When picking an outfit for the day, few additions give your ensemble that extra bit of pop like the right accessories. 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 point of view 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” can be fairly broad, it is sometimes difficult to know how it pertains specifically to jewelry. When describing jewelry, the waters can be further muddied by the use of similar terms like “antique” and “estate.” Generally speaking, an item has to be at least 100 years old to qualify as “antique,” while “vintage” often refers to an item that is more in the range of fifty years old. The latter also most likely means the jewelry has been owned by another person, making it also fall into the “estate” category.
“Vintage” could mean different things to different people which is of important note. The term could make reference to an item clearly tied to a specific design style, for example Mid-Century, but not a specific age as some would say. It’s important that one identifies a piece’s era before claiming an item is vintage or before purchasing jewelry labeled as such.
On the Hunt for Top Quality Pieces
It’s always a smart idea to do a little research before handing over money for a piece of jewelry as is the truth with any preowned item. Knowing particular designers’ marks or a company’s icon can be helpful, as is a having a basic understanding of the styles from various eras. If an item’s patina or gem-setting method can help peg it to a time frame, it’s best to be able to identify those traits.
If a store is displaying five rings of the same style, those are new pieces rather than vintage because preowned jewelry usually is one of a kind. A piece may have been manufactured last week and then treated to seem 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.
Caring for a Mature Jewelry Collection
For individuals who would like to wear vintage jewelry every day, it’s crucial to store and clean the collection properly. All pieces must be arranged so that they are not bumping into or scratching one another, and any items that are strung, like pearl necklaces or jewelry with beading, should lie flat in order to prevent stretching. Given that 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 several jewelry cleaners that can be used on vintage items. Careful use of glass cleaner is okay also. Regardless which is used, jewelry should be totally dry before it is nestled into its storage pouch or a curio cabinet.
Any jewelry wardrobe can profit from stylish, classic items. Owners can enjoy their unique statement pieces for a long time when they know characteristics, shop prudently and take good care of items.
Tags: vintage estate jewelry, vintage jewelry