Vintage jewelry comes in many different forms, but is generally much more expensive than regular jewelry or just the metal or the gems. For a piece of jewelry to be considered vintage, it simply has to be an antique, that is, it has to be a piece of jewelry that was made long enough ago as to where its age becomes a factor in its value.
Vintage jewelry comes in many types, including vintage necklaces, watches, brooches, rings, bracelets, earrings, lockets, among others. Many pieces of vintage jewelry have since fallen out of favor with modern audiences, such as stopwatches and brooches, so they are not suitable for wearing to anything but a Halloween party. However, most types of vintage jewelry can still be worn quite comfortably in modern settings. Most pieces of vintage jewelry are family heirlooms, that is to say that they are pieces of jewelry that have been passed down by the matriarchs of families to their daughters, and are therefore have incredible amounts of sentimental value to their owners.
When appraising vintage jewelry, many things need to be taken into consideration. Just like with regular jewelry, how many carats the gems and gold weighs are important in determining the value of the piece. However, with vintage jewelry, the history behind the article of jewelry is often even more important than the actual value of the metals, and can push the price up significantly. For instance, a watch worn by Theodore Roosevelt would be significantly more expensive than a watch worn by an unknown artist of the same era, even if they were the same watch. Therefore, it is vital to get verified documentation of historical facts with vintage jewelry, as verification historical details can make the article of jewelry worth much more. Never trust the authority of the person that is selling the jewelry, as they have a reason for every dollar extra they make off of the deal to lie. Buyers should also beware false jewelry and inaccurate statements about the weight of the article.
If you find yourself in possession of vintage jewelry, knowing how to handle it is important. If it is very valuable, it is extremely advisable to seldom touch it and leave it in its display case. Never try to clean vintage jewelry yourself, and never expose it to extreme heat or cold. Further, the patina on vintage jewelry is often a measure of its history, so never attempt to scrub it off. While it will look cleaner, it is now damaged and invaluable to most collectors without that patina.
Vintage jewelry comes in an uncountable number of types, prices and ages. So long as one is careful about buying authentic jewelry, getting the history of the vintage jewelry verified, and handing the jewelry property, vintage jewelry is an admirable item to own and can serve as either an investment for the future, a conversation piece inside one’s home, an item to wear to special events or a preservation of one’s family history.