The History of Weiss Jewelry
inApril 19, 2013 - 3:00pm
There are many designers who are popular with vintage jewelry collectors. Weiss jewelry is one of those and one of the designers any serious collector of vintage jewelry should try to own.
Albert Weiss was the originator of the company. He gained much experience working as an apprentice for the Corocraft Company during the 1930s. He honed his skills there and had a very fine eye for detail. In 1942, he opened his own jewelry business, and also his factory which was dedicated to the manufacture of hand set pieces only.
One of the hallmarks of early Weiss jewelry was the use of quality stones and he got many of his supplies from Austria, since these stones had a higher lead content and gave his pieces a particularly dazzling appeal. His company was small but grew steadily so that in the 1950s and 1960s he had to contract work out to be manufactured by Hollycraft, in order to keep up with the demand. Inverted rhinestones were being used in pieces about this time period and proved very popular.
About this time, a smokey rhinestone which was often referred to as "black diamonds" had started a trend in high end jewelry. Weiss incorporated these into his designs and the styles sold extremely well. After the success of this line, he introduced a line of Christmas tree pins which were also being made in Germany, but which carried the Weiss logo. They became best sellers and were copied then and are still being copied today.
Weiss pieces were signed in many ways. Some examples are:
Albert Weiss block letters on metal - 1942
Weissco - 1947
Weiss and copyright symbol - 1951
Weiss block letters on a cartouche - 1952
AW Co with and enlarged W and additional crown. Very rare mark -
AW Co and Crown as before but without the word Weiss - 1950
Weissco NY - 1954
Weiss jewelry designs are all very collectible today. It is still possible to get reasonably priced items, but that depends on the demand and how lucky one is in their search. The "black diamond pieces", Inverted Rhinestones pieces and Christmas tree designs are the most valued. Condition is all important, as usual, but even Weiss pieces in not so great condition have value over other designers.
Do you own any Weiss jewelry?
By Carol Speake