In Memory of Christie Romero


On September 5th, 2009, Christie Romero lost her valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.  She was the author of "Warman's Jewelry" (three editions) and the owner of the Center for Jewelry Studies. She is known throughout the world for her lectures, teaching, and seminars on vintage and antique jewelry.  She appeared regularly on the "Antiques Roadshow."  Christie's article for MODERN SILVER magazine "Basic Hallmark Identification" is one of our readers' all time favorites.

Christie was a beloved member of SilverForum--someone who was highly respected by the jewelry community as a whole and someone we will miss terribly. I considered Christie Romero a friend and colleague. She was generous with her knowledge and always willing to help others through her own research.

She was a scholar, historian, writer and leader in her field--the work she did and the books she wrote will continue to inspire and educate for many years to come--future generations will benefit from her excellent scholarship.

Marbeth Schon

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Remembrances of Christie Romero from members of SilverForum
 are found below.

Christie was an amazing person whose passionate spirit touched and inspired all those who knew her. Even from afar, you could feel the intensity of that laugh and warm smile, and watch her revel in the joy of her beloved jewelry. She was so committed to sharing her joy and knowledge with others that you could feel her reverberate and sparkle as she spoke... She is absolutely irreplaceable and one of a kind..

Sadly, she joins Lolly Commanday and Phyllis Goddard who are among those
we have loved and lost these past years....All were such special human beings with incredible energy and love...I hope they are having a posthumous and joyous jewelry festival together.-a glittering silver Woodstock for jewelry lovers!!!!!
we are all mourning her loss----jill crawford

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I was away this weekend on a birthday celebration, but was aware of her resent challenges in the Hospital. It wasn't until this moment that I had the chance to catch up on emails. I am truly broken hearted.

I too, have known Christie for many years, attending lectures that she has given in many locations, etc. We were more like amiable associates, for want of a better definition, over the years.

It wasn't until The Fort Wayne Exhibition that I found out about her illness, and from that moment on, I, through her graciousness, started emailing back and forth sharing more intimate thoughts. There was, and still is, a large group of folks, who were her prayer and spiritual support network. She cared for us all and took the time to keep us abreast of her condition with a true compassionate heart.

I feel lucky to have had the chance to get to know her a bit better.

Bless her, and bless all the folks who were on her emailing list who kept vigil Perhaps now we should extend loving energy to her grieving friends and family. I think she would appreciate it.

Best heart to you all and all those who knew her.

Sincerely,

Sheila Pamfiloff, who will forever be grateful for her company.

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She will be sorely missed. Always helpful and ready to share her expertise.

 I was fortunate enough to attend one of her seminars years ago and it was a wonderful experience, both learning and personal. I am so sad to hear this. It is another terrible loss for the jewelry community. A bright star gone much too soon.

Sadly--Rita Perloff

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I am actually full of grief because she represented someone who I've always aspired to in terms of achieving her quality of work and research. I have kept Christie's book to the right of my computer for years as a reminder of what can be done and should be done in terms of researching jewelry with regard to my own research on Napier. The writing of my own book has been greatly influenced by her.

Christie Romero's lecture was the first lecture that I ever attended back in 1999 I believe. Her passion and respect for the history of jewelry was beyond compare. There are very few authors, collectors or jewelry historians that haven't been affected by her work. We have all been beneficiaries.

I learned of Christie Romero's illness about two weeks ago. There's a part of me that now regrets not sharing with her just a note to tell her how much she influenced my own respect and awe of jewelry.

To Christie... Thank you for all your years of dedication directed towards the Center for Jewelry Studies, your book and your contribution to so many collectors. You planted the seed of knowledge, that for me, has fostered years of joy and research in the realm of jewelry history. You have influenced so many people and inspired them to inquire beyond the beauty of a piece but to its origin, its nature, it affect on society. Our community has forever been blessed by your presence, your dedication, your spirit. There are few people that come into this world who's work transcends beyond their lifetime... You are one of those rare gems.

Forever grateful,

Melinda Lewis

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I'm very sorry to hear this news, I did not know Christie but I can be sure she left many devastated family and friends much too soon.

My deepest condolences.

Nancy Pena

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I spent time with Christie when she came out for Jewelry Camp. She was as
enthusiastic, as vital, as completely engaged as ever, and I am finding it
terribly hard to believe that she's gone.

She was an exceptional woman and she met all the challenges of these last months
with great grace and bravery. I'm not surprised to read that many people didn't
even know she was ill; she was not about to let cancer define, or confine, her.

