Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures



Okay, the title will make more sense. It’s Wed., so we all know what I do on Wed. I got to the auction, last week it got cancelled due to snow, but this week was a go.  I have teamies on Etsy, but did you know I have teamies at the auction? Like on Etsy, we help each other out.  I have one friend who has a store, who has tons of jewelry she hasn’t been able to sell. The wonderful thing is, we all sell different things, genres, eras, whatevers.  She’s always saying she has to bring them in to resell. Well last time she came in with a 20 pound bag of costume jewelry. Sure there was a lot of junk, but there was also stuff I love, like a Czech glass flower necklace, and an Alice Caviness set.   I went through and picked out what I wanted to keep, then told her I’d take the stuff to the auction to sell. Even though she comes every week, she can’t get there early enough to put everything on display, but I can get there early. So today I sold some of her jewelry, still have more to sell from the original bag, and she told me she has 10 more bags!!!! Extra funny side note, she buys jewelry from me through the auction, now I’m seeing the stuff she got from me.

Another thing my auction buddies do is bid for each other. There are 2 auctions going on at the same time, and it never fails that I’ll want something from both ends of the building, so far I’ve have 3 different people bid for me! Today, Todd had to leave early, but there were some old dusty tools he wanted.  Of course it coincided with the jewelry auction, and I was only able to get one item, but I did it. A few weeks ago there was a weapon of minimal destruction he wanted, and I was able to get it for him while he was in another part of the auction.  I’ve talked about the assistants helping me out before, it’s just a warm and fuzzy auction moment.


These are the earrings I got today


Today there was a Czech bracelet I wanted. I had missed it 2 weeks ago, dumb me, and it was back again. But I wasn’t quite sure if it was Czech. Got out my Iphone, went to a facebook group, posted a picture of the bracelet and within minutes had confirmations from numerous teamies that it was Czech. Still didn’t get it, darn bidding went too high.  I had done the same thing last time on a Boucher necklace, I asked if it was worth buying for 10$….general concensus was, yes, buy it.


These are the earrings I got today


There were sporadic jewelry treasures today, I got a beautiful broken Czech pin, that I’m going to turn into a necklace, may be a keeper. I got a Venetian wedding cake necklace, and earrings, and a Whiting Davis gold tone mesh necklace with the original box. I love that kind of stuff.


These are the earrings I got today


The silly thing I bought was 5 trays of art glass beads. In the past I have made lampwork beads with a torch. This has provided me with a practical understanding of how glass jewelry is made, and why I love glass jewelry.  Some of these beads are vintage, but many are handmade lampwork beads, a few are fused glass.  I appreciate how valuable these are, and like my ugly Coro fur clip pin, I felt these need rescueing. So I now have a lot of  gorgeous beads, one had the original price on of 100$. (yes, beads sell for that and more)


These are just a few of the beads I got. These are all artisan lampwork beads.  I also got about 10 pounds of vintage to contemporary glass beads. There were a lot. I paid 30.00 for all of them. I paid 10 for the above lampwork ones, then 20 for a box with odds and ends.

The 3 pendants at the top are part of these, I’ll sell them as jewelry. I also found a bag of vintage art glass cabochons, they’re gorgeous too.

This year I am being super selective about what I buy. My shop is evolving slowly to a lovely curated place of vintage treasures, not just jewelry, some accessories, but everything is getting better. I only sell very good to excellent quality costume jewelry, with no issues.  I’m listing less cheap costume items, and trying to sell identifiable objects, that someone, somewhere is looking for them.  I can only list so many items a week, there’s no need for me to buy hundreds of junk pins that I can never list.  Step by step,  my shop is becoming a true depository of treasures.

Thank you for reading,  I’d appreciate it if you could send some love to my Facebook Business Page, it needs love!

Thanks for reading,





How to Make Money Without Really Trying and With a Little Help From My Friends… November 16, 2015

Setting Sail for the AuctionEvery week at the auction brings new surprises and new treasures.  Last week I was looking at the previews and saw this.  Nothing makes me get warm and fuzzy more than gobs of colored glass.  Looking at all of these colored glass cruets, some of which were hand blown made me want to have them.  I thought I’d sworn off of buying blown glass, but cruets aren’t that big, and would easily fit into a small size priority box.  Bad news was, they were going to be auctioned off early. Instead of waltzing in at 11AM I’d have to get myself up and out of the house and be at the auction by 8AM… Part of my responsibilities at home are getting my teen age son up and driving him to the bus stop, by 7:30….auction is 25 miles away….I could do this.  Got child up and shoveled into car, and as I got to the bus stop, I slowed down, pushed him out and said “see ya”!

