Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cameos - a diamond in the rough

If you follow my blog, you know how I get "high" on the thrifty finds that I manage to score on my Saturday morning jaunts to flea markets, yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores.  Some of these finds I keep for myself, but most I sell on Etsy or Ebay.  I always say it's my way of financing my habit - the thrill of the treasure hunt.  Today I wanted to share with you one of my recent success stories.   Believe me, they don't all end up like this one, but occasionally I'll zone in on that one really nice find that everyone else has missed and I usually dance a little jig right on the spot when I do.

I found this vintage brooch at an estate sale.  A young lady was selling her grandmother's costume jewelry and I was looking for the blingy stuff - you know - the costume jewelry from the '50's with lots of glamour and glitz to sell in my Etsy Shop, The Glitter Connection.  I arrived early,  but still watched with envy as others were walking away with the rhinestones. 

I dug through some of the leftovers and still found some nice pieces with gold and silver that were priced high, but still reasonable enough that I could maybe make a  little profit.  I passed though because I'm a bargain hunter.  I want REAL bargains and don't want to waste my time listing something that may not sell for as much as I paid for it.  Then I spotted IT.  I capitalize "it" because "IT" called out to me saying "I'm the real thing - I may not look like much, but you would do well to buy me - don't let a little dirt deceive you".  I picked it up.  "Isn't it ugly?" the seller said.

It was a cameo - looking to be from the early 20th century - and looking suspiciously like coral.  It was full of detailed design and the cameo was finely detailed also.   I know nothing about cameos and even less about coral, but when she told me the price, I knew that I couldn't lose.  Besides, I liked it and if I couldn't sell it for the low asking price, I would wear it on a chain as a necklace from time to time.  When I got it home, I put it in my Etsy / Ebay jewelry box and forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago and pulled it out to polish it up a bit.  The detail work prevented me from getting into the little grooves and I didn't want to alter the nice rich gold patina of an antique piece in any way.  I would rather let the new owner clean it.  I listed it telling where I found it and showing very detailed photos and stating "I know nothing about this piece of jewelry but I'm starting the listing at the same amount I paid for it and you be the judge from the photos".   I was hoping to get about $90 for it.

It's really quite pretty, don't you think?

Well, Mrs. Flea Market Junky was totally stunned this week when the auction ended.  Final selling price:  drum roll please......  $262.88.

Hmmm.... keep on treasure hunting.  You never know what you'll find out there that's a diamond  cameo in the rough.

Linking today to:   The Thrifty Groove,  Junkin' Joe at the Cottage Market, Thrifty Love @ Cap Creations,  and Vintage Thingy ThursdayThursday Favorite Things, Sunday's Flea Market Finds, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Vintage Inspiration Friday. Nifty Thrifty Sunday.


  1. WoW! What a find, and a very nice profit you made there! I love it how you really were very fair in your description of the item in question. I guess no-one can every come back on you when you do that. I'm sure someone will be very happy with that pretty piece. Well done you!

  2. Now that is the kind of turn around everyone wants! I think there are a lot of people that love cameos!
    Having fun with the Junkin Joe Party!

  3. that is one awesome find!!!!! thank you for sharing it with my readers : ) sending hugs!!!

  4. Dearest Glenda,
    To tell the truth, I don't have cameos. I love the color as well♡♡♡ Good Jog, my friend!!!
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  5. That is gorgeous! Wonder if it was pink coral. Glad you did so well. I love the thrill of the hunt myself.

    1. I had several people tell me that it was coral and gold but I didn't have it tested. Maybe if I had it would have brought more. Either way, I'm very thrilled that it went for that high.


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