Sunday, December 21, 2008

Collecting Vintage jewelry - Where do I start? - PART 1

If you are like me, you have normally bought your jewelry in retail stores but then you were at the flea market, or on ebay, and you saw a pretty vintage piece and bought it. Or you had an older relative die and you were given a few pieces of vintage jewelry from their estate.

Once that happened, you were hooked. New jewelry didn't seem as interesting or well made and you were off looking for more of the "past treasures." You are intrigued, but there is so much choice. Where do you even start?

Over the next few weeks, I'll be writing a series of short articles which will give you some advice on a step by step progression which will guide you in your new passion to put together a lovely collection of vintage jewelry that you will be proud to wear and (perhaps) pass on to a family member.

Today's blog will talk about the #1 reason to purchase a piece of vintage jewelry. Forget about hallmarks, age of piece, construction design and the like Your first question to yourself should be: "Does this piece appeal to me? Do I like it?" In my opinion, the overriding factor is...if you like it buy it. It doesn't matter if it is perfect. If you like it, it should become yours.

Most pieces of vintage jewelry can be repaired or cleaned and polished so that it looks more presentable. I have sold large collections of vintage rhinestone jewelry in my ebay store, Carolina Collections Vintage jewelry, time and time again, with lovely pieces that need to have rhinestones replaced, or that have small enamel problems. There is always someone who sees a piece or two in the collection that they just love and want and are willing to put some time into the problems with the a lovely piece of vintage jewelry.

Perhaps the piece is in need of a LOT of elbow grease to get the metal back into good condition. I've had pieces just covered with the dreaded green junk called Verdigris, which I have restored to like new condition with just a few steps and commonly found household materials.

Don't know how to repair vintage jewelry? See my website, Vintage Jewelry Lane, for a great article which deals with various aspects of repairing and restoring vintage jewelry.

In any case, whether the piece needs repair or is in perfect condition, the first thing to consider is: Do you like it?

Be sure to check back soon for the next installment of this article. Before long, you will have a collection of vintage jewelry which will reflect your own personal tastes. You may even be able to convince one of your friends to "get hooked" on vintage jewelry too!


  1. Hi!
    Can I just ask: how do you identify whether it's real stone or fake? I've tried listening to the sound they make, but I just don't know enough.

    And is turqouise a stone, or something else?

  2. It's hard to answer without determining what kind of stone it may be. There are thousands of them and each has its own characteristics.

    Turquoise is considered a semi precious gemstone.