Whether you’re an experienced antique collector or just interested in getting started, you should know plenty of things before purchasing an antique piece.
Buying and collecting vintage jewelry supports the work of skilled artisans who create beautiful pieces by hand. It also protects the environment and promotes ethical sourcing.
What is it?
Best antique jewelry is a term used to describe fine pieces of crafted jewels over 100 years old. It includes Art Deco-era jewels and baroque and Victorian-era pieces.
Vintage jewelry, on the other hand, is a term used to describe pieces of crafted jewels that are less than 100 years old. This type of jewelry is generally more accessible than antique pieces and can be purchased at a fraction of the price of fine antique pieces.
One way to determine whether your jewelry is vintage is by its material. Gold is a common material used for vintage jewelry as it was relatively soft and lightweight at its creation. It is also a durable metal that can be shaped into intricate design details and held tightly to the body.
Another critical factor in determining the authenticity of your jewelry is its maker. Look for the names of famous designers from a particular year or decade to see if they had their signature imprinted on a piece. It can increase the value of your jewelry exponentially.
The type of clasps used on your necklace, pin, or bracelet can also help date it. For example, if you have a ring or brooch with a lobster clasp, it was widely used in the 70s. C, trombone and box clasps are other fasteners that tell you when your piece was made.
How do I know if it’s authentic?
There are many factors to consider when determining whether a piece of jewelry is authentic. One of the most important things is the manufacturer’s mark. It is a small stamp, usually imprinted with the designer’s name or the jewelry maker that made the piece.
Another thing to look for is the gemstone cut. It can indicate when the piece was manufactured and what type of stones were in vogue then. For example, if the jewelry is crafted from a rose-cut gemstone rather than a diamond, this can strongly indicate that it was created during a vintage period.
The clasp on a bracelet or necklace can also be another sign of age. The types of fasteners that were popular at the time can be an essential factor in determining their authenticity. For instance, C clasps were more commonly used than lobster clasps.
Finally, a piece should be clearly labeled with its date or the era it was created in. It can be done by a reputable jeweler or on the back of the piece.
There is a surge of fake antique jewelry on the market today, but plenty of sincere people are willing to help you identify fraud. Just be sure to do your research and trust a seller that you can rely on.
How do I know if it’s worth anything?
Antique jewelry is a great way to add an element of history and style to your wardrobe. It’s also a great way to make a tidy profit when you’re ready to downsize your collection or sell it for extra cash.
Vintage jewelry is crafted with superior craftsmanship from higher-quality materials compared to modern pieces found on the market today. This makes it an excellent investment for buyers and collectors.
If you need to check whether your necklace or ring is old, check its hallmarks. These markings can identify the metal content, country of origin, and whether it’s a precious metal, like silver or gold.
You should also check the clasps and pins on your jewelry. The type of clasps used on necklaces, bracelets, and earrings can indicate their age. The box clasp, for example, was commonly used on bracelets and bangles from the 1920s through the 1970s.
Another way to determine if your piece is old is to look for a specific designer’s signature or mark. It can increase your piece’s value dramatically.
Lastly, you should check the gemstones in your jewelry to see if they’re genuine. For example, if you have a diamond, it’s essential to fit the shape and cut of the stone. The older the amount, the more valuable it is because this can identify the era the diamond was mined and fashioned.
Where can I find it?
Whether you’re an antique jewelry collector or want to own some vintage pieces to wear regularly, there are many ways to find your perfect piece. You can start by scouring your local thrift stores or flea markets for old and vintage details waiting to be discovered.
Estate sales are another great option. They are a bit like yard sales but much more prominent in scope. You can also check out local auction houses for upcoming events.
You can also search online for vintage and antique jewelry to see if you can find a good deal. Some popular sites are Grailed Vintage and Vestiaire Collective, which offer thousands of designer pieces in various styles from different periods.
Before you buy any vintage jewelry, make sure to track down any authentication paperwork that may exist. It could be a purchase receipt, care, maintenance logs, or insurance paperwork.
For example, if you have a necklace or bracelet labeled Tiffany, you can get the original paperwork from the company. It might even be in a special box or case.
You can search for vintage jewelry at an estate sale or pawn shop to find pieces worth money. It can be more time-consuming than just visiting an online site, but it’s the best way to find the exact work you want.