Buying vintage jewellery is fun and sustainable - wearing it reflects your personality! Before buying, familiarise yourself with the jewellery by going to auctions, antique or vintage fairs. Research books, for example, Miller's Costume Jewellery, Vivienne Becker's Fabulous Costume Jewellery and Carol Tanenbaum's Fabulous Fakes. All highly recommended. Ask questions. Dealers at vintage fairs or auctioneers are happy to answer. They are a wealth of information and love sharing their expertise. You can learn so much this way. Buy what you love. Stick to a certain period of time and style or buy what ever takes your fancy. You may go for floral themes such as leaves or flowers, or sentimental and romantic pieces that evoke the Edwardian period. It could be from the Art Nouveau movement or the 50's through to 2000's. True vintage should be 20 years old. Hard to believe that items from 2004 are considered vintage now! Consider Susan's 3C's when buying vintage jewellery: Credibility Craftsmanship Condition Credibility Does it have the correct stampings or logo if a designer piece? Are they well defined and clear? The high quality materials used were often gold plated, sometimes even triple plated. The crystals used were Austrian, most from Swarovski. Another important tell tale sign is the weight. The materials used in vintage jewellery were of a higher quality than those used today, resulting in each piece feeling more substantial than today's. CraftsmanshipDesigner vintage jewellery is impeccably made with a quality that is unmatched. The soldering should be smooth with no unfinished joints. Crystals should sit securely and be well positioned while clasps and links should be strong and work well. Faux pearls should have a luminous finish. Quality ones were manufactured with glass - Swarovski producing the finest. Condition Condition is important when buying. Check for repairs. Crystals should be original and not replaced unless with the original quality. There should be no soldering repairs - very rarely do they last. If your piece ticks all our 3C's, Susan says: "Go ahead and buy it!".
WHY VINTAGE? Jewellery introduces you before you even speak - it expresses your personality. The craftsmanship, design, extraordinary detail and individuality of vintage jewellery is what makes it even more prized and significant. There is the social history too, and as a culture we are fascinated by objects that have a past with so many stories behind each piece. There is something quite magical and mystical about a piece of jewellery from an era gone by - it always makes for a topic of conversation! Reinvigorating the past through the revival of vintage jewellery makes sustainability a key component Choosing vintage jewellery is environmentally friendly. It reduces the need for new production, lowering the overall environmental impact associated with manufacturing processes. As we focus on reducing our carbon footprint, vintage jewellery (already in existence) goes a long way to drive a much-needed circular economy. WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING VINTAGE JEWELLERY When looking to buy vintage jewellery, we always encourage our consumer to start with a piece that has caught their initial attention. Follow our 3C’s - credibility, craftsmanship & condition. ‘Credibility’ is ensuring its authenticity by establishing if the piece is original. ‘Craftsmanship’ is ensuring that the design was correctly executed for that period by reviewing key components, for example, the weight. ‘Condition’ is understanding if the piece is in its original condition or if there have been any repairs or considerable wear that will affect the value.