Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Two Years Later, Gretels Treasures is Still Here! November 25, 2018

Evidently I haven’t written a blog entree for over 2 years.  That is sad and amazing. I love looking at what my blog once was. Blogs are alot of hard work. And commitment.  Two things I like to avoid.  The online retail market for vintage treasures that I off has greatly imploded in the last 18 months.  I’ve considered branching out to vintage other than jewelry. I’ve expanded to 3 selling venues, Ebay, Etsy, and Mercari.  I am a social media princess active on Facebook ( ), Pinterest (  Instagram (} plus twitter, We Heart It, Tumbler, and Google+.   Despite this action, my sales, like many of my colleagues have tanked this year.

You can blame:

My point is I am sitting here watching Gretels Treasures die. Something organic that I have grown for the last 7 years is dying, and with it, a part of me, my self confidence.  my raison d’etre, my comfy, cozy delusionally romantic life of making my own hours, selling what I love, shopping, networking I feel it coming to a close.   I have instituted measures to allow me to still make a profit, by basically a buying freeze.  I sell what I have.   Many of my friends are in the same situation. We are older over 50 women, who have been out of the active job market for years. We have great skills, that are marketable, but having worked for ourselves have no references that are relevent. This is my situation.

I have to change.  Change  or Die.  This is my journey.  Don’t be sad. I’ve reinvented myself many times.  Here I go again.  Tomorrow is literally a new beginning







Periodically I get mad at my small town auction.   There is one buyer, who insists on either buying everything, or ringing prices up.   Then she sells stuff cheap. Last week she sold a Czech Glass Art Deco Bracelet for 24.99, describing it as Victorian Carnelian. (need to insert emoji of eye roll here)  When this happens, I need to convince myself that I can find treasures elsewhere.  So today I took a road trip up I-95 to a different auction house.  This one sells jewelry lots, in little bags, but posts pictures online, so that you can see what will be offered.  So when I think of it, I check out there website, enlarge my viewing screen to 150%, and try and see what they’re offering.



This is a comfy cozy auction. Seating is provided, the auctioneers wear suits, and pictures of the items are projected on a large screen tv. Fancy stuff.   No Amish pretzels here.  Since this is a fancy city auction, you also get charged with a “buyers premium”. It ranges from 15-21% depending how you pay. This is like going to Walmart, and at checkout they charge you an extra 15% for the honor of shopping. This makes no sense to me. And it messes you up while you’re bidding. I forget to add the extra 15% to my bid in my mind.



The jewelry section starts first thing in the morning, this being the city, first thing is 10:00. Huddled in one corner of the showroom, we bid on little baggies of jewelry. Last night I went through the website and wrote down which lots were most promising (there were about 100 lots of baggies)  When I arrived this morning I opened up the interesting baggies, snooped around to see what was in the.   What I’m looking for is interesting glass, you might be looking for sterling silver,  modernist pieces, we all have different interests.   I was really happy with what I won, 5 lots, one bag of 37 bracelets was 100.00.  Personally, spending 100 dollars for a baggie of jewelry slightly freaks me out, but I’d done my research and knew I would be getting some goodies in the bag.



In the bracelet bag was one of the best art glass bracelets I have ever seen, missing a hard to replace stone. I may repurpose it, but I need to do some research with a Costume Jewelry  group to see how viable replacing the stone will be.  In the bracelet bag I also found Whiting Davis, Kramer, a tiny scarab bracelet,  a Sandor Bangle, and some mid century pieces.



I ended up spending 299.00! Ach. This is a lot for me to drop at one time.  And 45.00 of that is the buyers premium I pay. I don’t even get a Cracker Jack ring for that.   But, I ended up with 99 pieces of jewelry I think are sellable. That averages out to 3.00 a piece.   That’s a number my brain can work with.


So I walked out of there happy with what I got, I’ve run out of interesting jewelry to list, I still have hundreds of pieces, but they’re just not the greatest pieces.   It was  raining cats and dogs (and cows) when I came out, I could barely see the car in front of me.  I drove with the baggies in the shot gun seat, and I must confess fondling the beaded treasures during stop lights.  I’m just so happy with what I found today.



Tomorrow is Wed, I’ve packed up jewelry to sell, hope to meet up with my auction buddy Todd for lunch in the Amish restaurant, and maybe I’ll finds some more treasures. But I don’t have to buy anything, because I’m happy with what I got today.  This is my favorite piece, a porcelain dragon by Toshikane, Japan






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,







As the official costume jewelry princess at the auction I go to, and because I’m a nice princess, I get special privileges.   A few weeks ago a seller dropped off a 20 gallon box full of costume jewelry.   Don’t get excited, it wasn’t full of Juliana and Fancy stuff jewelry. Rather lots of broken watches, dirty jewelry, and possibly the occasional bug.


