Costume Jewelry from the Past

01.  Mood Rings:  I’m well aware that these were nothing new in the 90s, as with most of the items in this list.  I had a vintage one that my mother had been given in the late sixties or early seventies, and then later had several of my own.  I did like them and just about everyone I knew had one at least once.

02.  Smiley Faces:  This, I was never a fan of.  Ever.  I knew other girls with Smiley Face stuff, but it just wasn’t my thing, much like all the alien head stuff or iridescence.  You would think I would like the last two, but I thought they were tacky.

03.  Yin/Yang:  Oh yes… this was everywhere!  I have nothing against Yin/Yang, but as something to plaster all over my teenage self or room, I also found this tacky.

04.  Lisa Frank Stamp Ring:  Of course I was all over anything Lisa Frank between the ages of 9 & 12.  I want to say that I probably had stamp rings by Lisa Frank, but I’m not sure.  I know that I had Lisa Frank stuff… and I did have some stamp rings, but those could have been from some other company, because they did make those in the early 80s.

05.  Dolphins:  Ugh.  Yes, I like dolphins, but I wasn’t much for stuff… except The Sisters Gund Plushie of a dolphin, that was cute.  There were girls who wore and had dolphin stuff, and The Sister had to have everything dolphin (not had to, but it ended up that she received them) because she was in Tri-Delta.  I couldn’t get away from dolphin stuff.

06.  Power Bead Bracelets:  These were really popular and I had a few, but at different times.  Never had more than one at the same time, so I never wore them all together, though I probably would have.  I dug ’em.  They were cool.

07.  Lip Smacker Necklaces:  This, I don’t remember being a thing.  Sure some girls used Lip Smackers, I included.  I do remember having a tube or two with that shaft top and the ball chain, but I thought the cap would pop off, so I took the chain off and just kept them in my purse or pocket.  Never work them as jewelry or put them on my key chain, and to my knowledge no one else did either at my school.

08.  Baby G Watches:  Nope, I don’t ever remember seeing these on anyone.  Though they look cool, especially that copper one.  And I’m uncertain why someone would want to fake a retainer or how that front piece comes off so that one could do that.



Me in 2002, wearing the first tattoo choker.


09.  Tattoo Stretch Jewelry:  I LOVED this stuff!  Well, really just the necklace bit.  I know The Sister had a purple set and gave it to me, because it was either out of fashion by then or she just thought it was stupid?  Not sure.  I wore the ring a bit, gave away the bracelet and kept the necklace.  When it busted, I found another one at a dollar store and wore it until it fell off.  Then I stopped with the tattoo stretch necklaces.

10.  Stretch Candy Necklaces:  These were popular in the late 80s in my late elementary school years.  No one my age was really using them except for maybe a random time in high school.  But, as a kid was the only time I had them, perhaps twice.  I’d wear it as a necklace and then tried eating off of it, but it was too gross with the slobber and sticky that I’d just carry it around instead.

11.  Lucite Rings:  Oh my gosh, yes!  These were so cool.  Wish I still had one.  Loads of girls wore them in high school.  They were definitely a popular item that I could totally get on board with.  Not because it was THE thing to have, but because I also happened to think it was awesome.

12. Macramé Hemp Jewelry:  I remember these being hugely popular for a bit.  I didn’t care that it was hemp, though that’s why everyone else seemed to like it.  I liked the macramé aspect of it.  Someone gave me a bracelet, but that’s all I had of this, and I didn’t learn to make them.


Me, in 1995, wearing the clay bead necklace that The Sister gave me.


13.  Hemp Rings with Clay Beads:  This exact thing, while it does look pretty, I didn’t know anyone who had a ring.  I did know people who made hemp necklaces with clay beads, beads that they were making and baking.  The necklaces were a huge deal.  I even had one.  Well two, if you count the necklace that was clay beads, but not hemp.

14.  KLUTZ Friendship Bracelet Books:  Nope.  I’ve seen these at Michaels, but during the time period we are talking about, then no.  We certainly made friendship bracelets.  An older sibling would teach your friend and then everyone was making them for the rest of us and showing us how.  But there were no books involved, just passing around handed down knowledge through demonstration.

15.  Slap Bracelets:  Yep.  These were huge in, definitely the fourth grade, perhaps also the third.  They did hurt and if the outer layer came off, they’d cut you.  Kids had weapons at school.  Ah, the good old days.  No, but these were fun for a very short while and then no one cared.

16.  Beaded Flower Necklaces:  Not many people had these.  No one I knew made these.  People just bought this, or the bracelet variety in a store.  But, they weren’t that popular, though I was given one and it was cool.

