When Emanuel Ciner founded his namesake company in 1892, he produced fine jewelry made of precious gems and metals. Naturally, when the company transitioned in 1931 to costume jewellery, which was very fashionable at the time, it made only finest quality necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pins. All the work was still done by hand, by top-notch craftsmen.
This emphasis on quality is why costume-jewellery collectors prize vintage Ciner pieces today. Ciner jewellery is often plated in 18-carat gold and adorned with either Swarovski crystals or faux pearls from Japan, which are made of a glass coated multiple times with a special glaze to achieve the glow of cultured pearls. Pieces with these high-quality fake pearls are very collectible, as are Ciner's figural pieces shaped like animals and flowers. Other signature Ciner looks include jewellery with tiny turquoise seed pearls or chokers and bracelets featuring crystal squares in interlocking zigzag patterns.
The pieces produced still retain many characteristics of fine jewellery including the use of good-quality beads and stones and substantial metal settings.
Ciner became massively popular in the late 1920s/early 1930s with the arrival of American department stores. They sold in stores such as Macy's with a mostly middle-class customer base.
Vintage Ciner jewellery is often quite difficult to date and so it is advised that collectors consider a range of factors including jewelry marks, style of items and materials used.
Pre-1955 Ciner jewellery contained the 'Ciner' logo, capitalised and using the San Serif font. This time period favoured rhinestones and glass beads.
Later pieces (from the 1980s) use the Serif font. It is unknown whether all early Ciner pieces contain the official logo and trademark with some collectors claiming that they do not.
It is also worth noting that not all Ciner pieces contain the copyright symbol and also sometimes they are inscribed with 'Ciner Sterling' or with the initials 'MC' inside a rectangle.