Many options are available when shopping for jewelry for yourself or someone else. While you may prefer modern styles, you can also consider vintage jewelry. So what is vintage jewelry? This article addresses these questions to help you determine if vintage jewelry fits your style preferences. 


What Counts As Vintage


Vintage jewelry typically refers to a piece that is generally at least 50 years old but less than 100 years old. For example, a necklace or earring set from the early 1970s could be considered vintage. Once a piece of jewelry passes the 100-year mark – so the 1920s in our case – it is classified as an antique. 


Vintage vs. Antique Jewelry


In general, because vintage jewelry is typically at least 50 years old, it’s rarer to find in some instances. However, antique jewelry is especially rare because they are at least 100 years old. Many antique jewelry pieces belong to heirloom collections and are very valuable. Therefore, the older the jewelry, the rarer and more valuable it is. Depending on how old a particular piece is, there can sometimes be a small amount of overlap between vintage and antique jewelry. Typically, antique jewelry is categorized by the time period it came from, for example, the Georgian and Victorian eras. The same is true for vintage pieces, mainly as changes in style and preference occur over the decades.


Why Choose Vintage Jewelry


There are several reasons to consider owning vintage jewelry. While all forms of jewelry carry their own story, vintage pieces offer a special part of historical value. Usually, these items are part of a family collection or have other significant historical connections. Another benefit of older jewelry is the quality of craftsmanship. If a piece of jewelry has lasted for decades, you can be confident that it was made well. Finally, vintage jewelry is unique and stylish, helping you or a loved one stand out.


Caring and Maintenance


Keeping your jewelry clean and well cared for can help them last for years. This is true for both modern, vintage, and antique pieces. Make sure to find the right cleaning solution for your items. For example, gold and platinum jewelry require different cleaning protocols than silver. To ensure your jewelry stays shiny and new, plan on implementing a cleaning routine at least once every few weeks. You can also polish your pieces to make the sparkle even more vibrant. If you have questions about how to care for and maintain your vintage or modern jewelry, reach out to one of our specialists at Stephen Allen Jewelers.


How Much Is It Worth?


The value of vintage jewelry depends on age, historical connections, and other factors like its rarity. Since many pieces of vintage jewelry are unique, some items can be worth more than you might expect. On the other hand, some vintage pieces can be much more affordable than their modern-day counterparts. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have your jewelry appraised if you suspect your vintage items might be worth more than you think. 


Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind jewelry item for yourself or a loved one? Whatever you’re looking for, Stephen Allen Jewelers has something for everyone, including vintage-inspired options. Stop by our storefront at 35 Maple Street in East Longmeadow today.