Vintage, as defined by Miriam Webster, means “of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance or quality.” When describing jewelry, images of elaborate but timeless pieces typically come to mind, perhaps even family heirlooms, but how old must a piece of jewelry be in order to be considered vintage?

How old is vintage?

 A jewelry piece must be less than 100 years old but typically older than 50 years old to be vintage. Vintage jewelry often belongs to easily recognizable eras, such as the Retro Modern Era of 1945-1950.  World events can shape these eras as WWII did for the Retro Modern Era. Gold was scarce during the war; therefore, platinum became a popular metal choice during this time. Hollywood also influenced this time period with bold and extravagant pieces.  Other eras have their own distinctive characteristics. 

Why Choose Vintage Jewelry?

Jewelry is often purchased to commemorate life events. History is interwoven into each piece of vintage jewelry through design and the life of the owner. It has a story to tell. Its past history is shared with the present and future of the new owner. By purchasing vintage jewelry, the owner adds to the history of an existing piece. Rather than being a starting point, you become the continuation of a story. 

Vintage jewelry is also eco-friendly and can be of extraordinary quality since it has survived the test of time. 

What to consider when purchasing vintage jewelry?

Just because jewelry has some age on it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a quality piece worthy of your collection. There are several things you should consider when purchasing vintage jewelry.

  • Condition. Check to make sure clasps still work and that there aren’t any kinks in chains that could easily break. Also, check that settings are secure and gemstones are clear.
  • Markings. Stamps may indicate a type of metal or designer. While the lack of markings doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality piece, the presence of markings can provide a little more detail about the origins.
  • Personality. Although a vintage piece may be beautiful, is it a good fit for you? Finding a piece that provides the history and beauty you desire while staying true to your personality will ensure your enjoyment for years to come. 
  • Purpose. Is your vintage purchase for you or someone else, either now or in the future? If your plan includes continuing the history of a vintage jewelry piece, a more timeless design piece would be the best choice.  

Vintage jewelry is a beautiful way to preserve and continue a legacy full of rich history. Purchasing a quality piece of vintage jewelry can be a daunting process. The jewelry experts at Casa D’oro Diamonds and Fine Jewelry have a great selection of vintage jewelry to help you find the perfect timeless look for your vintage jewelry collection.