I remember the neighborhood ladies getting together for Sarah Coventry jewelry parties, back in the 1970s. We were young housewives, without a lot of money to spend, so we loved to visit and see what new, inexpensive jewelry Sarah Coventry had to offer.
Now those vintage pieces are very collectible, and the popular designs are just as beautiful and wearable today. An eBay search turns up over 1800 Sarah Coventry pieces available for bid or sale. Not all of them are vintage, since the jewelry is still sold on the Home Shopping Network.
Charles H. Stuart started Sarah Coventry in 1950, and named the company for his granddaughter Sarah Ann. The designing and manufacturing was done by outside companies. Never sold in retail stores, the affordable jewelry was only sold by consultants at home parties. The company was sold in 1984, and in 2003 the jewelry was again sold through home parties, and is still sold that way today.
If you’re interested in collecting vintage Sarah Coventry, here are some things to consider:
Since there was a huge volume of Sarah Coventry jewelry on the market, complete rhinestone sets are the most collectible. Prices are still relatively low, but as more collectors discover the pieces, prices should rise. Try to find Sarah Coventry jewelry in original boxes.
The company used several different marks on their jewelry:
“Sarah Cov” with the copyright symbol ©
“SARAH” with the copyright symbol
“Coventry” with the copyright symbol
“SaC”, “SAC”, or “SC”
“Canada” and “Sarah” with the copyright symbol
Sarah Coventry jewelry was made in a wide range of styles and quality. Good weight and attention to detail were typical, and the elaborate rhinestone pieces were very well made. Rhinestones were used in classic color combinations, and enamel jewelry was also produced. Pieces were made in gold tone and silver tone metal. Be aware, however, that there are also many average to below average pieces.
If you’re buying for yourself, for your own pleasure and not necessarily for investment, it’s important to buy what you like, and examine the condition of each piece carefully.
A good way to date Sarah Coventry jewelry is to review vintage advertisements found in jewelry books. “Fine Fashion Jewelry from Sarah Coventry”, by Jennifer A. Lindbeck is an excellent resource.
There were many different styles produced. Some of the more popular pieces were figural pins, like owls, which were very popular decor items in the ’70s. Other figurals were flowers and animals. There were gorgeous rhinestone creations and other pieces crafted with turquoise and faux pearls, and even a gold tone pin with an enameled miniature of the Mona Lisa. There was something for every budget and taste. The better pieces and the hostess gifts for parties are now especially collectible.
If you conduct an Internet search for “Sarah Coventry”, you’ll find many many sources with pieces for sale. Be on the lookout in thrift shops, yard sales and estate sales. There was so much produced, that you should be able to start or add to your collection very easily.
I’m Deena O’Daniel, an artist, writer and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, by way of California.