Are you planning to increase your collection of vintage costume jewelry? Or do you have a friend or loved one who loves vintage jewelry and would absolutely relish adding a new piece their collection? Herein we will delve into the considerations to have in mind while shopping for vintage costume jewelry.
Shopping For Vintage Costume Jewelry
Just as it is the case with anything you purchase, it is in your best interest to go after pieces that are in mint condition. While the vast majority of Victorian-era pieces, all the way through to the 1930s will sport a vintage look – they will not look absolutely new – it is possible to find jewelry pieces from the 1940s to the 1970s that has an almost new appearance. In worse case scenarios, they will they will have light wear and tear. As such, never settle for poor-conditioned pries just in the name of vintage costume jewelry.
With this in mind, be on the lookout for missing parts, worn plating, scratched or chipped enamel, missing stones, cloudy or darkened rhinestone, and defective clasps. These are problems that lower the value of a vintage piece. However, you should also avoid pieces that have haphazard stone replacements, and poor quality sloppy soldier repairs.
To this end, always carry out a close inspection of any prospective jewelry piece to ensure you notice these details if they are there. Furthermore, you should be very careful when making online purchases. Closely examine photos of the jewelry pieces.
The golden rule according to Modern Vintage Style is to is to always take your time and never purchase a vintage costume jewelry piece on a whim.
Place Emphasis On Quality
Another golden rule is to always make an attempt to purchase high-quality pieces, generally. Nonetheless, you can always buy a low-quality piece that is fun and you love it, but high-quality pieces tend to hold value far better than pieces that are worn out or made with cheap materials. Furthermore, they tend to withstand wear far much more over the course of time.
As such, look for signs of quality such as smooth plating, substantial weight, and sparkling stones. Additionally, you should consider the manufacturer of the piece. Manufacturers such as Miriam Haskell, Eisenberg, and Schreiner are the renowned high-end jewelry manufacturers. The medium range manufacturers renowned for their quality prices include Kramer and Weiss.
You should also note that is it not necessary for the jewelry piece to be signed. There are numerous known pieces in the secondary market including the ‘Juliana’ made by DeLIzza & Elster in the hands of collectors. Furthermore, all the aforementioned companies have produced and marketed unsigned jewelry pieces at some time.
That being said, you should note that a signed piece will be far more appreciated when you gift an avid vintage collector. On the other hand, someone who will use the piece as a fashion accessory might not really care about the signature.
When exploring a vintage costume jewelry piece, you should consider the types of jewelry that you (or the recipient of the piece) are comfortable wearing. The colors, the size, the overall style, and the durability of the piece should influence your purchase.
For instance, when you purchase a clear rhinestone brooch, you can use with a denim jacket or shirt and still look fabulous, even though one wears casual attire. However, a colorful vintage brooch will go well with any business attire.
And when gifting, you need to consider the recipient. It does not make sense to purchase a dainty rhinestone ring for your mom who wears bold and flashy jewelry. Similarly, it does not make sense to purchase a large brooch for your 15-year old daughter since most teenagers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one these days.
Add A Personal Touch To Your Gift!
To make the gift of vintage costume jewelry even more personal, ask the jewelry seller to give you some background information. This may include the background of former owners (better known as provenance), the materials used to make the piece, distinguishing design characteristics, era, and age of the piece, the manufacturer or the designer. This is especially a good way of making the piece more personal and priceless for people interested in vintage costume jewelry.
Whether you are interested in a gift for your vintage costume jewelry collecting friend or a fashionable piece for the moment piece, there are numerous websites to shop from. Many of these websites have jewelry pieces ranging from the Victorian era all the way to 1970s. Some these companies also stock collectible contemporary pieces from today’s the best designers. We have listed these websites at our “Shopping Spot” section.