GLASS ET CETERA
1950s Avon triple plated gold pearl calla lily bouquet brooch
Brooch: 6cm x 3cm, in good condition.
The first Avon costume jewelry pieces were not offered for sale but sent to customers as a free gift or premium when they purchased a certain amount of cosmetics or toiletries. In 1965, Avon sold a handful of jewelry pieces, but most of the Avon jewelry from this period was sold packaged with a perfume or other cosmetic product. An early Avon jewelry collection, first released in March 1967, was named The Precious Pretenders. It featured a necklace and clip-on earrings with sparkling rhinestones and filigreed metal covered in gold-leaf that gave the set the look of fine jewelry. Because the customers were so fond of this costume jewelry set, in 1971, jewelry got its own section in the Avon catalog. As Avon started out in the scent business, naturally some of the first Avon necklace pendants, rings, and brooches held solid or liquid perfume, a fad that was popular in the 1970s. Early materials for Avon jewelry included trendy plastics like Lucite, thermosets, and resin, as well as gold-tone metal and glass rhinestones. In 1975, Avon was the world's biggest costume-jewelry producer. In addition to women's jewelry like pins, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, and rings, Avon designers also created jewelry for men such a cufflinks, rings, and watches. Owl pendants and brooches were particularly trendy in the '70s. Avon also sold cameos made of resin, Bakelite bangles, Christmas tree brooches, Halloween jewelry, animal pins, and every other type of costume jewelry under the sun. Vintage Avon necklaces with heart pendants appealed to the openly sentimental woman who bought the company's most romantic perfumes.