Who doesn’t love fine vintage jewellery? The superb workmanship required to make such fine Jewellery makes it even more appealing. If you are planning to start a vintage jewellery collection, there is much to consider.
Here are a few tips for collecting vintage jewellery.
✓ Research Your Chosen Periods – Whether you prefer Art Deco or Retro style jewellery, doing some online research will expand your knowledge and that has to help when sourcing specific pieces. The more you know about the Victorian period, the less likely you are to pay more than a piece is worth.
✓ Make A Connection With An Established Antique Dealer – Check out the stunning vintage pieces only from a leading antique dealer. Once you forge a connection with an established antique dealer, they are able to source a specific piece that you are looking for. Antique dealers have global connections, so sourcing a particular piece is not an issue.
✓ Visit Fairs & Auctions – This is one good way to find vintage jewelry and if you know your antiques, you might find very valuable pieces being sold for next to nothing. If there are car boot sales, these are good places to find vintage jewellery, as people clear their homes of unwanted stuff that may have belonged to their parents.
✓ Online Solutions – There are many Facebook groups that connect buyers with sellers and you can make a secure online payment and a seller will send you the pieces. Another good source is when you buy antique rings online from trusted dealers, who always have an extensive catalogue of genuine vintage and antique jewellery.
✓ Check For Hallmarks & Symbols – Every piece of hand-made jewellery should have the maker’s mark, while gold, silver or platinum should have a hallmark stamped somewhere. If you are unable to identify a piece of vintage jewellery, you can always take it to an experienced antique dealer who would be able to appraise the piece. Gold is stamped for purity – 9k, 14k, 18k, 22k and 24k – while it should also have a stamp from the assayer office.
✓ Regular Cleaning – If you want your vintage jewellery collection to always look its best, do a weekly/monthly clean. Pour some warm water and mild detergent into a bowl and using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush over the piece, making sure to get into all the difficult parts. This should remove all dirt and grime. Don’t forget to rinse the jewellery in clean water before drying it with a soft, dry cloth. Better not to use chemicals to clean jewellery, as they could damage gemstones and metal.
✓ Professional Appraisal – If you are unsure about the authenticity (or value) of a particular piece of jewellery, the best solution is to ask an antique dealer to appraise the item. The expert can accurately value the item and can probably tell you a lot about its history.
Of course, there are many places where you can find vintage jewellery and hopefully, all the above information helps you to gather an impressive collection of fine vintage jewellery, which you can wear with your many outfits.
Many people start a vintage jewellery collection with a view to creating a legacy that can be handed down to their children and their children’s children; others prefer to choose a select number of items that are worn as accessories. Whatever the reason for collecting fine vintage jewellery, such items are a good long-term investment, as vintage one day becomes antique.
I somehow never picked up the habit of wearing jewelry. I have a few rings, etc., but rarely wear them. I have some cameo rings that I really like but they are all in their boxes, lol.
Some of my favorite types of jewelry are cameos and pearls. I love old-style pieces, and especially art deco.
Shannon Victoria Holmes
Thanks for this article, it was very helpful.
Vintage jewelry would always be my choice. It just has so much more style!
I collect vintage costume jewelry and reading this I am falling down on the job. Going to print this out to make sure I do all the stuff. I have a mixed bag of earring, pins, necklace and bracelets. A few I have the whole set. For Christmas I picked out some bracelets that I knew my nieces would wear. Gave each of them 4 pieces 3 bracelets and a necklace. One of the bracelets I found on line was selling for $300. Maybe someday my collection will be valuable or it would make great dress up jewlwery for kids. Most of my pieces are at least 60 yrs old. I do have some real pieces that mother has had for years and she has given them to me.
This post was super informative to read. I like the look of vintage jewelry and some of it is so pretty just not my style.