The Crazy Suburban Mom: Sometimes you find diamonds

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sometimes you find diamonds

I was at a fabulous estate sale last summer put together by a family. I really like those because more and more estate sales (in my area, anyway) are being managed by antique dealers.

I don't see this as a problem as much as a conflict of interest. See, more than once I've gone to sales on the last day hoping for good prices only to overhear the people running the sale discussing.... No, not discussing but actually kind of giddy about how the leftover stuff would be going into their shop. An estate sale is for the benefit of the family giving it not a bonanza for the the people they hire.

More and more, I see ridiculous prices on things and when I ask if they will take less, No. In those cases the sales are almost always given by dealers.

With retail shops.


I suppose more left at the end means more cheap merchandise for the shop at the end of the day.

So when I ran across this sale it was refreshing. Friendly people who didn't act like they were doing me a favor but were happy to see me. Fabulous vintage community cookbooks for reasonable amounts... Knickknacks gathered over a lifetime that had to go but that they were glad would be finding another home. I didn't get the feeling that someone was holding back for ulterior motives - They just wanted to empty mom's house.

And that's where I found this...


Last day so half off... It's a good piece the guy told me and
turned it over to show me the marks.

hallmarks holloware

$4 was the price of this total diamond in my eyes.

I don't normally 'do' silver so figuring out what is was wasn't easy but I think I have it. Holloware. According the Railroadiana Online site:

"Holloware pieces were made to be durable. Items were first formed from a base metal, usually nickel or sometimes brass. Handles, footings and finials were silver-soldered on, and the manufacturer and railroad markings were impressed into the metal. The piece was then plated 4 to 12 times with silver (not sterling) and cleaned to a high shine. Each piece was then wrapped in paper and delivered."

But what to keep in my Holloware diamond?

sunset beach diamonds1

Of course, other diamonds...


Cape May Diamonds, ever hear of them?

cape may diamonds

The diamonds can be found on Sunset Beach and were first found by Native Americans. Are they real diamonds? They are quartz actually but when polished and sold as jewelry they are really beautiful. NJ Monthly wrote an article about them if your interested (here).

But even unpolished they sure look pretty in my Holloware.


Both things real diamonds in my eyes....

Go visit Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday!

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Vonlipi 2/18/10, 8:21 AM  

This is a beautiful piece of hollow ware. I'm crazy about the Cape May diamonds. I hope I get to go and find some!

ladyjanewriter 2/18/10, 8:21 AM  

Oh, those Cape May diamonds are really beautiful!

michelle 2/18/10, 8:33 AM  

Its very beautiful, never heard of cape may diamonds....gonna research that...XOXO

Vintage Christine 2/18/10, 8:42 AM  

I love love love silverplate, holloware, quadrupleplate, etc.--my mother had a large amount of it and although we tried to sell it (after polishing every single piece) no one wanted it. But I'm very happy to have it. And I totally agree with you about the estate sale situation, but at least most of the people who run estate sales down here still have the 50% off deal on the last day. Of course it's hit or miss at that point but one time I totally lucked out at a sale held at the home of a women who collected Heisey Glass! That was sweeeeeeet!!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 8:47 AM  

Vonlipi - You just have to go to sunset beach - If you google it there is a website and I was going to give the link but for some reason its not working now so I didn't want to give it. Its SO easy to find them on that beach - its not sand its rock. Almost totally. You just sit and pick them up. Most are quartz and I got some pretty pink ones too but many are the clear ones...

LadyJane - they are really fun and can't wait to go back!

Michelle - Ive gone every year for a few years and hadn't heard of them either! They are at one beach only - they make a few hundred mile trip to get there...

Christine - I agree, silver is a hard sell. I don't get it really. Its lovely!

Tammy 2/18/10, 9:47 AM  

Cape May Diamonds are lovely. I've never seen them before. I love the silverplate, holloware and quadrupleplate.

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 10:27 AM  


Manang Kim 2/18/10, 10:32 AM  

Wow that was a good find. Gonna hit more estate sale this coming spring and summer soon. Thanks for sharing!

VTT-Old Photo Album

P. 2/18/10, 10:40 AM  

I love the Cape May diamonds (new to me, too) in the silver Holloware! What you said about dealers versus family sales is so true. So glad you lucked out on your diamonds!

Mrs. P. 2/18/10, 11:02 AM  

What a great post!! I love your diamonds :)


Tara Beaulieu 2/18/10, 11:13 AM  

Oh what pretty, pretty pieces! (The quartz included in that statement!) In addition to my sea glass sickness (ahem I mean addiction) I collect egg shaped white quartz off the beaches here in RI. You've got a great collection!

thasnifty 2/18/10, 11:20 AM  

I have never been to an estate sale, they don't have them in my town. :( At least none that I have seen signs or ads for. I had never heard of those fabulous diamonds. They are divine as is the holloware. You taught me about two neat things. :)

thanks for coming by my blog today!
-brightest blessings-

thepsychobabble 2/18/10, 11:54 AM  

Hey, just stopped by. Been awhile since I was able to drop in on, well, anyone. lol
Just wanted to say I love the way it looks over here nowadays. Gorgeous. Did you do it yourself?

