This company began in 1938 as Hollywood
Jewelry, but the mark was soon changed to Hollycraft because of possible
confusion with Joseff of Hollywood. Known for its quality pieces,
is very popular with vintage costume jewelry collectors. Hollycraft
designs were sold to jobbers who were then responsible for the production and distribution
of the actual pieces.
To the delight of present day collectors, Hollycraft
pieces from the 1950s were often, but not always, marked with the date of the
design. In fact, there are some costume jewelry enthusiasts who collect Hollycraft
jewelry only from a specific year! These pieces feature iridescent
aurora borealis stones.
Some of the most popular designs from the
1950s are those using pastel stones of amethyst, aqua, citrine, pink, olivine, etc. in
rich and complex patterns. These pieces are nearly always done in goldtone metal
findings. This brooch and earring set, dated 1950, is a good
example of this luscious style and features central alexandrite stones
that change color from light blue to lavender depending on the light
Because coordinating sets of jewelry were so
popular in the 1950s and early 1960s, Hollycraft created wonderful
complete sets, or parures, which included necklace, earrings, bracelet, brooch and
sometimes a ring. Matched sets are more difficult to come by as pieces get lost or
become damaged over the years, therefore they often have an increased value to collectors.
A particularly mysterious piece from this
time period is the so called Christmas Tree Pin. This pastel brooch from 1950 is
shown in several Christmas jewelry reference books. Yet, the alignment of the pin
mechanism seems to suggest that it was actually meant to be worn inverted, in a
shield shape. (The back of this piece was used for the background of this feature
Not all the Hollycraft pieces of the 1950s
were done in pastel colored stones and goldtone metal. The
dazzling star brooch is a very rare piece and dates from 1951.
[Note: information and date confirmation kindly provided by Joyce Chorbajian.] This unusual free-flowing
brooch is rhodium plated and is done entirely in dazzling clear crystal stones. It's
marked Hollycraft Copr. 1953, as are the crystal rhinestone
company made great use of colored stones throughout the years of
production. Interesting crackled
cabochons were used in some pieces creating a mysterious look to the
design. The swirling motif of these 1956 earrings with these
"cat's eye" cabs really draw the eye to the stones. The
amethyst rhinestone egg brooch is an unusual design from 1954.
This necklace from 1952 has refreshing ocean colors of blue and green in
the gunmetal gray setting.
These pieces from 1956 feature
darker purple-black ('starlight') aurora borealis stones along with crystal AB stones.
They seem to have a mysterious or magical air. With this
amount of variety, there's something from Hollycraft for nearly everyone!
The company was sold by
founder/designer Joseph Chorbajian in the early
1970s, and manufacture of Hollycraft
jewelry ceased sometime in the late 1970s. But with the excellent craftsmanship and
designs, the legacy lives on.
Click here to see more Hollycraft in the Signed/Designer section of