How to Tell the Difference Between Quality Vintage Jewelry and Junk

by Sammy in , 2 Comments — Updated January 28, 2020

Vintage jewelry can be really beautiful and unique, but when you are shopping for vintage looks, you need to be sure that you are shopping wisely so that you don’t end up just buying junk that looks like vintage but really isn’t. To ensure that you always purchase authentic, high quality vintage jewelry that you will be proud to show off, continue reading for a few tips.

vintage ring

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Shop from Reputable Sources

Shopping for vintage jewelry from any old source, whether online or at the mall, is a sure-fire way to end up with junk and paying too much for something that is not really vintage at all. That is why it is so important to research the most reputable sources for vintage jewelry and then shop only from those sources. A great example is vintage rings from Berganza, where you will find unusual and lovely styles, along with information that includes the year in which the pieces were created. Knowing that a ring was made circa 1900, for example, will prove that it is definitely vintage, but you will not get that information from all sellers.

Analyze the Style of a Piece of Jewelry

If you look at the style of a piece of jewelry, you can gain a lot of insight into whether it is actually vintage or not. This is because, like other fashion, jewelry has been able to reflect the looks of different eras over time. For example, jewelry that was made anywhere between 1910 and 1930 will often feature white as the color for the metal, so the pieces should be set in silver, white gold, or platinum, or at least a metal that looks like silver. However, during WWII, gold was in short supply, despite its popularity, so it was often bonded with silver for jewelry. Remembering these facts while shopping for your jewelry will help you be sure that you are purchasing truly vintage pieces.

Other Characteristics to Look for

Remember, vintage jewelry is anything that was crafted or produced before 1989. Anything made after 1989 is merely used jewelry. Regardless of how old a piece of jewelry is, however, if it was crafted well, it should still be functional. Therefore, analyze the piece to make sure that it holds together, that the clasps work, and that there aren’t any kinks or bends in the chain that may end up breaking. And if there are any gemstones in the piece, they should be set firmly in place and they should be smooth and clear. So, as an example, stones that are meant to be clear or white should never look cloudy, yellow, or gray. Finally, any plating on the piece should be intact.

Try to be careful while shopping for vintage jewelry, as there is a lot of junk jewelry out there that sellers are trying to pass off as authentic. Do your research into what vintage jewelry really looks like, and shop from reputable sources that can tell you the year during which the jewelry was created.

2 thoughts on “How to Tell the Difference Between Quality Vintage Jewelry and Junk”

  1. Love these tips! :) x

  2. You made a good point that learning about the styles of different time periods can help me a better shopper for vintage jewelry. I’ve been getting fond of shopping for dresses recently and I think it would elevate the outfits with the right kind of jewelry. It would be quite interesting to be able to quickly shift from a formal attire into something a bit more laid back just by adding or removing jewelries from the look.


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