To understand what vintage jewelry designs are, it is first necessary to examine the word vintage by itself. Many years ago, the term vintage” referred to a wine harvest year. Today, however, vintage is used to describe many different things. In fact, the dictionary describes vintage as something old that is valued for its age.
This broad definition can include everything from comic books to cars and clothing to jewelry. Vintage jewelry designs were created somewhere between the years 1920 to 1930. Jewelry that was fabricated later, during the period from 1930 to 1965, falls into the retro jewelry category.
Within the vintage jewelry category, there is also estate jewelry and collectible jewelry. Estate jewelry means someone else has owned a particular piece of jewelry and that it is not new.
You can find wonderful types and designs in these rings and they are likewise referred to as era design. Sometimes estate jewelry can also be part of an estate that a family is selling. Collectible jewelry means it is created in limited editions. That might include jewelry created for a major milestone event, such as a centennial celebration. While estate jewelry and collectible jewelry can be vintage they might also fall under other categories as well, such as antique or new.
Antique jewelry is considered to be at least 75 years old. Connoisseurs of antique jewelry look for pieces that are unique, rare, in perfect condition, or that are something special that usually evokes an emotional response.
The terms vintage jewelry and antique jewelry are sometimes used interchangeably when the age of a piece is unknown.
In fact, some of these pieces can be described in further detail because they reflect images of certain time periods, such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Edwardian, and Georgian.
The early Victorian romantic period includes pieces created from 1830 to 1860, which often were flowery and sentimental. In 1859, construction began on the Suez Canal, so mid Victorian jewelry was influenced by Egyptian imagery. The late Victorian period, sometimes called the aesthetic or movement period, brought a reaction to the previous grand period. People reacted adversely to that previous period’s portentousness by seeking a more playful lifestyle. This led to jewelry with designs that incorporated lighthearted imagery such as stars, moons, and dragons.
Today, people shopping for vintage jewelry and antique jewelry will visit antique dealers, auctions, pawn shops, and specialized jewelers who handle this specialty. The main consideration when searching through these vast and diverse markets is the seller’s reputation. It is important to do diligent research before the purchase to make sure the seller is trustworthy. That is because it is very difficult to get proof of authenticity. The only thing one can count on is the dealer’s reputation for honesty. After performing research on the seller, it will also be necessary to trust one’s own instinct and judgment. More importantly, if you fall in love with a piece, you should enjoy it.