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Feature Article: 7 Tips On Buying Vintage Jewelry
Vintage jewelry is very much back in fashion especially those with animal or birds motif. But before you go out to your nearest vintage shop for a piece or scout the local thrift shops for an unusual piece, here are some points you should keep in mind:
1. First of all, "vintage" jewelry can encompass a wide period of time. Generally, it starts from Georgian era (1714-1837) and continues to 1950-1960's. So the first thing that you have to know while looking at a vintage piece is which era it belongs to.
2. If you are not particularly looking for a period piece, but interested in vintage jewelry in general, then the first thing that you should do is check the clasp of the piece you are examining. The clasps of different era differ vastly and you can easily place a jewelry piece to its era by examining the clasp closely.
3. Next thing to look for is the condition of the jewelry piece. Of course some items, especially if they are from Victorian era or earlier will have a "vintage" look to it, but those from 40's, 50's or 60's may come in almost mint condition. The things to see is that, the pieces should not have missing stones or parts, chipped enamels, cloudy rhinestones or any other serious faults. The pieces showing haphazard replacement of stones or sloppy repair work should also be avoided especially if they are coming with a good price tag.
4. Quality of the vintage jewelry is something you should never compromise on. One great thing about vintage jewelry, especially those from 19th century or earlier, is that they were meticulously handmade. So the jewelry piece should show that kind of craftsmanship to command a hefty price. A good quality vintage jewelry will have smooth plating, sparkling stones, pronged settings and a good weight. It will not break down due to wear and tear but will become better over time.
5. When buying a vintage jewelry, make sure you are comfortable flaunting it. It should gel perfectly with your personality. If buying for someone else, be sure you know their taste in jewelry well before gifting them a costly vintage piece; the rhinestone brooch you found very appealing may not be so in the eyes of your teenage niece.
6. One great thing about vintage jewelry is that, they sometime come with a history especially if they are made of precious stones and from the 19th or 18th century. So when you pay for such a piece, you should also know the history of that piece while checking its condition and craftsmanship. Ask the dealer all about it and if you are presenting it to someone who loves vintage jewelry, then write it down in a piece of paper which you can put in the box. If for yourself, do remember the history because most often such a piece garners attention from people in the party.
7. One more thing that you should be aware of is that during different era, one or another metal ruled the jewelry industry. Often you can identify the era by seeing the metal used in the jewelry. For example, due to shortage of base metals during the Second World War, sterling silver was substituted. So a jewelry comes with a label of "1/20 12 K on Sterling", it is probably from 1942 to 45 and 1/5th of the jewelry has 12K gold.
As with buying anything vintage, it takes a trained eye to spot a real bargain. So keep yourself updated with the right amount of research if you want to buy gorgeous vintage jewelry pieces.
Simon Johnnson is the marketing and customer relations director at Executive Gift Shoppe. They carry a unique line of business accessories and men's gifts. If you're looking for Personalized Money Clips, they have exactly what you need. Looking for a unique, free, well written article for your website just like this, we would be happy to provide it: I Need Content
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