Monet – Why is their costume jewellery collectible?

Monet – Why is their costume jewellery collectible?

Anyone who is new to collecting American vintage costume jewellery will invariably come across two giants in the industry.  The ‘big two’ are Coro and Trifari.  I would suggest adding a third company to that list, Monet.  An argument could be made for expanding the list to four and including Napier as well, but that’s a discussion for another time.


Monet began life as Monocraft  

Monocraft was founded by two brothers in the late 20s.  They had identified a trend in the market for the personalisation of items and began producing high quality metal initials and initialed plaques.  Their monograms were a huge timesaver for retailers who would have previously sent away products for personalisation and customers loved the high quality.

Eventually the brothers branched out and used their company’s metal-working skills to produce costume jewellery under the Monet name.  


Is Monet jewellery worth anything?

Before spending time and money collecting this brand many people want to know, is Monet jewellery worth anything?  Monet jewellery can vary in value depending on factors such as the quality of the piece, the materials used, and the era in which it was made. While a simple pair of earrings from the 1980s may be worth less than £30, a high-quality necklace from the 1960s could fetch several hundred pounds. When determining the value of your Monet jewellery, consider factors such as its condition, rarity, and provenance.  Read on to find out more.


Quality Fashion Jewellery

Monet’s factory had honed their metal working skills over many years producing the Monocraft initials.  They were able to transfer theses skill and exceptional craftsmanship to the jewellery making process.  

Due to their high production quality at Monet, they were chosen to produce pieces for Yves St. Laurent.  These YSL pieces from the 1980s are highly collectible.  In the 1990s Monet also produced jewellery for Christian Lacroix.

Ever industrious, Monet solved the problem of uncomfortable clip earrings by inventing their own ‘friction ear clips’.  These clips were springless, allowing the wearer to adjust the tension to their own comfort.

Because their metal pieces were triple-plated Monet’s vintage jewellery tends to maintain its original finish better than most.  Items from the 1930s and 1940s can still be found with minimal plating wear.  View our current range of vintage Monet jewellery.


Monet Style - Classic & Elegant

Monet had one jewellery designer, Edmond Granville, from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s.  Edmond was an accomplished artist and had worked in the design department at Cartier for several years before joining Monet, bringing along his artist's eye and fine jewellery knowledge.   The elegant style he implemented became a central theme in all Monet jewellery.

Many vintage jewellery pieces from other design companies are immediately recognisable as an example of a certain era.  Monet jewellery didn’t slavishly follow trends and always maintained a classic and elegant look.  As a result, Monet pieces created as far back as the 30s are still wearable and even look contemporary.   The image below shows a patent application for a Monet necklace in 1950, simple, elegant and modern.


Playing to their strengths, most of their jewellery was all metal with sparing use of adornment like crystals or enamel.  Their pieces were usually plated with gold and it wasn’t until the 1980s that Monet really started to embellish with enamelling and coloured stones.

Some of the more popular items to look out for are the 1960s Cordelia brooch and the beautiful Bolero necklace.  Monet’s Menagerie was popular through the 1960s and 1970s with some, like the wire work butterfly, remaining in production into the 1980s. 

Throughout the war years, while metal alloys were reserved for the war effort, Monet produced gold plated silver jewellery.  These are rarer to the market and worth looking for, usually marked 'Monet - Sterling'.


Ciani Jewellery

In the 1970s Monet created a line of fine jewellery known under its own brand, Ciani.  The pieces in this collection were made of 14k gold, vermeil and sterling silver and sometimes accented with semi-precious stones.  Many of the items were created as limited editions and are therefore becoming collectable.


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