What Makes Jewelry Vintage

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Determining the age, authenticity or value of a piece of jewelry can sometimes turn a family heirloom into a small fortune. Other times, getting specifics on an item can seem a lot like a wild goose chase. Being able to tell the difference between an antique and something vintage can often be the difference between cashing in or tossing out.

The best way to distinguish an item as being vintage, and not antique, is by finding the original assembly date. The precise era something’s made in will determine whether it’s vintage, or if it’s just plain old. For something to be considered vintage, it must be old, but not old enough for it to be antique. A good example would be an item made sometime mid-20th century.

Something else to consider is the popularity of an item during the time period it’s from. Sometimes this can be difficult, as not every piece has a date stamp, but it can be done. The best way to get a grip on something’s vintage quality is to ask around. Most online auction houses offer free appraisals; getting one could potentially yield numerous bits of valuable information.

For the most part, determining the exact value will greatly depend on the individual piece. Jewelry made of gold, silver, or pearls or real diamonds will naturally carry more worth. Even amethyst, as well as other precious stones may contain certain qualities, which makes them more or less valuable.

When push comes to shove and you think you’ve found something vintage, remember that anything older than 100-years is considered antique. Pay extra-close attention when shopping as vintage items and antiques will likely be mixed together. A small dose of caution and a thoughtful mind will always stretch a long ways.

About the Author: Jules Lawrence Profile Picture
thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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