There are many beautiful and unique jewelries from nearly every era，The terms antique and vintage are often used more interchangeably than they should be. So, what’s the difference between antique and vintage jewelry?
Technically, a piece has to be at least a hundred years old in order to be considered an antique. However it’s not uncommon for both collectors and dealers to refer to pieces that are slightly newer than that as antique.
In order to be considered as vintage a piece generally has to be at least twenty years old. With that in mind, here are five great reasons to collect antique and vintage jewelry:
1) Outstanding Value
Did you know that antique, vintage and secondhand jewelry are VAT-exempt? That instantly makes these pieces 20% less expensive than a comparable piece of brand new jewelry!
In general, an antique or vintage piece will cost less than its modern counterpart because there are no manufacturing costs involved and because the stones are cheaper. Modern stones like round brilliant cut diamonds are more desirable to diamond dealers than antique old cut diamonds, which can result in significant savings. However, old cut stones are in no way inferior to modern stones, in fact, they’re highly desirable and collectable.
Antique and vintage jewelry consistently offers a better value than brand new jewelry, so in choosing a piece from the past such as this Edwardian era three stone diamond engagement ring, you’ll get more for your money.
2) Better Quality
Edwardian Era Diamond and Emerald Ring
People often lament, ‘they don’t make things like they used to’. This is true of many things, including jewelry.
While most modern jewelry is cast, antique jewelry is always handmade and vintage jewelry is sometimes handmade or at the very least hand-finished.
Antique and vintage jewelry is often imitated but rarely duplicated. Even in high-end bespoke modern pieces, it’s nearly impossible to find the same level of quality and workmanship as we commonly see in antique and vintage jewelry.
3) It’s an Investment
If you’ve ever tried to sell a piece of secondhand jewelry, you were probably shocked at how little you were offered for it. That’s because modern jewelry is valued based upon how much the metal and gemstones are worth separately on the wholesale market.
Antique and vintage jewelry is worth more than the sum of its parts because each piece is unique and it cannot be duplicated using modern production methods. Generally speaking, antique and vintage jewelry costs less than new jewelry and yet it’s worth more!
It’s like buying a car. A new car loses a significant amount of its value as soon as you drive it off of the lot, but there will always be a demand and buyers for beautiful antique and vintage cars.
4) It’s Unique and Romantic
When you buy a piece of antique or vintage jewelry, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever come across another piece exactly like it. Older pieces were created with an emphasis on design and craftsmanship, whereas many modern pieces are primarily focused on the size of the stone(s).
Even prolific styles like diamond solitaire engagement rings were unique in years past because they were often bespoke and handmade with beautiful flourishes like pierced openwork galleries, carved shanks, hand-done millegrain work, and calibré cut accent stones, which are rarely seen in modern jewelry due to the expense.
There’s an intangible element of romance that’s inherent in wearing a piece with history.
Antique jewelry tells the story of another time and place and it can be fun to imagine who wore it in the past, where it’s been and its story.
5) It’s Ethical and Environmentally Friendly
Many people are drawn to antique and vintage jewelry for ethical or environmental reasons.
The ethical issues associated with diamond and metal mining are well known and are understandably cause for concern. Jewelry that is made from ethically-sourced materials is available, but it commands a premium price and even with the best of intentions, you can never be 100% certain of its impact. Choosing antique or vintage jewelry is one way to know for sure that you aren’t contributing to these ongoing issues, and it won’t cost you a cent more.
It takes a significant amount of water and energy to mine gemstones and precious metals, this means that new jewelry cannot be produced in an environmentally friendly way. When you choose a beautiful piece of antique or vintage jewelry, you choose to be a conservator rather than a consumer.
When you buy a piece of jewelry with history, you’re supporting a local business instead of a big corporation. At the same time, you’re lessening your impact on the environment.
older pieces, there are many compelling reasons to buy antique and vintage jewelry.
Jewelry makes a very personal statement about the person wearing it, so the most important consideration should always be whether or not you love the piece. What does it say about you? How does it make you feel?