The correct accessories, unlike any other addition to the ensemble you’re choosing for the day, will give you an extra bit of pop. Even belts and scarves, though functional and funky, can’t do what vintage jewelry can do for a personal fashion statement. The wearer’s fashion perspective or an appreciation for classic designs can be revealed or for use as a conversation starter with a stranger in the coffee shop, unique pieces, like broaches, necklaces or eye-catching rings do the trick.
What Exactly Qualifies as “Vintage”?
Because the meaning of “vintage” is usually quite broad, sometimes it is difficult to know how it relates specifically to jewelry. Plus, the use of similar terms such as “antique” and “estate” when describing jewelry can further muddy the waters. Generally speaking, an item needs to be at least a hundred years old to qualify as “antique,” while “vintage” generally refers to an item that is more in the range of fifty years old. To further establish it as “estate” jewelry, the piece will likely have been owned by someone else.
“Vintage” often means different things to different people which is of important note. Some would say the term could make reference to an item clearly tied to a specific design style, for instance Mid-Century, but not a specific age. It’s crucial that one identifies a piece’s era before claiming an item is vintage or before purchasing jewelry labeled as such.
On the Hunt for Quality Pieces
It is always a good idea to do a little research before handing over money for a piece of jewelry as is the case with any preowned item. There are a couple of things that can prove useful in this process including knowing a particular designers’ marks or a company’s icon and having an understanding of the styles from various eras. It is best if you can recognize identifying traits such as if an item’s patina or gem-setting method can help peg it to a period of time.
If a store is displaying five rings of the same style, those are new pieces as opposed to vintage because preowned jewelry typically is one of a kind. A piece may have been manufactured a week ago and then treated to look aged.
Reputable sellers are able to show that their jewelry isn’t just authentically vintage, but also that gemstones or metals on the pieces are genuine. Buyers shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions prior to making a purchase.
Jewelry Care Suggestions
It is very important to store and clean the collection properly if you wish to wear vintage jewelry on a daily basis. All pieces need to be arranged so that they are not bumping into or scratching each other, and any items that are strung, for example pearl necklaces or jewelry with beading, should lie flat to prevent stretching. Since they can cause glues to break down or metals to pit, high heat and moisture should be avoided. Jewelry should be removed before one uses household cleaning chemicals.
There are many jewelry cleaners that can be used on vintage items. Glass cleaner, if used carefully, is acceptable too. Jewelry should be totally dry before it is nestled into its storage pouch or a curio cabinet regardless of which is used.
Stylish, classic items are an ideal addition to any jewelry wardrobe. Owners can enjoy their unique statement pieces for years to come when they know characteristics, shop intelligently and take good care of items.
Tags: vintage jewelry, vintage estate jewelry