Rays Of Blue - Vintage Signed 'Continental' Rhodium Plated Austrian Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Clip-On Earrings(VE352)

Rarities Antique Jewelry


Rays Of Blue - Vintage Signed 'Continental' Rhodium Plated Austrian Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Clip-On Earrings. These stunning earrings are crafted from rhodium plate over metal, signed CONTINENTAL. Featuring emerald, and round cut Swarovski crystal rhinestones, vintage styling, and high quality craftsmanship. These gorgeous earrings are expertly claw-set with beautiful French blue (smoky grey blue) sparkling crystals. They are for pierced and non pierced ears, and feature secure clip on backings. These vintage earrings are  part of a parure, in which only the earrings are signed (quite common in a parure, to only have one piece signed). These vintage earrings are high quality, and in very fine condition, truly a beautiful special occasion piece to be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come. 

History: In 1943, Sam Baker and Sol Mayoff became partners and set up shop in a 500 square-foot store front in a Vieux Montreal building. There, with four employees, they sold costume jewellery, various accessories and religious articles and became the small firm, Continental Jewellery.

In 1947 already well known as Continental Jewellery, the small firm began to manufacture rhinestone articles which were all the rage at the time. The ever growing demand forced them to move into a larger space on Bleury Street.

In 1951, Continental Jewellery became the largest, manufacturer of mid-priced rhinestone jewellery in the country. Due to the whims of fashion, the market for rhinestones was gradually declining. To protect its market share, the firm hired a European designer to create a major line of fashion jewellery, making Continental one of the most important fashion sources for the Canadian market.

It is difficult to have a discussion regarding Continental jewellery without mentioning Sherman Jewellery. Continental’s line of rhinestone jewellery was said to be the main competition for Sherman Jewellery, which was also being produced in Montreal at the time. Continental’s high end rhinestone jewellery was very similar to Sherman designs but usually had less stones. These pieces were offered as a lower priced alternative and did well as such.

Many collectors of Sherman jewellery have been pleasantly surprised at the quality and beauty of Continental’s vintage rhinestone jewellery lines.

The company moved to its present location at 55 du Mont-Royal Avenue West in 1963. Six years later, partners Baker and Mayoff diversified the manufacturing end of the business and developed their own gold line. This did so well that today they make 95% of their own gold jewellery, importing only 5%.

Continental’s clients included large chains like The Bay, Eatons, Simpsons, Birks, People’s as well as a majority of independent jewellers and it employed a staff of 360. The firm had an annual retail business of $80 million.”

Continental jewellery continued to expand the company up until 1997 when the company was sold to an interest in the Far East.

Centuries ago, quartz pebbles with a high lead content were found sparkling on the banks of Europe's Rhine River. These beautiful, natural stones were highly coveted and were eventually depleted, inspiring jewelers to create an imitation, aptly named the "rhinestone."

Since 1895, founder Daniel Swarovski's mastery of crystal cutting has defined the company. His enduring passion for innovation and design has made it the world's premier jewelry and accessory brand. Today, the family carries on the tradition of delivering extraordinary everyday style to women around the world.

Rhodium has been used as a coating for jewelry and silverware since the 1930s. It was also used as a plating for cigarette lighters and writing instruments during that time. One of the many companies that used rhodium plating was the Ronson Lighter Company, which produced many art-deco style items in the 30s.


Measurements: Earrings 25.00 mm x 13.00 mm  

Stone Size: Crystal (Emerald Cut) 6.00 mm x 4.00 mm   (Round Cut) 3.00 mm 

Weight: Earrings 7.80 grams 

Condition: Excellent 

Origin: Canada, Quebec, Montreal

Date: Circa 1960


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