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What is considered Vintage Jewelry?

Jewellery that is considered vintage is usually any item that has been around for at least 50 years and not more than 100 years. This timeline, however, may vary depending on who you ask. After the 1920s, jewellery can be classified into eras such as the Retro Modern Era (1945-1960). Pieces created during this time were usually very bright, bold and extravagant, featuring statement rings, necklaces, pins and charm bracelets. Gold was the primary material used since platinum was not available during WWII. Another era that could be classified as vintage is the 60s, with jewellery inspired by Jacqueline Kennedy, and the 80s with their elaborate gold jewellery designs. An exciting thing about buying vintage jewellery is that, if the item is of high quality, it could become antique while you still own it after 100 years!

When dealing with vintage jewelry, it can be more helpful to understand the materials used and the era it was created in, compared to simply using terms such as “vintage” or “antique”. For instance, the Victorian Era is associated with any items produced in the United Kingdom during the rule of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. Thus, recognizing that you possess a diamond ring from the Victorian period automatically marks it as an antique. Be cautious of any pieces tagged as “Victorian inspired,” “style,” or “made in the style of” and make sure the seller is transparent regarding when it was actually constructed and that they are not attempting to pass off a recently manufactured item as a genuine Victorian antique.

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