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 12:02 PM  

Pyschobabble - Thank you! And yes and no - I bought the layout at for very little - although she has many (and I mean many) really nice ones for free. And most others are less than 10... I put it up this morning and am still messing with it - changing up some colors - I'm missing the links too. I don't know how I did that. The links I have on top are bloggers, darn it. Not hers...

I may (probably will) change the top - I was sick of mine but I think I need something more custom - somethink logo-y...

But I was looking at mine lately and it looked decidedly unprofessional. I was just scared I'd lose the blog - which I actually thought I had for a few minutes.

Happy Cottage Quilter 2/18/10, 12:24 PM  

It is sad but true that antique dealers will buy the whole lot that is leftover and sell it at their shops or flea markets for a very high price. We've seen it over and over. Very sad for all parties (except the dealer I guess). Thanks for sharing.


Maureen 2/18/10, 12:30 PM  

All this and no heads up??? I was dazed and confused when I arrived! Looks good. Very retro.

Love your estate find and beach finds.

CC 2/18/10, 12:33 PM  

Ohh,what a sweet treasure you found.It's lovely.
Happy VTT,hope you have a wonderful weekend..

Beth 2/18/10, 1:22 PM  

So pretty! I love the quartz in your new "diamond."

Postcardy 2/18/10, 1:29 PM  

I like your stones, I've never seen that kind before.

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 1:52 PM  

Maureen - I know. It was kind of sudden... Ive been looking around and looking at mine and than thinking, UGH. I've been afraid to lose everything. Really afraid. And I finally just did it and it was okay - I had to change some things and it worked... Im still making some alterations...

CollectIn Texas Gal 2/18/10, 2:45 PM  

First, let me say, I really like your new Blog Look and header. At first I was kinda where is she and where am I. I've been here before as SuKnitWitty and I think I'm a Follower...I'll check when I finsh commenting. I've enjoyed your blog since finding you on an earlier VTT. I'm sure you've been told that your subject and humorist writing style are much like my favorite humorist Erma Bombeck who would have been 84 on February 21st. I don't always comment, but I read often. Now, about those diamonds....some of my favorite stones and they sure are nice with the silver.

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 2:50 PM  

Texas - I know I really threw everyone for a loop today! I really didn't know I was going to do it until I did it to be honest. I've been afraid because I thought I'd lose the blog - I mean really just lose it. I'd change the background and poof - gone. But it was really looking shabby compared to other peoples.

As far as the comparison to Erma - well, thank you so much! I don't even know what to say.. I'm a bit floored really by the compliment!

So wow!

and wow again!

ClassyChassy 2/18/10, 2:56 PM  

Fun post today - thanks for sharing your photos!

Vonlipi 2/18/10, 3:14 PM  

Yes I was the early bird! WTF is this the same blog??? Oh yes it is!! Nice! :)

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/18/10, 3:21 PM  

Vonlipi - Oh I dunno even what happened lol... I sort of just did it. When I woke up that wasn't the plan. My blog was just shabby, only word for it...

I'm not sure I'm 100% happy but I'm so much happier

@eloh 2/18/10, 3:33 PM  

I couldn't agree more with your analogy of an "estate sale".

Miri 2/18/10, 4:15 PM  


Debbie 2/18/10, 4:36 PM  

Great finds! I am happy for you. But the idea of the scavengers at the estate sale kinda creeped me out.

mama-face 2/18/10, 5:47 PM  

ha. I checked on you this morning and now you have a new look!!! love it. I also love to see what you find on your vintage hunts.

Coloradolady 2/18/10, 7:21 PM  

These are so pretty, I have just developed an interest in silver pieces. Have a great VTT!

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique 2/18/10, 7:23 PM  

Hey - think you have a new header within the last few days?? Looks good! And really like the stone! Have a beautiful day!

Lin 2/18/10, 7:34 PM  

Hey! New Look here, eh?? Wow!!! I thought I was at some cool new blog and then I realized it was your cool (not-so-new) blog, but I was happy either way to be here or there. So, I like it. very nice. Where's Ginger's picture?

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit 2/18/10, 9:14 PM  

Those Cape May Diamonds are really lovely, and your holloware is simply stunning!

Serendipity Handmade 2/18/10, 9:57 PM  

I totally agree that some estate sellers who are also dealers are less than scrupulous in the way they handle their sales. It really is too bad.

Great find on the Holloware -- what an excellent price!

Like the new look of your blog!

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