The Jewelry Diva - Cindy Amirkhan

Starting March 1, 2008, Notes from the Lane will feature a monthly column titled The Jewelry Diva by Cindy Amirkhan, shopowner of A Twinkle in Time, a Ruby Lane shop. Cindy opened her shop in 2002 and has sold many beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry over the years, and she continues to dazzle her customers with new items and quality service. She offers an eclectic array of authentic, rare, and unusual vintage and antique jewelry treasures – from designs by Hattie Carnegie, Eisenberg, DeMario, and Haskell to name just a few, Victorian and Edwardian jewelry featuring Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, retro modern to native American Indian including pieces made by Zuni, Hopi and Navajo Indian tribe members. We are delighted Cindy has offered to share her extensive knowledge of vintage and costume jewelry with you, and we are certain you will enjoy her monthly column as much as we know we will.

The Editors of Notes from the Lane.

Cindy Amirkhan - The Jewelry Diva

As a child, my two sisters and I loved to play dress up! We would drag our little chairs over to mom’s very tall dresser to get up and peer inside of her huge jewelry box. The sparkling stones and bright colors always fascinated us. Mom worked in the clothing department of a major department store so I always looked like I just walked out of a bandbox dressed in the latest clothing fashions and jewelry, and this is how my love of jewelry began.

Later on, I married and settled in the San Francisco Bay area where I worked in the city from the late 1960’s to the 1990’s.  I worked right next door to ‘Laural Burch’s’ jewelry studio, where I loved to go over at lunchtime and look at her beautiful enameled jewelry creations. San Francisco offered a plethora of antique shops, boutiques, and thrift stores for me to plunder.  I discovered many sparkling treasures to add to my growing collection of jewelry and before I knew it, I was buying another jewelry box and another and another. Whenever I had questions regarding a vintage piece of jewelry I was planning to purchase, the dealer usually had the answers and was happy to share the information with me. From them I gathered unique tidbits of information and interesting facts about styles or how and when a piece was constructed and more. I was also curious about the names on the backs of some of my pieces, so in the 1970’s I started a ‘Jewelry Reference Library’ so I could easily research a designer or manufacturers name, today I own over seventy books!

When my collection outgrew my three-bedroom house, I knew it was time to let go of some of my jewelry. I opened a space in a local antique mall, but I cannot say my collection shrank, instead lets just say my tastes had changed and I began to trade my pieces for those I then desired. I also attended the local antique shows – selling and buying jewelry. During this time, I began to collect women’s vintage accessories: compacts, purses, and a variety of vanity items. My reference library began to grow again, only this time it was  by adding books about women’s accessories.

Moving to Oregon in 2000 was a dream come true for my husband and me. Our children were grown and now we had grandchildren! “Semi-retirement? No, not for me." A friend of mine told me to check out Ruby Lane and it was love at first ‘site’. The Ruby Lane online mall was classy and several steps above the other malls I had visited on the Internet, so in 2002 I opened my Ruby Lane shop ‘A Twinkle in Time Vintage Jewelry & Collectibles’. I also sell vintage jewelry and accessories at our local mall here in Grants Pass, Oregon.

The best part of collecting for me are the sweet memories of times past, and also, I feel in my own small way I am preserving a bit of history through my vintage jewelry collection.

When I wear my vintage jewelry, I love to see the smiles and listen to the comments that the jewels evoke from people. “Life is too Short not to Sparkle,” so color your world with color and wear a piece of jewelry everyday.

I hope you enjoy my new Notes from the Lane column – The Jewelry Diva. If you have comments about an article or are interested in learning more about a particular vintage or antique jewelry topic please post your comments or topic suggestions in the comments section or email a note to


Cindy Amirkhan - A Twinkle in Time


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