Farewell, Ciner: Ciner costume jewelry round-up

Dec 4, 2023 | costume jewelry

To find a CINER signed piece of jewelry feels like finding gold.

CINER pieces are heavy, have the highest quality clasps and settings, and always feature a classic design.

CINER jewelry are statement pieces in a minimalist style that are collectible because they remain so wearable.

Watch how this gold collar CINER necklace moves!

Watch how this gold collar CINER necklace moves!

CINER jewelry history

CINER made fine jewelry in New York City since the 1890s. After the stock market crash in 1929, the demand for fine jewelry plummeted, so, CINER switched to costume jewelry.

CINER’s look was sometimes minimalist, with a focus on heavy single-tone gold collar necklaces and hefty wide bracelets. It’s these pieces that are my personal favorites. They stand apart with their classic designs, and their ability to reproduce the look and feel of real gold.

After nearly a century of design and production, CINER closed for business in 2022.

CINER jewelry designs

CINER’s designs changed with the times, but their pieces, when you’re lucky enough to find one, are consistently well-made – very heavy, with high-quality settings that more often than not retain their colored glass details.

Some CINER jewelry peaked in the 80s, when chunky gold necklaces and earrings were first popular.

Read more, for example, about 80s jewelry and the Picasso Squiggle.

minusOne jewelry’s CINER collection on Etsy features more than 150 pieces of vintage CINER jewelry at the time of this post. (This is an affiliate link will show Etsy I’m sending you there.)

The collection includes most of the pieces shown here in this round-up. Items shown may still for sale, if some lucky customer hasn’t already snatched them up.

Ciner turquoise glass seed bead jewelry

Tiny glass rounds simulating turquoise was featured by Ciner in a series of designs that seems to have spanned Edwardian (1910s) to mid century (1950s).

Perhaps the employment of a dentist to provide improved molds for inlays helped Ciner set their glass in ways that appeared organically integrated parts of the whole.

Often, cabs or rhinestones can refuse to take up the space provided their metal cups, or can be placed off-center during production.

Such is not the case with Ciner’s turquoise glass rounds.

This brooch features a mold of strawberries made to look like distinct turquoise beads. Perhaps an early inspiration, this pin is likely turn-of-the-century.

Tiffany-inspired Ciner bracelet

And although Ciner is well-known for its bold minimalism, sometimes Ciner was as over-the-top as its contemporaries, using gemstone colored glass in pieces that could only be called royal.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Ciner was making costume jewelry alongside Kennth Jay Lane, and many of their pieces reflected one another, as costume designers often did.

Like its peers in high-end costume jewelry, Ciner mimicked fine jewelers.

The same is true, for example, with Vendome jewelry, a high-end line for Coro.

An excellent example where CINER used this iconic Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger-designed blue enamel bangle with turquoise as inspiration.

Called the “Bunny” bangle, named after patron Mrs. Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, Tiffany & Co. made this bangle in the mid 1900s.

Tiffany & Co blue enamel “Bunny” bangle bracelet

CINER was inspired by Tiffany & Co.’s “Bunny” bangle, and then made its own blue and turquoise enamel bangle.

CINER’s version is at once a version of the Bunny bangle, and its own thing, relying on the turquoise beads already in its wheelhouse.

For comparison, here is he Kenneth Jay Lane iteration on the same Bunny bangle theme:

Read more about the Bunny bracelet’s designer here.

Ciner granulated gold collar necklaces

For a costume jewelry lover, there’s no greater find than a heavyweight gold plated Ciner broad collar necklace.

Wide and hefty in beautiful gold tones, these wide choker speciality chain link necklaces up-level outfits to center-stage of a mid-80s country club dining room.

Some of CINER’s gold collar necklaces are all gold tone metal, while others, like this one below, hold citrine secrets: each granulation is actually a pronged yellow-gold rhinestone.

Frankly, I prefer the plain gold, like this one below. See how it moves!

See how this CINER link necklace moves.

This long sautoir style Ciner gold necklace is a rare find.

This long sautoir style Ciner gold necklace is a rare find.

It was designed to be worn down the front with a deep V Halton dress, or down the back.

My favorite part, other than the length, is the center clip.

center clip feature of a long vintage Ciner gold necklace.

Gold collar necklaces were also well-made by Monet, which used a three-layer 18K gold plating that made its gold, like CINER’s, look real.

I had at one time several pieces of the high-quality 80s All that Jazz collection by Monet for sale at minusOne, and it might still be available. Shop Vintage Jewelry at minusOne.

Ciner showcased emerald green glass

It’s no accident that the first Ciner necklace featured on the cover of Vogue in 1966 was both a choker, and incorporated large, smooth emerald green stones.

Such a beautiful, all the more for knowing how substantial it must feel.

Ciner designers often featured emerald green simulated gemstones, perhaps more often than their earlier attention to turquoise.

This collection of white enamel and emerald green taken from Ciner’s corporate website illustrates their passion for the color.

What’s your favorite CINER look?

Read more about mid-century and 80s costume jewelry.

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