For some the thought of purchasing pre-loved vintage jewellery is old fashioned and perhaps reminds them of something their grandmother wore. However for others the thought of purchasing a vintage jewellery piece is much more than just another piece of jewellery. If you appreciate history and the style of the period your shopping for you will appreciate vintage jewellery, whether it be for collectability or wear-ability.
"Vintage is the new Modern"
Vintage jewellery is like choosing the perfect piece of art - a unique creation that represents a period in time, history and fashion. It is also an individual style sense, a vintage piece of jewellery looks just as appealing paired with sleek modern designs as it does with romantic vintage styles. The reverse however is not so true - ultra modern jewellery does not blend as well with the more feminine styles that women often wear.
Advantages: More than likely the vintage piece will be custom handmade, and perhaps unique to a certain period of history. It would be rare that another piece identical is getting around (unless of course it was to be a reproduction). If well looked after the piece will hold it's value- especially if the piece is from a particular period, such as Art Deco or Art Nouveau. Vintage or Antique pieces are distinct versus the typical contemporary modern styles that is worn by everyone.
Disadvantages: Sensible care will be needed with vintage or antique jewellery and due to the age of the piece settings and other components should get checked regularly if worn.
above image- Antique Victorian Blue Enamel and Engraved 'Forget Me Not' Flower Locket
Unless you have had a piece of jewellery custom handmade to suit your style and personality you are more than likely going to buy a mass produced jewellery piece from a jewellers shop front window. This is where a wax model of a piece of jewellery is made which is then used to make a plaster mould. This mould is then filled with metal to create a piece of jewellery that can be reproduced many times - similar process to making jelly (but far more complex). An example is the image alongside where multiple cast rings are done at once on a casting tree.
Advantages: The end product will cost less as it is mass produced at a cheaper production cost than that of hand-made
Disadvantages: More than likely your modern piece of jewellery will not be a unique 'one-of-kind' piece as it was mass produced. The metal maybe porous and less durable due to the manufacturing process. It will more than likely be lightweight and sometimes hollowed-out to keep costs down.
above 2x images- 9ct gold modern sovereign style ring, manufacture; lightweight hollowed out two-piece cast, the disc (fake sovereign) + mount, ring weight= 1.8gram (very light for the bulky look).
above- porosity on a low quality ring mount (tiny holes) which can weaken the structure.
Purchasing Vintage Jewellery vs Modern Jewellery
Beryl Lane is slightly biased towards Vintage jewellery as we appreciate the charm and history behind a vintage or antique piece of jewellery - especially if it's an art with declining craftsmanship such as the Micromosaics or Pietra dura jewellery. When you begin the hunt for vintage jewellery it is very different to selecting modern jewellery; vintage jewellery will not have the same grading as modern pieces; gems used were different to the modern gems of today in their cut, quality and colour. When selecting vintage let your individual style, instinct and desire guide you to your perfect piece.
On that note we''ll leave you with some vintage/antique pieces that you'll find at Beryl Lane;