Are you curious about whether or not your jewelry is vintage? Are you looking to make some money off your jewelry, and want to make sure that you're getting your money's worth?
We've got the tips and tricks you need to know to spot vintage jewelry today.
What Qualifies as Vintage Jewelry?
First, you'll have to understand what counts as vintage jewelry. Vintage jewelry is distinct from antique jewelry.
Vintage jewelry is jewelry that is at least forty years old, while antique jewelry is jewelry that is at least one hundred years old. If your jewelry was made recently, it's probably contemporary jewelry.
There's a basic rule of thumb you can use. If a piece of jewelry was made before 1989, it probably qualifies as vintage.
Check Out the Style of Your Jewelry
Looking at the style of your jewelry is one good way to figure out whether or not it is vintage jewelry.
Some styles are specific eras, so it's easier to discern whether or not the jewelry is vintage or not. Georgian style jewelry, for example, dates from 1700 to 1830, while Victorian jewelry dates from 1830 to 1900.
Edwardian jewelry comes from the years 1900 to 1910, Art Nouveau style jewelry comes from the time spanning between 1890 and 1910, and Art Deco jewelry comes from 1915 to 1935. Retro jewelry comes from the years 1930 to 1940. That means that these types of jewelry are all antique styles, rather than vintage.
Look at the Materials
Different materials were more popular in making jewelry in different eras, so checking the material type can be an easy way to identify whether a piece of jewelry is vintage or not.
Retro jewelry tends to contain larger, cheaper stones and is made from materials like yellow gold, white gold, sterling silver and rose gold.
Mid-century jewelry features more colorful stones, along with metal like platinum, silver, and gold. Contemporary jewelry tends to favor metals like platinum, silver, sterling silver and rose gold.
Other materials were popular for brief periods. Bakelite, for example, has had periods of being in fashion for jewelry making. This is also true for items like foil opals, paste, or camphor glass.
You can also look for imprints on the material, to see how it was made. Many older pieces of jewelry are stamped by the manufacturer or creator.
Different periods use different earring backs. Brooches have different clasps in different eras, and some may have been altered since they were originally made. Keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious on the jewelry, since that could be a sign of alteration.
You can also use photos from the era you suspect your jewelry might be from, in order to match it with similar pieces.
Vintage Jewelry Is Just the Beginning
Clearly, it's not as difficult as you may think to tell real vintage jewelry from the fake stuff. You just need to make sure you know what you are looking for.
Are you interested in selling your vintage jewelry? Make sure that you contact us today for more information