What is Coro Silver?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Coro silver is a part of a brand of jewelry made by the company of Cohn & Rosenberger. The company was founded in 1901 as an accessory boutique, but the owners were business men rather than craftsmen and hired others to make the jewelry. In 1943, the company name changed to Coro, after the first two letters of each partner’s name. Coro silver is noted for its intricate design and became popular as a maker of costumer jewelry in the mid 20th century.

Woman posing
Woman posing

In the early decades of the company, many craftsmen who would go on to start their own lines worked as artisans for Coro. Gene Verecchio, Robert Geissman and Massa Raimond all worked designing Coro silver early in their careers. Because the jewelry is marked with the company label rather than the artist’s initials, it is now difficult to distinguish each artisan’s work.

Authentic Coro silver is marked by either the word “Coro” or the letters “CR,” and frequently combined with a Pegasus mark. As the company is no longer in business, Coro silver is considered a vintage item and can be quite expensive, depending on the age and complexity of the piece. But during its operation, Cohn & Rosenberger created lines of jewelry for all budgets, so it is possible to find some simpler Coro silver pieces for under $10 U.S. Dollars (USD). The most intricate pieces, especially those marketed under the secondary label “Vendome,” can range from $200- $500 USD.

The company produced a signature piece of jewelry called the Coro Duette. This innovative piece consisted of two separate pins that could be connected via a patented catch to make one larger brooch. Coro Duettes are easily found online or through costume jewelers, and often feature intricately carved Coro silver that interconnects.

Coro silver is most famous for its delicate floral designs. Using colorful semiprecious stones, enamel and glittering rhinestones, the Coro brand features pins, necklaces and bracelets designed to resemble dozens of flowers. Coro jewelry also often features birds, cherubs and horse motifs. During World War II, Corocraft made patriotic-styled jewelry, including an American flag pin that is a highly sought-after collector’s item.

In the 1950s, Coro began using Lucite to produce the popular chunky jewelry of the time. These large and lustrous pieces are eye-catching, and look fantastic with vintage or retro clothes. Lucite Coro jewelry is quite affordable, most ranging from $10-$50 USD.

In the 1960s and 1970s, natural materials such as ceramic beads and natural stones became popular. Coro could not manage to convert operations to add to these rapidly growing trends, and lost considerable U.S. business. In 1979, Coro ceased U.S. production, and has since closed down world-wide.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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