She was a jewel.

Martha Trachtenberg

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That is shocking--I didn't know she was ill. What a loss....

Wendy

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So sad to hear of her passing.  It is rare that you find someone with such passion for collecting and sharing her knowledge with others in her books.  She will be sorely missed.

Sincerely,

Fred Zweig

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Remembering Christie
I started visiting with Christie back in 1996 via email. What an encouragement she was to me in my thirst for knowledge. We had similar tastes in what we liked to wear as far as jewelry and I was lucky to have my pieces included in her second and third editions.

Meeting Christie at the "Maestros de Plata" exhibit when it was launched in San Antonio was a real high point for me.  We visited just like we'd known each other for ages.  I also met Phyllis Goddard and Patrick Kapty.  Patrick had been instrumental in introducing me to Christie years before.

It was lovely also to meet Penny Morrill and Sigi, but the highlight of my weekend was meeting Christie!!  Her sweet husband was so devoted.  Christie was wearing a vintage circular Mexican sequined skirt and was loaded down with gorgeous silver jewelry, much had been created for her by Maestro Sigi. Her knowledge was legendary as others have mentioned, but her sharing was second nature. She used her kind, quiet manner to make you feel like you'd discovered a treasure every time!

The jewelry world has a new angel!

BEEGEE

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I join you in mourning Christie's death. She was so positive and
courageous throughout her struggle with cancer, sharing her journey with all the
people who were praying for her. I am happy to say that I have not quite finished
the Margot de Taxco book so that there is still time to remember her in print -
with emphasis on the great help she was to me whenever I asked.

Penny Morrill

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I was surprised and saddened to read about Christie. I haven't known Christie as long as many of you but I always found her to be hugely helpful, eternally curious and very generous with her knowledge. I first met her by attending jewelry camp and her lectures were always very dynamic, interactive and engaging. The first time she bought something from me, I was hugely flattered!

An unopened package from Christie is sitting on my desk which contains some jewelry she wanted to try on and since I wasn't attending jewelry camp this year, I dropped it off with her friend and colleague Diana Singer who was attending. When I got back from Europe I had a very kind and somewhat apologetic email from Christie saying that she was sending the jewelry back as the earrings didn't hang right on her and the stone in the necklace was darker than she had thought.

What amazes me is that at a time when her illness must have been closing in, she was still attending jewelry camp, still teaching and still considering jewelry purchases. For someone to be so optimistic and refuse to cave in to a devastating illness is surely a sign of grace and very humbling.

Fran Schreiber

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What sad news.

My deepest condolences to her family, friends and the wider community of jewelry lovers. Her work will live on, and her life will be an inspiration to all of us.

Kindest regards,

Sarah Springham

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I am also saddened by this news. I had no idea she was ill.

I remember ordering a book from her to send to a friend. She emailed me to
thank me and asked if I wanted her to sign it before sending it to a
friend. Another time I asked her for direction on finding more references for
researching a piece. Even a few months after asking her, she wrote me
because she had found the mark of my item. I was amazed at her memory and her
thoughtfulness.

I will miss her.

Carmen
California

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I am so sorry to hear this, This is a great loss. I will miss her great knowledge and wonderfull personality.
 
Heidi Abrahamson

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I am Shocked and very sad to hear that Christie passed away. I didn't know that she was ill. I last saw her at UCLA's Silver Seduction show. I've been remembering her excitement whenever she looked at jewelry--her generosity with her knowledge was always so impressive!  In 1995, after she wrote her book, she came up to Santa Barbara for one of my Peregrine Gallery anniversary shows. She spoke on my Bakelite that was on exhibit and then spent hours talking and looking at my Taxco collection. Christie made it a very successful evening.  Her husband Jimmie was so patient. I feel for his lost. It brings tears to my eyes. I feel for my lost too.

Marlene Vitanza

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I was so sad to hear about Christie.  What a loss! 

Not only was she a great jewelry historian and teacher, but a fabulous singer.  I still have pictures on my bulletin board from a time when we were all teaching at jewelry camp in Providence, RI, around 1999 when she, Barry Weber, and a few others and I snuck away to a rented studio for an evening of rock n roll.  Barry played guitar, I played bass, Peter (opps what’s his last name?) played keyboards.  What a great memory!

I will always smile when I think of Christie.  She will be missed. 

Rock on in Heaven my friend!
Leslie Kinder, Melange Custom Jewelry, Wichita, Kansas

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