Six Things to Know Before Buying Vintage Jewellery
From the funky, old rings you might have fished out of a bargain bin to exclusive, designer pieces of jewellery from a time long gone, purchasing vintage items is an investment in both your personal style and the quality of your collection. However, not all vintage is made equal. To avoid scams, low quality, and missed opportunities, here are six things you need to know before you start buying vintage pieces.
Know Different Time Periods
To build a collection of vintage pieces that you love, you need to know which time periods produced designs that inspire you. Start reading up on different trends from different eras. What made bracelets stand out in the 80s? What made flapper necklaces so special in the 20s? You need to know what was out there and when, so you can talk with dealers about precise eras that interest you.
Know Your Brands
This research will come easily while you learn about different time periods, but it is crucial, especially if you’re going to invest in something designer and expect it to be authentic. The major fashion houses, like Chanel and Cartier, have produced some incredible pieces throughout their history. Different logos and practices were in place for each throughout different decades, so you will want to have an idea what to look for if someone claims a piece is a designer masterpiece from a certain year.
Know Your Community
Besides vintage jewellery dealers, specialty stores, and vintage shops that might be charging top dollar, there are a lot of places around where you can find treasure chests of old gems. Instead of fighting with the masses of people who frequent those stores, start paying attention to community boards and adverts alerting you to estate sales and auctions. There’s a lot of junk out there in the world, but the more adventurous you are, the more you could be rewarded.
Know the Seller
This brings us to maybe the most important thing you will need to know: the person selling you the jewellery. Not everyone is out to take your money by overcharging, but if a little bit of internet research reveals that a certain store just happens to have ten pieces that are supposedly “rare” or “one-of-a-kind”, beware paying top dollar with those sellers.
Know What to Ask
If a seller seems reputable based on your research or recommendations from friends, it is still important to ask the right questions. Finding out where the piece came from, if it has any special history, and if it has been restored at all are excellent ways to determine the quality of the piece and the quality of the salesperson.
Know What to Expect From A Vintage Piece
It’s important to remember that old does not have to mean worn, shabby, or damaged. Vintage pieces should show character since they were made of fine metals that might display age as well as wear and tear, but if a piece is unpleasant to look at or doesn’t function anymore, it won’t make a good addition to your wardrobe. Expect tarnish, dents, and even a lack of shine, but that’s about all. Anything more means it’s not worth it and anything less means it might not be authentic.
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