The only thing you need to know to experience the joy of vintage jewelry shopping in Chicago? Go directly to The Antique and Resale Shoppe, left, 7214 N. Harlem Ave. (in an unlikely strip mall just north of Touhy Avenue), 773-631-1151; antiqueandresale.com. Introduce yourself to the lively owners, Suzanne Lazer and Jules Breen, take a deep breath, then start shopping. The jewelry selection here is mind-blowing, well-priced and brilliantly organized. And the owners are approachable and know their stuff. The store's only annual sale — 20 percent off everything — is March 20-27.
Says Breen: "The best way to learn is seeing the goods in person. You can touch and feel them and see how they're priced to have some idea of value. The more you see and touch will help you understand the difference in the quality of a piece, scarcity and popularity.
"The important advice when starting to buy costume jewelry is buy what will bring you joy. Buy what makes your heart pitter-patter," she says.
I absolutely agree.
Here's an assortment of other Chicago-area places to touch, learn, browse, buy:
Broadway Antique Market, 6130 N. Broadway, bamchicago.com
Edgewater Antique Mall, 6314 N. Broadway, edgewaterantiquemall.com
Heritage Trail Mall, 420 Ridge Road, Wilmette, heritagetrailmall.com
Randolph Street Market, 1340 W. Randolph St., chicagoantiquemarket.com
Douglas Rosin Decorative Arts, 730 N. Wells St., douglasrosin.com (high end for serious collectors)
For repairs, Bill Semmens, Costume Jewelry Repair, 55 E. Washington St., 312-782-7810
— Ellen WarrenCopyright © 2015, CT Now