All information below was previously part of www.roadkillontheweb.com and was written by Lee Exline, National DeSoto Club.
This is one of my little addictions! Desoto related jewelry. This can include Desoto specific items as well as MoPar and Chrysler corp. stuff (I.E. forward look items) of that vintage and some made later. There are a number of pieces that were made by aftermaket companies and some are still being made and are generally still easily available like the hat pins that you can pick up at the local swap meet. And some that are only related to Desoto by chance some examples would be The lions club in Desoto IA made a small hat/lapel pin in the shape of the side view of a 57 Desoto with the wheels being the clubs logos. Also several years ago the lead east organization used the illustration of a jukebox loaded in the trunk of a 57 Desoto as it's logo theses are just a sample of the other pieces available that I have. I would have to say that the cream of the crop has to be the jewelry that was available through Chrysler corp. to its dealer network. As awards or just for decoration. And my personal favorite since most of these items were made in limited quantities and were not intended for distribution to the general public they are very challenging to find. I would have to say that the hardest pieces to find would be the women's pieces in this category. Most of the dealership staff would have been male and it appears that not very often did the dealership owners buy MoPar jewelry for the female staff nor did the salesmen buy them for their wives very often. On one occasion I was showing my collection to a local ex-Desoto salesman when his wife asked him why he never got any of those for her! I have a feeling that this is not an uncommon situation.
Picture #1 These are probably the rarest in my collection. The Hernando head brooch is sterling and is incrusted with over 20 small rhinestones? on the helmet and 2 blue sapphires? In the eyes and measures 1 3/8" high next to it is a Desoto crest pendant is goldtone with 48 clear rhinestones? on the outer rim and over 60 red stones in the center my guess is that they both date from the early 50s. The brooch below came from the same estate but I have not positively identified it yet.
Picture # 2 shows a 1957 vintage master salesman's award Tie clip and lapel pin that has a small diamond chip at the bottom (mine has fallen out and I have yet to replace it) the forward look insignia is set in red with the rest of the pin in goldtone except the black lettering. There is also a ring with this pattern on it that I have seen but have not had the opportunity to acquire yet. I would be curios to know if they made a special pin for Mrs. Fern Weavill who won the award in 1958 when she worked at the hill Probert motors Desoto dealership in larkspur California. And was the only woman to do so at that time.
Picture #3 shows some of my pieces with the Desoto insignia used in the early 50s the tie clip in the shape of a key is a vintage after-market piece that could be cut and would work if you lost your other keys. The other tie clip is part of a set with cufflinks for the salesman to wear. I had some earlier pieces but have sold them before I started collecting dealer jewelry seriously. They looked just like the emblems used on the trunks of the cars.
Picture #4 shows some of the forward look pieces that I have this is the largest part of my collection although not Desoto specific. This insignia was the calling card for the new styling for the entire Chrysler corp. line and as far as I can tell the only thing put out from approx. 1956 -59 and since my car displays this insignia on the rear quarters I have concentrated heavily on these pieces. Starting on the upper left is the earliest piece (circa 1955) a lapel pin with a screw back and slightly different profile than the later ones. Next is the 56- 57 lapel pin, ear rings, tie clip and brooch. In approx. 58-59 the wider of the two V's was highlighted with a black insert on what had previously been all goldtone pieces on the bottom row is a set of cufflinks the background is red with a gold and white insignia. I also have the tie clip (not shown).
Picture #5 these 2 pieces are the odd balls of the bunch first is the missile system lapel pin from Chryslers defense division (the Red Rock Program) of the late 50s and probably the newest piece from the Desoto era this little pin is from the sharpshin society a group started in 1960 comprised of MoPar parts dept. managers and carries a tiny forward look insignia in the center.
Picture #6 Probably one of the oldest pieces in my collection is this Pocket watch chain! I am just showing the 2 ends as I have it sewn into a display case.
The service department was provided a number of jiffy tech pieces (the little robot guy) that I have not collected but would be glad to feature is someone would provide the info. I would also love to hear from anyone with other pieces especially earlier ones.
The items shown are but a small portion of my collection, and I am always looking to expand my collection! Do you have any extra pieces to sell?