A Little Sunshine Made in Japan | November 19th, 2015

Yellow is such an uplifting color. It is associated with sunshine, hope, happiness, clarity, energy, optimism, and joy. Studies show that the color yellow actually helps activate memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and even stimulate the nervous system!

When I recently found a very well made 1950s necklace and earrings set in bright yellow during one of my vintage costume jewelry hunts, I immediately tried it on. It felt like I was wearing a little bit of sunshine! I didn’t want to take it off.

This set also happened to be signed. But not by an individual or company. It was signed by the country of Japan.

Japan vintage costume jewelry is very well made and higher quality than most contemporary fashion jewelry. It is often compared to Trifari, Lisner, and Coro who were known for their well-made pieces. This created competition for other costume jewelry manufacturers, attracting foreign trade. It was one way to help improve Japan’s economy after wartime expenses threatened economic ruin.

Some of the materials they used included Japanese faux pearls which are considered the best in the world, hand-painted art glass beads, Aurora Borealis, moonglow beads, and acrylics.

In the past, Japan costume jewelry was not always perceived as high quality. After World War II, labor costs in Japan were cheap which made the jewelry inexpensive and produced in large quantities. But this was only due to the fact that there were many laborers, making it possible to produce so much of it.

These laborers were actually very talented artisans. All of the pieces were wired and strung by hand in an extensive range of designs. In fact, it is rare to find any two Japan pieces of costume jewelry that are exactly alike. The beautiful combinations of colors and shapes make their jewelry highly sought after today.

With so many positive benefits associated with the color yellow, I may never end up taking off my energizing, optimism-boosting necklace again!

Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com

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