Tuesday 26 October 2010

Necklaces from Hong Kong

Okay when the bead necklaces from Hong Kong came out in the 1970s, they irritated me. Okay they were cheap and even at that teenage age I realised that it would damage our own jewellery industry. I was right (as always she says modestly LOL) By the eighties we had lost so many manufacturers or they changed ownership and down sized - Exquisite, Hollywood, Ciro Pearls to name a couple....
Not only in this country but world wide - cheap imports left many companies unable to compete.

hong kong purple multi strand necklaces

They were very much 1950s style with their double and treble strands, which to me a youngster was a no no. However by my twenties I often wore necklace and jewellery that had been made in the 1950s. Yes there were many older women still wearing their original bead necklaces in the seventies. My mom and nan were and they did seem old to me then (even though my mother was only in her thirties!)

hong kong purple multi strand necklace

Anyway I digress. Looking at the beads 40 or so years on. The different and variety does not compare to beads available (unless hand made) today. The majority are made of plastic in many different shapes either dyed or coated with a bright colourful enamel

Long hong kong necklace in green
Hong Kong tag on necklace

Jewellery style is what you make it. Never one to follow fashion, just wear them on their own or with several layers of necklaces.

green bead Hong Kong necklace

The ones that have been damaged can be taken apart and the beads salvaged for up cycling, as they are so different. The coating can peel off and careful storage is recommended in a well ventilated jewellery box. Not hung up which can weaken the thread of strung necklaces.
Matching earrings were also made for some of the Hong Kong necklaces. Some are still source able today.

bead hong kong earrings
Hong kong label on back of earrings

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About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.