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Save That Junk Jewelry

Don't throw out Grandma's "junk jewelry" warns collectibles expert Tony Hyman as CBS News Saturday Morning's series on collectibles continues.

The Eisenberg Dress Company was founded in 1914 by Jonas Eisenberg, who distinguished his dresses by selling them with matching accent jewelry as part of the outfit.

The idea was a hit, but merchants complained that the good-looking jewelry was frequently being stolen. As a result, Eisenberg began selling its popular costume jewelry separately.

He became famous for big ornate pins decorated with lots of rhinestones or colored stones set in gold, sterling or silver plate.

Over the years the company marked its jewelry in a variety of different ways: Eisenberg Original, Eisenberg Ice, Eisenberg or with a simple scroll or block "E."

Today collectors pay the most for large, sterling silver Eisenberg pins, typically $200 to $500 but sometimes $1,000 or more. And, you often can find them at yard sales for pennies!

For more information on Eisenberg jewelry, Hyman recommends consulting expert Arnold Reamer. His email address is He will answer questions concerning Eisenberg and any other high-quality costume jewelry from before 1960. Information and jewelry samples were supplied by Reamer and Carl Eisenberg.

For more information on collectibles go to Tony Hyman's Web site.

Previous CBS News Saturday Morning segments with collectibles expert Tony Hyman are available in the collectibles archive.

If you think you have a collectible worth a lot of cash, send an email to Put "What's it Worth?" in the subject line, or write to "What's it Worth?" CBS News Saturday Morning, 514 West 57th St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10019.

Please note that because of the volume of mail received, Saturday Morning can't respond to all requests, but some will be selected and featured on the show in the near future.

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