People who love buying jewellery often come across jewellery pieces that are either described as vintage or antique. The descriptors are used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. The truth is vintage jewellery is not the same as antique jewellery. Knowing the nuances that set these two apart can come in handy when you what to sell gold jewellery you may have inherited or unearthed in grandma’s old jewellery box.
What is vintage jewellery?
Most jewellers refer to gold jewellery that is at least two decades old as vintage. The term is also used to describe jewellery made during specific eras or depict certain figureheads or cultural celebrations or changes.
Eras that are recognised as vintage gold periods are:
– The Georgian Era: Between 1714 and 1837
– The Victorian Era: Between 1837 and 1901
– The Edwardian Era: Between 1901 and 1910
– Art Nouveau Era: Between 1895 and 1915
– Art Deco Era: Between 1915 and 1935
– Vintage Retro Period: Post-war era between1945 and 1960
Whilst Vintage jewellery might be significantly older, antique gold jewellery is no less than a century old.
Oftentimes, jewellery dealers use the term “estate jewellery” when categorising old gold jewellery pieces. However, vintage and antique jewellery aficionados use the term to describe pre-owned or second-hand jewellery that might be a decade or two old.
It’s all about age
Vintage and antique pieces are coveted mostly for the unique craftsmanship that old jewellers used. A lot of older gold jewellery pieces were created using goldsmithing techniques that aren’t used anymore. Aficionados love the hand crafted aspect of it all and the uniqueness that vintage and antique gold jewellery have. In the olden days, gold jewellery was not mass produced as it is these days. In olden times, most jewellery was bespoke or custom made which means you would be hard pressed to find identical gold pieces. All of this makes vintage or antique gold highly collectable and valuable if the pieces are still in good condition. Another factor that plays into the value of vintage and antique gold is the use of rare materials that aren’t commonly used in gold jewellery these days such as Bakelite, wood and ceramic.
When you sell gold jewellery that is old you should have it appraised first. Whilst gold buyers are typically interested in the gold and not its age or rarity, some dealers pay more for antique pieces they know they can sell for a higher price to jewellers and collectors of antique jewellery. When you sell gold to such a dealer you can expect to get a price that is above the premium. The gold jewellery may even command a high price if it happens to be in demand, has a unique history and is in good condition. If you have a gold piece of jewellery designed by some old but famous goldsmith, for some rich and famous personage passed down from generation to generation you may tickle some serious collector’s fancy or an Antique’s dealer who will give you more money than what the melt value of gold. So, find out as much about the piece and its provenance and find a dealer who will give you the best price.