The main things to look for today is particular designers and condition when buying vintage jewelry. A few Top designers of vintage jewelry are Alice, Coro, Triffari, Japan, Lisner, Gerry’s, Giovanni, Monet, and Weiss are just a few to mention. Another thing to look at is the era or circa ‘year’ and type or design of jewelry you like.
The 1935 to 1940 circa is considered a Retro style and was the beginning of costume jewelry which we consider Vintage jewelry today. Some made in fine or precious metals and gems some not. Many pieces offered synthetic stones in a variety of colors and the floral and bow brooch was a true love.
The next circa are the 1940’s which was retro as well and post war era pieces your grandmother and mother may have worn.
The jewelry of the 1940’s is very similar to 1930’s jewelry, but more dimensional and with design elements transitioning from Art Deco to a style that would eventually, due to WWII, come to be called Retro Modern. Also, Victorian Revival jewelry was still very popular during the 1940s, although the styles were more delicate than those of the thirties.
The 1950’s circa offered quite a bit of change in jewelry design. Looking more enchanting with larger rhinestones, floral pieces and large bows with stones The 1950’s developed it’s own definitive styles which include multi strand beaded necklaces with much larger beads than seen in the faux pearls in previous years. Lucite thermoset inserts of the ‘40s became the rage along with Confetti Lucite and embedded Lucite jewelry.
The 1960’s circa a lot of art deco was released with clear rhinestones, More pageant looking, a richer flashy look. Another look was an Art Nouveau revival in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. Pieces are very colorful, some almost psychedelic, including loads of cloisonné butterflies, dragonflies and lady motifs. The Art Nouveau revival of this era was also widespread in the print and home design industries.
The 1980’s which would be the newest or youngest pieces in the vintage lines, We seen more designers release pieces without the extreme rhinestones and offered more gold and silver, chunky pieces of jewelry. Feathers and Plastics. It seems as the years went by costume jewelry was make with less workmanship and more cheaper materials. We seen a flurry of imported plastics and cheaper painted metals. Many of these are still considered vintage. Most pieces from the 80’s still in very good condition were bought stored and never worn or just worn once or twice. They circa still is considered as vintage.
What to beware of is sellers who offer pieces that are remakes of REAL VINTAGE pieces. Brand new pieces of costume jewelry made in a old fashion or tribal pattern, does not make the piece vintage. The year the item was made alone is what will make a piece of jewelry Vintage.
Today we consider items made during the years of 1935 – 1981 as VINTAGE.
We advise against buying bulk by the pound, many times you may find boxes of so called VINTAGE or ANTIQUE jewelry for sale by the box or pound, you may find one or two pieces that are actually Vintage or Antique. Another problem by with buying bulk is many pieces are usually missing stones, pearls, closure pieces and are really not ‘ready to wear’ or in good condition.
Always work with a seller you know or can trust. Find the designs you like and treasure them, since most vintage jewelry pieces are works of art and very valuable. True Vintage jewelry are collectors pieces. Enjoy the Art from the past and pass it on to your own loved ones.
Have viewing all the beautiful pieces of jewelry available.
Vintage jewelry has become very popular. Whether gold, silver or costume jewelry it is all made well and has lasted nearly a century, Well on its way to becoming Antique jewelry. Vintage jewelry offers a certain style of jewelry. Whether it be from the 1930’s which is when true costume jewelry became popular or it be from the 1940’s – 1950’s when many designer brands came out that are oh so popular today.. Vintage jewelry is considered to be from the years of 1929 – 1980. Most people only want jewelry made before 1960 though due to workmanship, quality and design.
When buying vintage jewelry that may be Earrings, Rings, Necklaces, Pins and other pieces. Most collected today are Earrings, necklaces and pins. When we speak of vintage jewelry don’t let this article confuse you, We speak a lot of costume jewelry but we also include real gold and silver pieces too. The reason we focus on costume jewelry is that was the beginning of fine costume jewelry making during this era. It cost less and was just as beautiful if not more than a piece of real gold jewelry.
One thing about vintage jewelry is the pieces were made to last. They were colorful and vivid. In the 1930’s people were feeling the hardship of the depression. Costume jewelry made its way into the jewelry world. These pieces were made every bit as good as Real Gold and silver pieces. Many gold or silver placed or filled.
Look for hallmarks and metal marks. Gold is marked in a number then K for Karat. Gold fill or gold plate has value as well, but not near as much. Nice metal content or fine workmanship shows the piece was more expensive when new so probably is more valuable now. Even if the piece is not gold or silver.
Here are a few ways to tell if your jewelry may be vintage.
Look at the back of the piece. Is it rough or is it smooth? Older vintage jewelry is always smooth. It didn’t start having rough backs till about the 1970’s. Rhodium was used on most vintage jewelry and will still have a shiny silver or gold color today.
Rhinestones that are glued in can be an indication of age. Look for jewelry that has been set in with prongs holding the rhinestones in. Glued in (pasted) rhinestones are very pretty and can be old, but is not as valuable.
All vintage earrings had screw backs or clips. Screw backs were used up to the 1950’s and then everything switched to clips. Screw backs will probably not have a markers mark on it, but most clips will.
Most silver pieces will be marked on the earrings post/screw back. You may not even be able to tell a piece is silver until you clean it up.
A good designers name on a piece will add a great deal of value. Some people only buy a certain designer or collect an era and know the designers of costume jewelry from that period. A designer marked piece is usually a good find if it is marked. Style makes a difference. Even strange looking pieces should be bought if marked. Strange, unusual pieces can be the most valued to a collector.