You don’t need to be a jewellery expert to enjoy and seek out vintage jewellery. With just a little bit of know-how you might spot a beautiful vintage piece that’s worth more than you think! If however Vintage is something you’ve stayed away from, we hope this guide will change your mind.
First off, what makes jewellery Vintage?
Jewellery that is Vintage has been previously owned but was created sometime in the last 100 years from the present day. If you’re currently looking for a Vintage engagement ring, enquire about the age of the ring; Vintage pieces should be around 20-30 years old but no more than 100, as this would make it Antique.
How do I know my Vintage jewellery is the real deal?
If you’ve come across a piece and you’re really unsure about its authenticity – ask an expert. Have it looked at by a professional. Stones and gems can be copied and created quite easily in the modern day; a good place to start if you’re unsure is checking the price, does it seem too good to be true?
Other important details to look for are hallmarking, signatures and manufacture locations, a piece may not have all of these, but authentic pieces should have hallmarking. In fact all jewellery that has been created with gold, platinum, silver or palladium and is sold in Britain must be hallmarked. This is your seal of approval and quality to ensure you’re picking up a winner.
Which Vintage era is the one for you?
There’s actually lots of choice when it comes to Vintage jewellery, it’s never simply just Vintage, so which one sounds like your ideal piece?
Edwardian Era (1901 – 1920)
Edwardian jewellery includes a distinct feature called the ‘Filigree technique’ which created a stunning appearance of lace, almost as though the gold and silver had been threaded on by hand. Common stones and metals used were Diamonds, Pearls and platinum which were highlighted through these exquisite techniques.
Art Deco Era (1920 – 1935)
Art Deco is one of our favourite eras; it’s full of life and personality and has captured some beautiful designs which are very distinct to this era. Travel back to the Roaring Twenties, where you’ll find all these beautiful designs of geometric s and futuristic shapes. Art Deco jewellery reflected on life at the time.
Retro Era (1935 – 1950)
Also known as ‘Cocktail jewellery’, Retro jewellery started to become popular around the 1930’s and followed through all the way into the 1940’s. Retro jewellery was over-sized and was a big hit in Hollywood, as the jewellery oozed glitz and glamour – something all of the stars wanted a piece of. If you’re looking for Retro jewellery search for key themes such as bows, ribbons and flowers.
You may also want to explore other eras such as Victorian (1836 – 1901) and Georgian (1714 – 1837).
Quality is Key
It’s important that the quality of the piece can withstand daily wear, especially if it’s an engagement or wedding ring that is worn daily. Avoid pieces that look as though gems may be loose and check over the entirety of the piece for any signs of damage. Although some scuffs are part of the jewellery’s past and personality, you don’t want something that requires a lot of attention and may have lots of its value due to these damages.
Make it your own
Don’t forget, if you come across a ring that is too small or too big, resizing your vintage ring won’t affect the value as long as the main components stay the same. This way you can almost customise your jewellery to make it unique to you. You may wish to remove the stone and place it in a new metal; of course we advise talking to a professional who can explain all of your options. Customised and unique vintage rings are a great way of having something personal, especially if the jewellery piece is for an engagement, wedding or other special occasion.
Where Can I Find Vintage Jewellery?
Vintage jewellery might just turn up anywhere! Charity shops and markets may have some wonderful surprises by those who don’t realise they could be holding hidden treasures. Of course, if you’re looking to buy from a trusted resource, independent jewellers have a range of Vintage and Antique jewellery and they should provide advice if you’re interested in the authenticity & quality of the piece.
If you’re search begins for beautiful Vintage jewellery or you have a few questions, speak to us at Jollys Jewellers, we’re an independent, family run jewellery business and pride ourselves on bringing you the finest vintage and antique jewellery.
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