More Colorful Cruets!So I was on my way by 7:30, but I hadn’t had coffee yet. Ach!   I thought I might have time to stop for a Mickey Dees Latte, and still make the 8AM start.  Gotta have coffee.  So I stumbled into the auction before it started, and ran to look at the glass.  The auction at 8 is very different from the auction at 11.  I used to come earlier and work the outside field, but since I’ve started concentrating on jewelry, which doesn’t start until 1PM, I’ve slacked off from getting here so early.  I loved the cruets and lovingly fondled a few.  Of course the stoppers didn’t seem to match, but they were soooo pretty.

Colorful Cruets

I looked at the first table  and saw 2 huge boxes of junk jewelry. Hmmmm, not a lot of buyers here yet, and it is jewelry, I don’t usually buy box lots, they are a lot of work, but it is an auction, so I started bidding and got the boxes for 40.00. Surely there would be something in them.   I carted the boxes back to the jewelry auction and stored them behind the counter. Back to the glass.   I waited patiently for  for them to get to the cruets, there were twenty,  I hoped they would go cheap.   A woman pulled aside 8 of them, I figured I’d let her have them and maybe I’d get the rest.   I think she got them for around 60.00.  Fine, they were the nicer ones anyway, they put up the rest of them, and they went for over 100.00 Aw shoot, I got up early and everything and never even got to bid on them.   Life goes on.

Case of Junk Jewelry I'm Selling

So I now had about 20 pounds of junk costume jewelry,  I figured I’d try and flip it at the auction. Something I’ve never done before.  I got a large case, and carefully started pulling out ugly necklaces and arranged them in the case, trying to make junk look attractive.   I got another case and stuffed it fulled of carefully arranged jewelry. This left me with a huge box of more junk jewelry.  I had picked out a few interesting things,  so I was offered the last available case, took the box and just flipped all of the remaining jewelry into it, shoveled it around some, looking for treasures I would be willing to sell in my stores.  I’ve never just dumped jewelry in a case, but a lot of people do this, and I was tired of untangling necklaces.  My hope was to make back the 40.00 I’d spent on the junk, the same day.

Dumped the Junk Hope for the Best

This was a very confusing auction day for me.   I found a great box of jewelry in the back, with a Venetian Wedding Cake bead necklace I HAD to have.  At the same time there was also a Venetian Sommerso art glass bead necklace at the jewelry counter I had to have.  At this auction you can consign a table, and put what you’re selling on one table, then items are sold individually from it.  There is one seller who consistently has great vintage jewelry.  It can be a bit pricey, but the quality is great.

So I went to lunch with Mr. T, as I always do, and worried over the two necklaces.   I didn’t know whether I should pull the one necklace from the back, or bid on the whole box. At the same time there were treasures at the jewelry counter I wanted, including a case with a millefiori bead jewelry set.  I pondered my dilemma while munching on my egg salad wrap.  Side note, as a vegetarian, the egg salad wrap is the only food I can eat at the Amish restaurant in the auction hall, so every Wed  for 4 years I have had that.   Mr T mumbled on about knives he bought, and tools he was thinking of bidding on,  not realizing how important the jewelry dilemma was.  Men!

After agonizing over this monumental decision, I decided to ask Mr. T to bid on the necklace in the back, and I would work the jewelry dept. So I stepped up to the plate, whining to anyone who would listen about the injustice of not being able to be in 2 places at once. Another auction buddy volunteered to bid on the necklace in the back, but I told him I had it covered.   How cool is that, I have friends there who will bid for me,  and I have done the same for them…I love that.

Row of showcases, my 3 sold for 85.00 this week!

Row of showcases, my 3 sold for 85.00 this week!

So my cases did really well,  I was shocked, they sold for a total of 85.00,  I made about 75.00 from the sale, but it meant I didn’t have to take any of that junk jewelry home.  I also sold some rings for 40 and 2 trays of jewelry for 50.00…. Selling at the auction is always hit or miss, this week I sold high…but that also meant I bought high.  Mr T got out bid on that Wedding Cake necklace, he actually went higher than I told him to go, and he still lost it.  I did get the Venetian Sommerso necklace, but I paid way more than I should have. I bid with my heart, and we all know that is stupid and costly.   I also bought the case for 50.00 with the millefiori set, there’s a bunch of other jewelry in it to sell, but some will go right back to the auction next week.

I got some nice jewelry this week,  it’s always a surprise to me what I got, even though I look through everything ahead of time.  It was really nice walking out of there with  a little bit of cash.  I have so much stock,  and I can’t list that much, so I’m finding as time goes on, I’m getting very selective about what goes into my stores.   I specialize in Art Deco, Rhinestone, Figural Animal, and Beaded jewelry.  Mostly mid century, but I’m not afraid to go out of those boundaries.

Jewelry makes me so happy. I’m so lucky to have this as an option for making a living.

Please visit my Etsy shop, Gretels Treasures

Until next time,





Woke up to a warm humid rainy day. But that won’t stop me from going to the auction.  Very little can keep me away from the auction. Vacation and when they’re closed are basically the only times I don’t go. I used to buy all sorts of things, glass, pottery, clothes, anything that I could resell. This was back in 2011 after I lost my job.   I’m a super competent person, but where I live is very rural, and I just haven’t been able to find a full time job.   Educated in textile design, after having my own handwoven clothing business for 9 years, I burned out from that and became an academic library assistant. And I was really good at it. But there’s not much call for that in the land of crabs, fish and water that is Chesapeake Bay Country.   Since moving here with my family, I’ve worked at a marina, a doctors office, a bank and an insurance company. Sigh, none have worked out for various reasons.

Comic Relief Insert to Pity Party--Pee Wee Herman

Comic Relief Insert to Pity Party–Pee Wee Herman

So I found myself creating my own business, again. I’ve been a buyer on Ebay since 1997! So it made sense to create Gretels Treasures on Ebay and start treasure hunting. I used to go to yard sales, thrift shops, flea markets and finally auctions.   Selling a wide variety of items was trying and confusing. One day I take pictures of clothes I bought, then the next listing glass ware and animal figurines. I did this for a couple of years, but since I was 17 I collected vintage jewelry, and this was what I knew best. If you’re a writer, you write about stuff you know. If you are an Ebay seller, you should sell what you know best.

To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self Be True

Every day is a learning experience. I learn to take better pictures. I learn to work social media. I’m a technophobe, so how did I end up on Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Facebook, Tumbler, Keep AND Instagram? Baby steps. One little baby step at a time.   After being on Ebay for a year selling, I didn’t what to put all my eggs in one basket. So I expanded to Etsy. Both are great selling platforms, but different. Ebay is very structured, with lots of rules to follow. And they change about every 6 months. Etsy was a bit more warm and fuzzy, they want you to connect with your customer, and you have more control over how you sell. On Etsy you have teams you can join, and copromote your store and items.

Huh? Yes, Seen at the Auction!

Huh? Yes, Seen at the Auction!

I belong to 3 Etsy teams, each is a little different, but all are very supportive. I’ve made wonderful friends, and learned so much. I also belong to Facebook groups, who offer support with research and electronic business practices.

Puppy Memorial or Sweet Portrait?

Puppy Memorial or Sweet Portrait?

So now I go to an auction once a week, play jewelry princess, and try and find great treasures that I can find forever homes for. You can find anything at this auction, including a cannon this week. I realize this hasn’t been the usual Adventures in Jewelry Hunting with Gretel that you might be used to.

Boom! Opening Price was 13, bids duh

Boom! Opening Price was 13,000…no bids duh

I had a great week at the auction, including buying this case, which included a Hattie Carnegie Art Glass Necklace. Soon to be coming to an Etsy and Ebay store near you.


These are the best things I got this week…and the worst pictures. I can’t take good close ups with my Iphone…but I did want to show you:

Hattie Carnegie, Venetian Beads, and Lisner leaf necklace

Hattie Carnegie, Venetian Beads, and Lisner leaf necklace

Art Deco molded glass dress clip, Trifari jewelry set, Trifari bracelet, Scarab bracelet, Venetian Sommerso Bead earrings

Art Deco molded glass dress clip, Trifari jewelry set, Trifari bracelet, Scarab bracelet, Venetian Sommerso Bead earrings

Like I said, they’re really awful photos, and I’ve touched them up! Thank you for reading, I’m getting better at this


Gretel May Need to Pack a Smith and Weston? to Attend the Auction? May 24, 2013

Ha, got your attention didn’t I. File this under TMI, too much information. Picture little Gretel skipping through the woods to the auction house (sans Hansel) and instead of meeting a witch who do she meet? A guy who says he’s “packing” whenever he comes to the auction, and it’s my Constitutional right to know that. Gulp. Now we are talking country auction. 1 hour from the nearest Walmart country. More cows than people country. How about some background info on me. I’m from a “big city” up North. From the age of 12 I rode public transportation, travelled around the city by myself, I’m packing city paranoia, I watch to see if cars are following me, wear my bag crossbody (never know when a cow will try to steal your purse), I’ve been the victim in an armed robbery and had shots fired over me during said robbery. So I’m not walking around with country rose colored glasses. However I believe in seeing the best in people, we’re all God’s children, Do Unto Others, yada yada.

So I’m standing at my spot at the jewelry auction last week. And a guy stands next to me wearing a cowboy hat and carrying a Longaberger basket. (Seriously, I do not make this up)…he is a regular. And he starts telling me about being prepared for the Hispanic invasion that is coming. (gulp, smile nicely)….He’s prepared, and it’s coming. Remember you can buy guns and knives at this auction. And he’s not gonna let any of them get his stuff. He’s taking it with him. He’s prepared. Look what he got out in the field. He pulls out a handful of ??Gauge shot gun shells. And he tells me the advantages of shooting first with a bullet vs buckshot. (oh yay) He stops to offer my auction friend “L” a turquoise bracelet in thanks for helping him out previously. Then he continues on how prepared he is, he’s even packing….and it’s my Constitutional right to know that. He pays cash at the auction for everything, so he has to carry 10,000-12,000 dollars with him. (cripes, can’t he just write a check like everyone else?) And no ones going to mess with him. Mr. Cowboy hat is a regular and he buys a lot of jewelry. Miss. G guesses he must come down from NYC (with his Longaberger basket)

This weeks haul

Anyway, as you may have felt, I haven’t been lovin’ the auction much the last few months. The jewelry just bores me. I don’t need to personally like the jewelry I buy, I do need to be intrigued by it, or be able to picture someone wanting it. I consider my self a treasure hunter, and cheap jewelry from the past decade is just not treasure to me. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the vintage furs I bought last week. I got a mink stole, a silver fox scarf and muff, and another mink collar. Even though I’m a vegetarian, I enjoy selling vintage furs and these were all in good condition. Last winter a friend of mine gave me her mother in laws furs to sell, and I did, and they go pretty cheap at the auction. (30.00 for all the above bits)

So back to jewelry, all the goodies in the above picture is what I got. Funny, I thought I got a lot of stuff last week, but this little itty pile of stuff doesn’t look like much. I was even happy as I left. So I’d better go digging through here to see what I got.

Monet, Trifari Crown, Jackie K

I’m not a big fan of goldtone jewelry and the queen of goldtone jewelry seems to be Monet. Evidently I got 2 Monet necklaces and a bracelet. Maybe they are collectible in some world but not in Gretel’s world. The Pin and earrings (goldtone again) is Trifari crown. Trifari has been around a very long time, and has had it’s quality ups and downs. Some pieces are worth hundreds of dollars, some not so much. And in general I don’t know the difference. I need to really force myself to study Trifari. I had an ugly little gold Trifari pin, sitting around for months, I finally put it up on Ebay, fortunately I researched it a little, because it sold for 100.00 in 2 minutes. My friend Mr. T. is saying right now “you should have put it up for auction, you lost money on it” Thanks T. The gold mesh bracelet with little rows of rhinestones is signed JBK. As in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. QVC puts out a reproduction line of her jewelry, I’m guessing this is part of that. Very nicely made, but boring (to me)

Sterling art deco pin

This is a 2″ sterling silver art deco pin with tiny rhinestones, authentic vintage (possibly earlier, I may need to do some research on clasps) The tray a lot of this jewelry was in was very dirty, so nothing looked as good as it does now. (Unfortunately I didn’t clean up these pictures, they’re on the dark side)

Large art deco faux turquoiise pin

A rhinestone necklace and bracelet, missing one stone, I can fix that. But this huge 3″ pin is such treasure to me. And you would never have guessed it under the grime when I got it. I believe it’s base metal (I tested it for silver, no go) with lovely glass faux turquoise stones and marcasites. It’s missing a couple, but I just really like this pin and hope I can find a special person who will appreciate it, again this is true art deco or earlier. I can just imagine a young woman walking into Woolworths or Gimbels and buying it to go with an outfit, putting it in her jewelry box, and all these years someone has been protecting it til it arrived in my hands.


This was what attracted me to this lot, I love bug jewelry, and this is a big stylized sterling silver beetle. He’s very dimensional, high dome, about 2.5″ long. Another thing I got last week which I didn’t take a picture of was a sterling silver scarab bracelet, no stones, just sterling bugs, it’s a treasure I’m keeping. Miss H at the auction house pointed it out to me, otherwise I might have missed it. I really appreciate their taking the time to know their customers and make recommendations.

Art Deco Venetian Beads

Long pale pink matte glass bead necklace with 3 very old venetian “wedding cake” beads. Another true vintage piece. I love Venetian glass and always gobble up any that I can get at the auction

Whiting and Davis Set

This is a humongous Whiting and Davis necklace and bracelet set. I don’t think anyone else at the auction was brave enough to bid on it. Yes, it’s a bit large, see the next picture on my wrist:

Really big bracelet

See how big it is! I’m hoping Whiting and Davis will impress someone, it is very heavy and well made, but it is rather large. But I’d rather have something big like this than a teensy ring to sell. Maybe you can tell I’m running a bit behind, this is last weeks report. Yesterday at the auction I sold another showcase of jewelry, got 15.00 for it. Woo hoo. But I will never be able to sell all of my jewelry online. The cheaper less vintage stuff has to go somewhere. I meant to take a picture of it for you to see what YOU could have bought at the auction. I’ll be selling more next week.

Thanks for visiting, I really do appreciate that you take the time to peruse my blog.



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