Ciner Manufacturing Company, founded in New York City in 1892 by Emanuel Ciner, originally crafted fine jewelry. The company moved into the costume jewelry business in the early 1930s. The company does business in New York City under the direction of Patricia (Pat) Ciner Hill. In 1978, with the help of her husband David, she began running the business her grandfather founded. Decades later, Hill continues to serve her customers writing orders for retail buyers in the company's wholesale... showroom. In the past Ciner jewelry was sold by upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and a number of department stores like Macy's along with various boutiques such as Ciro. The brand is still recognized and highly regarded today.
Ciner is known for using high quality glass beads and stones, rich enameling, and heavy metal settings with rich gold- and silver-tone plating giving the jewelry a substantial feel and longevity in wear. Pieces by this manufacturer -- many of which imitate fine jewelry -- have been owned and worn by numerous celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Sophia of Spain, according to a 1992 New York Times article on the company. Some the designs produced by Ciner in the 1950s and 1960s are still available for wholesale order today along with new, quite innovative designs.
Pieces of unmarked jewelry copying Ciner's designs, especially enameled animal bracelets, are frequently offered online as "unmarked Ciner." By and large, all jewelry made by this company would not leave the factory unmarked, according to information provided by Hill during a visit to the Ciner showroom. Some unmarked pieces have a circle pattern on the back that sellers will point to as being a Ciner characteristic. However, other brands, including the English costume jewelry company Sphinx, used the same type of pattern on some of their jewelry. Unless a piece is actually marked Ciner, it most likely was NOT made by this New York firm.
It is difficult to date Ciner jewelry using marks because some of the signatures have been reused again and again from decade to decade. In addition to the mark, it is wise to look at the overall construction, style and materials used to manufacture the jewelry comparing pieces known to be vintage with those newly distributed. Below are some guidelines to dating Ciner based on observations Pamela Y. Wiggins has made as a seller and collector of vintage costume jewelry for the past three decades.
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CINER Sterling Mark
Ciner stamped into metal work along with a sterling silver mark usually indicates that a piece was made in the 1930s. The company made their first costume jewelry in sterling silver, and very occasionally thereafter. Pieces with unmistakable Art Deco styling are definitely 1930s vintage.
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CINER in Block San Serif Letters
This mark was used prior to 1955 on costume jewelry of high quality featuring glass beads (usually on the clasp) and other rhinestone jewelry. The mark shown is incised into the metal. May have been used later, but usually with a copyright symbol after 1955.
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CINER with Copyright Symbol
When jewelry is marked with a copyright symbol, you can safely conclude that those pieces were made after 1955. The mark shown was molded into the casting of a brooch from the 1960s. This mark has also been found on earrings produced in the 1990s and 2000s.
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CINER in Block Serif Letters
This block letter mark was molded into the casting of a bracelet dating to the 1980s. However, it has also used on pieces made since then as well including brooches dating to the 1990s. It is importatnt to look at the overall styling and materials used in the composition when dating pieces with this mark.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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CINER with Copyright Symbol
This logo was used in vintage advertising dating to the 1940s. That doesn't mean jewelry with this mark is that old, however. This signature has been widely used to mark Ciner jewelry produced in the 1990s and 2000s.
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CINER with Registered Trademark Symbol
Mark found on clip earrings dating to the 1980s, but definitely used in the 1990s and beyond as well.
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