Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sherman Black Japanned Rhinestone Settings

One of the most sought after styles of Sherman rhinestone jewelry is that which is set in the black japanned or "gun metal" casings. The majority of Sherman jewelry was set in shiny rhodium plate followed by gold plate, however the japanned settings are by far the most rare. Usually seen on pieces with deeper colored rhinestones like black, red and fuchsia, this unique color setting can make even the palest shades pop by providing a black outline around the rhinestones.

The coating on a Japanned setting is done by applying a derivative of coal tar to create a matte or glossy black colored finish.  First used when manufacturing mourning jewelry, this process soon found its way into many lines of rhinestone jewelry. 

The three examples I am documenting today show both the glossy and matte finish. The amazing earrings feature more than a 2" drop and combine both marquise and round cut smoke colored rhinestones. This is the only glossy japanned setting I have seen to date but fingers crossed, I find a brooch, bracelet or necklace to match them someday.

The round open-style brooch features the more common matte finish of japanned setting, however the champagne colored rhinestones which are an unusual choice, come to life with the black outline. Like the earrings, I hope to match this lovely brooch with either earrings, a necklace or bracelet sometime down the road (wouldn't all three be nice LOL!!).

Lastly, the jet black "shrimp" brooch with clip earrings is a striking combination of black rhinestones with the matte finish of black japanned setting. Again, these "shrimp" or "pinwheel" designs are by far my favorite Sherman style.

All items documented today are clearly marked Sherman and in very good to excellent condition.

As collectors, it is sometimes wiser to invest your money in a few very collectable pieces rather than several more common pieces. Investing in any Sherman japanned jewelry is indeed a wise investment certain to more than hold its value!



Anonymous said...

Hi Deb,

What is the story on green Sherman pieces that glow under UV light?

Do all green Shermans glow under UV?

Are the Sherman pieces that glow considered "rare?"

I have read that uranium was used int the manufacture of these "glowing" Shermans, any thoughts?

With Thanks,


Deb said...

Hi Michel, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog.

I'm afraid I know very little about the Green Sherman jewelry that is supposed to Glow under UV lighting. I've actually never given it any thought considering Sherman jewelry is so fabulous on its own, no trick lighting or gimmicks are necessary to enhance its beauty.

I did look through Valerie Hammond's book on Sherman jewelry and could not find any reference to it although I have seen a few pieces listed on eBay with terrible pictures showing this glow.

Sorry I couldn't help you out on this, perhaps some other readers can give their thoughts.


Anonymous said...

I too have looked through Valeries book on Sherman & am just about to purchase the new one written by different authors and available on eBay. There seems to be quite an interest in this glowing Sherman and I'm about to embark on the journey to enlightenment. Thanks for responding.


Deb said...

Hi Michel, yes, I saw that book and will most likely be purchasing it myself. It is supposed to have the over-the-top exquisite pieces in it, lots of rigid cuff bracelets and unique and rare evening pieces.

When you find out about the glowing Sherman, please leave a post on my blog for us all to read.

I look forward to reading it!