17.  Charm Bracelets:  Not many kids were into this.  I thought the idea was cool and wanted a cheap version where I could pick the charms out that I wanted.  My mother wanted me to have one because she had one as a kid.  My father was a jeweler so she made him make a charm bracelet for me, out of sterling silver, with charms that I hadn’t chosen, nor could change out at all.  It was insanely heavy and not at all fun to wear, and only things that my mother liked (so really she had dad make the one she’d always wanted) and people made fun of me for having a charm bracelet.  So, umm… I don’t have it anymore.  I just kept the one piece that dad engraved on the back of.


Groovy spoon ring from the early 70s.


18.  Spoon Rings:  I hated this fad.  Really loathed it.  Mom thought it was fabulous, so she had dad make me one out of an antique sterling silver ring that she chose out of bartered stuff at the shop.  It’s not that I would have minded wearing a spoon, I just detested the very Victorian and flouncy style of it.  So, when I found one that dad had in his shop, in the pieces of junk and odds and ends drawers, I snatched it up.  Why?  Because it was flat wear from the 70’s with big groovy flowers on it.  It was so awesome.  I wore it all the time and I still have it and still wear it sometimes.  Mom hated that he’d let me have it.  It’s not what she felt I should be wearing.  Sorry, but last time I checked mom, I wasn’t Little Jill.  I love you and all, but domineering, sheesh!  It’s just a bit of jewelry, not where I want to go to college… and that is also a story for another time… or never.

19.  Best Friends Necklaces:  I want to say that I might have had one of these.  But that memory is sketchy.  It could have been purchased at a dollar store on a lark because it would be amusing; an inside joke between two friends… or someone really could have shared their necklace with me… but I don’t even remember who that might have been.  I do have one now though.  Shared with my childhood friend because her, I want to say 7-year-old, niece purchased it to specifically give to the both of us.  And that was so awesome, that I have it hanging up in my room near my vanity.  Of course I’d keep that!

20.  Belly Button Chain Ring:  I remember belly buttons being the end all be all of piercings.  If girls didn’t have this, they all fawned over it.  Me, I could have cared less about having my belly button pierced or jewelry dangling from it.  I wanted my tongue pierced, the tops of my ears pierced quite a bit and my ears stretched but just a bit.  Got the first two, with two holes each on my upper ears before I was through with it all.

21.  Toe Rings:  Had one, but I didn’t like the feeling of it between my toes, so never wore it.  I preferred ear cuffs to toe rings.  Loads of girls had these though; mainly the popular girls at school.  The Sister had them and still does… and still wears the one or two that she has.

22.  Ball and Chain Necklace:  These were a thing, but only with my crowd really; the Freaks we were called.  Mainly it was the boys who had long hair and who wore Jenco’s and chain wallets who would wear these.  Occasionally someone else in the group might wear one and sometimes a popular kid.  I didn’t like them.  If I was going to wear large baubles around my neck then it was going to be a vintage necklace with large plastic or bakelite balls or shapes.

23.  Jelly Bracelets:  Had a few of these, mainly in elementary school and from kids sharing, because no one ever purchased me my own set.  I liked them a lot.  Just about every girl wore them.


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25.  Dragonfly Brooches:  The slide show says, “Obviously.” but.. um, why?  Dragonfly stuff was a thing around here, sure.  But I’m the only person I knew who wore brooches, and they were vintage.  Am I too old for this one?  I’m not certain.  Didn’t know brooches were a thing in the 90s/2000s.

26.  Personalized Grain of Rice Charm:  Never heard about this.  No one I knew had this or talked about wanting one.  Some girls I knew wore things in bottles, but it was glitter that was “Pixie Dust” or bubble solution with a wand for blowing bubbles, but never this.

27.  Name Plate Necklace:  I did see people wear this, but it was very young girls you’d see out and about at the mall or a fair or something.  No one I knew was into this or knew that it was a thing.  Our dad did make a real gold name plate necklace for The Sister in the early 80s and then he made each of us a pendant with our initials and a spec diamond in the late 80s.  But, I’m pretty sure this doesn’t count.

28.  Return to Tiffany & Co. Necklace:  This one makes me giggle.  I honestly never knew that this particular necklace was a thing.  Sure just about anyone wants something from Tiffany & Co. because of Audrey Hepburn (really I just like their packaging), but this particular necklace?  And in the late 2000s, The Sister did purchase this exact necklace because it was used and on super sale online and she thought it was awesome, though apparently it was out of fashion by then.  I, however, don’t have anything from Tiffany & Co., though both The Sister and my mother have one thing each.  But then I have excellent taste because what I like are rings between $2k & $12K… or they don’t have a price! But then, this of course is taboo.  It does not matter that this is a very old and iconic jewelry store.  Dad was a jeweler so you better not even think about other people’s jewelry.


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