars. But be aware that there are modern reproductions of these pins, for sale on the Internet.
For me, Coro spells 1950s and 1960s. The sets of rhinestone earrings, necklaces and pins evoke the days when women dressed in hats and gloves, with jewelry matching their outfits, just to go shopping or visiting.
Coro used several different marks also called signatures on their jewelry, and its important for the collector to know something about them, since the marks can help date the piece. There are actually over 80 Coro trademarks, but well touch on ones youre most likely to find.
The most common one youll most likely see is the Coro script signature, with a Capital C( 1919-1979). Other marks may read Coro Craft, (1935); Corocraft(1938); Corocraft with a Pegasus (1933-1979); or Vendome (1944-1979).
A good rule of thumb for dating Coro jewelry is to remember that if you do not see the copyright symbol, , next to the word Coro, the piece is probably pre-1955, when the symbol was added to the signature.
As always, when considering the purchase of vintage jewelry, examine it closely to be sure it is in good condition. The best investment pieces should be in excellent, near mint condition.