Huge box of jewelry I dug through to find treasures





When sellers drop off huge amounts of jewelry like this the auction assistants have to match pieces together (like earrings) and display them on trays.   The thing is, costume jewelry gets no respect.  So the assistants don’t know treasures from trash.  So Melissa, the assistant,  told me to put some trays together, for myself to bid on. Woo hoo.  Digging through a box of costume jewelry, that’s right up my aisle.  As you may have figured out, I have a thing for beaded jewelry, especially glass jewelry.  So I dug around and found some art glass necklaces, a Venetian Sommerso bead necklace, some 1950s beaded necklaces, and assorted treasures.  I kept digging around the bottom,  because you never know what you might find.   I love dress clips and fur clips, so at the bottom I found a figural Coro fur clip, of what looked like an old woman. It was in bad shape, very chippy, but since I was going to bid on this extra special tray, I threw it onto my pile.  Long story short, a couple hours later I was high bidder on the two trays.


Huge box of jewelry I dug through to find treasures


So I took my treasures home. The Venetian beads were wired onto an ugly chain, so I removed them and put them on an appropriate chain. I listed some of the necklaces, and kept putting the ugly Coro fur clip aside.  I finally got around to taking her pictures, and posted then on  Ebay.  While I heavily promote my Etsy shop, Ebay is still my  primary  store, so I post everything there first.  I knew painted Coro dress clips could be valuable, so I researched them only finding Charlie McCarthy ones.  Why they would make womens jewelry depicting Charlie McCarthy is beyond me.


I had no idea how to price her, so when  in doubt, I put items up for auction and let the  buyers decide the value.  So I started the auction at 14.99.  Right away I got a bid on it, and a strange email asking if I would end the auction early, because she had lost these before.  I said,  once I start an auction I don’t end it.  I recently joined the 21st century with an Iphone, which is connected to Ebay and tells me every time I get a bid.  About 20 minutes later my phone started beeping, and told me the bidding for the pin was up to 300.00.   For a really ugly pin.

At that point I decided to ask my Etsy team mates on Facebook what was so special about this pin. I  posted pictures, and we went back and forth.  Someone found a Coro website with the other half of this fur clip, it was Punch, as in Punch and Judy.  He had a moveable arm with a stick, was in excellent condition and asking price was 1200.00!  So who I had was Judy, but her arm was missing the stick, and she was missing a lot of paint.  Everyone gets excited when a teamie has a great find.

So I had to wait 7 days for the auction to end. I knew there were at least 2 people in the world that wanted her. I kept checking the bids, but they didn’t change.   Final high bid was 320.00 Only 320.00! This shows you how greedy we can get.  The first bidder was the winning bidder.  I asked her what she was going to do with it, restore it or leave it?  She was up in Providence Rhode Island, former costume jewelry capital of the country, and her grandmother used to work in the Coro factory.  She didn’t know whether she would restore Judy or leave her.


What absolutely amazes me, is that if I hadn’t found her, in the bottom of that grubby box, I’m sure she would have ended up in the trash.   In my mind, this ugly Coro fur clip has a place in costume jewelry history,  and I was possibly the only one there who could even envision anyone wanting her.   I’m so happy that she has returned home to Providence.



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,




Variety of masks found at the auction

Variety of masks found at the auction

Today was really different . My 14 yr old son is out of school for the rest of the week, and for punishment, he got to come with me to the auction! I had to be there extra early (before 10:00) to set up a showcase to sell junk jewelry.  Dragged my baby out of bed with the promise of buying him breakfast.   Got in the mom mobile (a Honda CRV, I think it’s cool, he thinks it’s lame) turned on my Classical Guitar CD (which I always listen to when driving to the auction) and strapped him in the booster seat (kidding! Just checking to see if you are following along)

Statue found at the auction

Statue found at the auction

Got there with minutes to spare, got my assignment and trotted him over to the Amish restaurant in the auction building. Got him set up with our regular waitress, Marion, found something he could eat, and deserted him.

Row of showcases, mine sold for 25.00 this week!

Row of showcases, mine sold for 25.00 this week!

