What exactly is antique jewellery, antique and second hand jewellery? Generally, it is frequently assumed that antique jewellery normally refers to any second-hand jewelry, however this is not the case. Instead there are in fact three separate terms commonly used to describe antique jewellery – antique, second hand and estate jewelry. Essentially, all jewellry which is part of an individual or estate is antique jewellery.
What to Look For When Buying Antique Jewelry
Antique jewellers are people who collect old and vintage jewelry, which may date back as far as 100 years or more. Vintage jewellers often focus on pieces of jewelry which have a particularly historical significance or which carry some inherent appeal which is lessened by the passing of time. As such, these pieces can be quite valuable. Often the value of vintage jewelry is inversely proportional to the period in which it came into existence. This is because, although the jewellers themselves may have only a few examples of each piece, their collection will span a wide range of time and genres. The term vintage is usually applied to jewellers who concentrate on the retro and vogue aspects of jewelry, while antique jewellers tend to be more traditional and look for pieces with a certain elegance and ‘antique look’.
As mentioned, antique jewellery tends to incorporate precious metals, especially gold and silver, which are the traditional materials from which precious stones were made in the past. Some pieces will also incorporate gemstones, though often they will be relatively small and understated, such as amethyst or turquoise. Another common feature of antique jewellery is what is known as ‘candy’, which is a collection of semi-precious stones (usually citrine, topaz or amethyst) cut into cubes or prisms. This candy is then worn as a pendant. This candy can be very valuable, as it can represent a significant investment in itself as well as a valuable piece of jewelry.