Learning the art and craft of jewelry through the ages


A little knowledge goes a long way when you are building a collection of antique, signed retro and vintage jewelry or rare gemstones, whether you are a novice or a seasoned collector. Reading books on the time period and style you are most interested in is always helpful, but attending lecture series, hearing the jewelry authors/historians who have written those books and are revered in their field speak and give presentations creates a more personalized environment— one in which you can ask questions, speak to other attendees and learn as much as you can about collecting.

For this reason, over the next few weeks and months, bejeweledmag.com has created a series of articles featuring information on the  educational and lively talks and presentations which run concurrently or just prior to the big antique shows and other seminars around the U.S.-that would be savvy to attend. We will also provide you will calendar dates for you to be able  fit these presentations into your hectic schedules.

The first in our series focuses on the one of the largest US antique jewelry fairs, the upcoming Original Miami Antique Show, which will be preceded  by the Jewelry History Series, taking place on February 8th and 9th before the show kicks into action on the 10th.

“We specifically partner with the world’s premier authorities on antique, vintage and estate jewelry and watches in the development of our Jewelry History Program each year,” explains Dan Darby, Vice President of Emerald Expositions and General Manager of U.S. Antique Shows. “Our goal is to make the program accessible enough for those who are just beginning to build their collections and want to have a solid foundation of knowledge, but also comprehensive enough to appeal to fellow experts in their fields.”

The educational conference will cover various facets of jewelry throughout time—with highlights that range from current topic such as  What’s Hot at Auction to the more fashionable subject of America’s First Ladies. The history of the charm bracelet will be explored, as will renowned jewelers such Faberge and Louis Comfort Tiffany. For those who have a keen interest in early time periods there is also a presentation on Ancient Engraved Jewels and Love Tokens during the Civil War.  Here are highlights of a few that are on the two-day schedule:

What’s Hot At Auction
Speaker Gloria Lieberman will cover what is selling in the marketplace as well as what has become passé?
This lecture has been a popular part of the Jewelry Series and once again Ms. Lieberman of Skinner’s will bring us up-to-date.

America’s First Ladies

Jewelry of the American First Ladies will be presented by jewelry historian and author  Elyse Zorn Karlin,  Recent years have witnessed a growing fascination with jewelry in America, accompanied by a desire to know more about how jewelry was worn in the past and how it relates to public figures who wore it. In view of this interest, a lecture on selected American First Ladies’ jewelry provides the opportunity to set these prized possessions within historical context.



A Fabergé diamond-set gold and moonstone brooch, workmaster Alfred Thielemann, ST Petersburg, ca. 1899-1904.

Carl Fabergé and the Royal Thai Collection will be given by speaker Marie Betteley  As we most often associate Fabergé with the tsars of Russia and Europe’s kings and queens, little is known about the firm’s illustrious Asian patrons. They included the Sultan of Turkey, Indian maharajahs, the Emir of Bukhara and the Emperors of China and Japan. By far, the most important Asian client was King Rama V of Siam (now Thailand) better known as King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910). Ms. Betteley’s parents went there to catalogue the hidden treasures and she will give a fascinating talk about her parent’s journey of discovery and palace intrigue.




A Fabergé diamond- and pearl-set gold and guilloché enamel brooch, workmaster August Holmström, Saint Petersburg, circa 1900, with original scratched Fabergé inventory number 93517

Absolutely Charming: The Charm Bracelet in 20th Century America  is the focus of Yvonne Markowitz, author, jewelry historian and one of the jewelry curators of MFA, Boston.  Charms have always played a part in jewelry history but in the 20th century they became a form of personal biography. This lecture will trace their meaning and popularity throughout the 20th century.


Charm bracelet, designed and manufactured 1920s (some charms manufactured later). Platinum, diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire, length 16.5 cm (2 5/8 in.) Vartanian & Sons. Photograph courtesy of Oscar Heyman & Brothers, Inc. From Oscar Heyman: The Jewelers’ Jeweler (MFA Publications, 2017)

This year’s Jewelry History Series begins with a continental breakfast sponsored by Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers at 8:00am on February 8th, followed by opening remarks lead by the event’s co-directors and lecturers, Gail Brett Levine and Elyse Zorn Karlin at 9:00am. It concludes with an event sponsored by exhibitor and Antique jewelry connoisseur Lenore Dailey.

If you are shopping the Original Miami Antique Show as a collector, retailer, wholesaler, appraiser and you are interested in a diverse and meaningful history of jewelry, please click here for the complete schedule

The price to attend both days of the series is $350 and to attend one day it is $200. U.S. Antique Shows is also offering a “Mornings Only” option for $200, which will allow exhibitors of The Original Miami Antique Show to attend morning sessions while keeping the afternoon free to set up their booths. All registration packages include admission to The Original Miami Antique Show for all four days.

In Partnership with U.S. Antique Shows