Set up my case, checked in on him, he’s still eating, and went back out to cruise the auction, take pictures of interesting things that I post on Instagram (follow me here: ) as part of a series “Seen at the Auction” or “Scenes from the Auction”….Nothing I needed to bid on, checked in on him again, and we went out to look at the jewelry trays.  I’m princess Gretel again, so I can go behind the showcases and touch and breath and drool on all the jewelry. They’re still selling that Estate of a closed Jewelry Shop, today there was Trifari, Art Deco, a Miriam Haskell later set, assorted other treasures.  Nothing I was willing to spend a lot on, but the jewelry would be a good investment for the future.

Outside, a football field full of junk, er, treasures

Outside, a football field full of junk, er, treasures

Then, Son and Mom went outside to look in the field, it’s huge, maybe a football field, with assorted treasures lined up in rows. He found 2 Zippo lighters, which he has decided to collect, in original boxes, and got them for 10.00…I found a cute cow butter holder, says Ironstone, Made in England, stole that for 10.00 also. Outside you can make piles of stuff, to create your own lot, but someone can come and take one item out  and bid on it singly, that’s how I scored the cow.

Pile of trays of jewelry, buy 1-4 at a time

Pile of trays of jewelry, buy 1-4 at a time

Time for lunch at the Amish restaurant. Back to waitress Marion, who we have known for years, and every Wed Todd (my auction buddy) and I have the exact same lunch. The child had French Fries. Munch Munch, back to the jewelry auction which was getting ready. I didn’t see any showcases I needed, that was a good thing. My case sold for 25.00, which was okay, it was mostly junk, good for flea markets.  Chatted with lots of auction friends and waited for the jewelry. Child went and got a chocolate milkshake

One of the trays that I won

One of the trays that I won

I didn’t need any of it, but, for 10-20 dollars for 2 trays, I was up for investing. And I got a lot bang for my buck. I did get the Miriam Haskell set (it’s rather contemporary, but still sellable), some rhinestone goodies, just a mix up of better quality stuff costume stuff. When I was finished bidding, I took my pile to divide what to keep, throw back at the auction, or wholesale on Ebay.  I can get slightly better prices with wholesale lots on Ebay, where I make my own prices, instead of at the auction, where I might get 10 dollars or 90 dollars for a case.

Contemporary Miriam Haskell set

Contemporary Miriam Haskell set

So we both had a nice day at the auction! Thanks for reading, you can follow me everywhere on Social Media, including Facebook!

Thanks for reading, see you next time,


Cool guitar!

Cool guitar!


Gretel Goes Digging in Her Boxes… October 7, 2013

I’m getting ready to take another crop of pictures and went digging in shoe boxes. Wow, I found all sorts of cool stuff I didn’t ever know I had. I’m whittling down the “junk: to resell at my local auction. If I decide to to really specialized in jewelry and list things individually (I currently try to list in groups) I will have so many cool items. Like a rhinestone gramophone! Who even knew that I had it?

Amazing Rhinestone and Crystal Bead Statement necklace and earrings

Amazing Rhinestone and Crystal Bead Statement necklace and earrings

I’m actually feeling kind of excited about what I’ll find in these boxes. I still have a lot of old stuff to figure out, like what am I going to do with a huge lot of Littlest Pet Shop Figures that I bought in the spring. I really think it’s going to be healthier for me to focus more on just buying at the auction good vintage stuff. I went over my last couple weeks sales, and a lot have been things I’ve bought in the last few weeks.


Postcards from Leonie

shoestring sailing in a classic yacht

Uke Nut

Ukulele News, Events, Gear and Content

Root of Good

Retired in 2013 at age 33. Life is Good.

Art of Hookie

All plain sail

I Love Classical Ukulele

All things classical ukulele

Ukulele Adventures

Have Uke. . . . .Will Travel

The Vintage Fiore



A group of vintage lovers

Ed Kurowski, Yacht Broker With S&J Yacht Sales * Rock Hall, MD * Annapolis, MD * Deltaville, VA

Experienced and Committed Yacht Listing and Purchasing Services * Cell Phone 443-480-3616 * Email

Rock Hall Masthead - share your thoughts

Viewers are welcomed to share sentiments, questions, constructive ideas and general discussion pertaining to Masthead postings. Personal attacks, political views and advertising are not welcome. We encourage healthy dialogue and viewpoints promoting transparency and honesty, offering an opportunity for thoughtful, provocative sharing by all. If the line of civility is crossed, you will simply be banned at the Masthead’s discretion. Thank you.


Out with the New and in with the Old.

Queen of Fifty Cents

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Ramblings of an Ebay Addict

Learning to sell on ebay and beyond

Operation - Special Child

Austim, Aspergers, ADHD, ADD - Questions & Answers

Late Night Coffee

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

%d bloggers like this: