Nothing shines and fascinates quite like vintage jewelry. The intricate lines, carefully-etched edges and hard-to-find parts may belong to another era but they remain as lovely as they were when they first came out. Actually, they are even lovelier this time around. Vintage jewelry develops character, a patina that’s unique and not easily seen or replicated in contemporary jewelry. If you’re buying vintage jewelry supplies to create your own pieces, here are some helpful tips:
Where To Buy
Vintage jewelry supplies are typically sold in specialty shops. Not every jewelry supply store will carry them, so look for shops that are known to sell older items. Having said that, you might also want to check out your neighborhood jewelry supplies shop, the one that’s been around for ages. Most older stores still carry supplies that date back many years, so you may be lucky and find just the right parts and accessories you need. Another option is to purchase old, broken jewelry and then use the parts to create a new piece.
Online shops also offer excellent listings. Many sellers and collectors sell their wares from their own sites or a third party auction site. They include descriptions of their jewellery so you know exactly what you’re getting. You may even stumble across jewellery supplies sold by a private collector, in which case you might be getting your hands on a truly unique find.
Vintage vs. Vintage-Style
The ‘youngest’ vintage jewellery (and supplies) you buy should at least have been created in the 80s, so make sure to ask questions about the item prior to purchase. Be especially careful since there is both true vintage jewellery and “vintage style” jewelry, which is sometimes also labeled “antique style” “antique inspired” or “antique looking”. This type of jewelry isn’t old – they are actually contemporary pieces that are designed to look aged.
There are also many fakes being passed off as genuine, so be careful. Know your jewellery in order to avoid buying the wrong ones. Some vintage designs, for example, have tell-tale design quirks. Older Haskell pieces, for example, feature a hangtag attached to a spring ring while later ones featured signed hangtags on ropes that are attached with spring rings.
Beware of a large number of listings as well. If it’s vintage, there’s not a lot of it that should be lying around.
If you want to purchase only authentic pieces, purchase from a trusted seller and hold them accountable for their sale. There are several online sellers who provide only authentic vintage supplies. They may be more expensive but they are worth the trouble because you’ll only be buying the real thing.