Do you long for a piece of jewellery that is beautifully unconventional and makes an instant impression? Or perhaps you are seeking a charming gift for that special someone in your life? Whether you are looking for a subtle jewellery item, or something more spectacular, antique jewellery offers a unique and beautiful option for interesting everyday wear or to make a grand statement on special occasions. Here we’ll be looking at some antique jewellery facts and why your next big jewellery purchase simply has to be antique. Nothing beats wearing a little bit of history. It’s the perfect way to complement a fabulous outfit and a twinkling character!
What is the difference between antique and vintage?
There has been an explosion of interest in vintage jewellery, as well as a growing demand for antique jewellery pieces. Some people confuse the two, but there is quite an age difference. In general, for a piece of jewellery to be considered antique it has to be 100 years’ or more old. Vintage refers to jewellery that is at least 20 years’ old.
What are the different styles of antique jewellery?
The different eras reflect different styles of jewellery. These are:
– Georgian (1714 – 1830)
– Victorian (1837 – 1901)
– Art Nouveau (1880 – 1910)
– Edwardian and Belle Epoque (1901 – 1915)
– Art Deco (1920 – 1939)
One of the most popular antique jewellery purchases is the antique engagement ring. Harry Diamond, expert jeweller and owner of Guildford jewellery shop, Cry for the Moon, says he has seen a growing demand for antique diamond rings in particular. “People are beginning to understand that an antique jewellery purchase is rarer, can often hold its value better and is less likely to be replicated elsewhere.” Some people also prefer an alternative to the diamond solitaire. Many antique rings, for example, boast sparkling and colourful gemstones from emeralds to sapphires, rubies and other coloured stones. In fact, in antique jewellery, coloured gemstones are often the main feature. Diamonds are often included but they do not always take centre stage.
How do you know if it’s a clever fake or the real deal?
If you don’t know what to look out for when you are buying a piece of antique jewellery, how can you be sure that the beautiful piece you have your eye on is genuine or a clever fake? Unless you are a jewellery expert or gemmologist, that isn’t easy to decipher. According to home insurer Hiscox, identifying fake jewels and fraudulent jewellery is increasingly difficult to those who aren’t experts. “For time untold, the counterfeit jewel and jewellery industry has been using clever methods to mimic the appearance of authentic stones and precious metals.” One of the most important pieces of advice to heed is to buy antique jewellery from well-established suppliers, such as antique jewellers and specialist auction houses.
5 reasons why your next jewellery purchase just has to be antique
1. Great value for money: Antique jewellery and old stones offer amazing value for money. With the same budget as for a modern piece you will be able to buy jewellery with bigger diamonds or gemstones. If you are about to spend a substantial sum on jewellery, such as a diamond engagement ring, you will get better value for money buying an antique piece.
2. Unique, timeless and mysterious jewels: One of the great advantages of buying antique jewellery is that you are almost certain not to bump into someone wearing the exact same piece. Many antique jewellery pieces were handmade so even similar pieces are slightly different. Jewellery workshops of bygone eras used simple tools and plain sight. As a result, settings in antique pieces are usually heavier and claws more delicate, which incidentally means you will need to take extra care over any antique jewellery items. It is a good idea to get items regularly maintained by a specialist jeweller. Another appeal is the mystery behind the pieces. Antique jewellery is inextricably linked to a period in history. It is wonderful to research styles and ponder who may have been the original owner of your chosen piece.
3. A wise investment: Unlike modern mass-produced jewellery, which will depreciate in value, antique pieces tend to hold their own when it comes to price. Valuable sought-after pieces can even go up in value and are considered a good investment. Choose carefully from reputable jewellery producers and your antique jewellery could become a wise investment.
4. Superior quality and elegance: The saying ‘they don’t make things like they used to’ is certainly true when it comes to the finest antique jewellery. The hand-finishing on a fine antique piece is like no other. It is difficult to find the same level of craftsmanship in modern jewellery.
5. It’s ethical: We are constantly lamenting the woes of the throw-away modern era. Many people choose to buy vintage and antique jewellery for environmental reasons. Why buy something new, when you can get an equally beautiful piece of jewellery by buying antique? It’s a great way to lessen your impact on the environment. Hopefully, we’ve convinced you to make your next big jewellery purchase an antique one. It makes perfect sense!