Archive for Vintage jewelry
Wearing vintage jewellery has never been more popular and more and more people are looking to buy the genuine article. Buying genuine vintage jewellery is quite complex , this buyers guide offers a few hints and tips on what to look out for and what to avoid . I have broken the guide down into several blog articles – today’s covers What is vintage jewellery. Further parts to this guide will include, where to find vintage jewellery, the different terms to look for, a guide to the different metals and materials including gemstones. How to choose a necklace, buyers guide to pearls, brooches bracelets and vintage rings. Hope you find these useful and please do get in touch if there is anything you think I am missing here.
What is Vintage jewellery?
Genuine Vintage jewellery is jewellery from another era, I would say that it is from the 1980s or before. Vintage jewellery has been pre-owned it is not a brand that you can buy new. As such a seller of vintage jewellery will rarely have more than one of any piece and if a seller has more than one available than I would question if it is genuine vintage or a modern copy.
Vintage jewellery is generally though to date from circa 1920s to circa 1980s ( different sellers may alter these dates to include the 1900s). Before this date jewellery is normally thought of as antique jewellery.
Through the era 1920s to 1980s several decorative styles emerged and you may find your vintage jewellery referred to as Art Deco, Modernist, Retro or by the decade eg 1950s jewellery. Jewellery which dates from the last 20 years would not normally have the style of a previous era and so is though of more as second hand than vintage.
The popularity of old jewels has led to the mass production of new jewellery in vintage style – with a practiced eye you can tell this new jewellery from genuine vintage . The manufacturers are quite cleaver and use several terms in their descriptions to hide the fact that the jewellery is new ( see my buyers guide to “vintage jewellery terms” coming soon).
Made over Vintage
Many piece of old jewellery are now being “made over” into something new. I have seen brooches made into rings and hair slides, all sorts of vintage jewellery incorporated into charm bracelets and necklaces. Some of these pieces are quite pretty and if the original jewellery is no longer in good condition its a great way for the piece to become wearable again. The problem with these made over pieces of vintage jewellery is that they are being sold as vintage without mentioning that they are made over or new. Once again there are several clues to the changes this jewellery has undertaken and my future buyers guide to avoiding new and made over vintage will help you recognise such pieces.
Why buy vintage?
There are several good reasons why you may wish to buy genuine vintage jewellery rather than new, new vintage style or made over.
Genuine vintage jewellery has often been made in a different way to new – most new vintage style jewellery is an inferior imitation made in the far east. Most genuine vintage jewellery would have been made in the UK, Europe or the USA. The materials are different and so is the quality. I shall be covering these in my buyers guide to vintage jewellery materials and techniques.
Vintage jewellery is much more likely to be a good investment than made over or new and a future buyers guide will cover buying vintage jewellery for the future. Also old jewels are more likely to be unique and you will not see another wearing the same pieces.
Fun, thats one of the best reasons for buying genuine vintage jewellery. What can be more exciting than finding just the right, unique piece?
Please watch out for my detailed vintage jewellery buyers guides coming soon.