As more of us look for one of-a-kind style, unique accessories like vintage jewelry are becoming popular again. However, vintage jewelry that goes beyond the usual costume variety you can get at a resale store needs to be shopped with care. There are plenty of counterfeiters out there trying to sell unaware consumers a fake. We talked with the co-founders of Kavador, curators of fine vintage and antique jewelry, about how to shop for vintage jewelry the right way…
“Curating one-off pieces is exciting for women who are looking to stand out,” Michelle Reeves, co-founder of Kavador explains. “When it comes to vintage jewelry we believe there is nothing more powerful than wearing a statement ring or necklace that speaks to your own sense of style.”
Authentic, vintage jewelry is very special and should last a lifetime. It’s worth every penny to know that you have something one-of-a-kind with a story all it’s own. But make sure you get the real deal!
Here are a few tips to ensure you find the vintage jewelry you love and can enjoy forever.
TRUST THE SELLER
Buy vintage jewelry from a reputable source. There are many fake replicas of vintage jewelry today and it can be difficult for an untrained eye to know the difference. Experts know what to look for so make sure you shop where experts have inspected the jewelry and stand behind their warranty or guarantee. If a store or website is unwilling to offer any sort of return policy or customer protection, do not shop there.
KNOW THE DESIGNER
As the demand for designer vintage jewelry grows, so too do counterfeits. It’s important to know which designers made jewelry and how long ago. For example, Chanel first made fine jewelry in 1932 and didn’t introduce watches until 1987.
That’s why it’s important to trust experts who have done the research that go far beyond our Google searching abilities.
“There is so much beautiful vintage jewelry inside the vaults of jewelry stores across America but it’s impossible for one person to see it all. Our team is opening those vaults and bringing the most exquisite pieces together in one place for women to shop knowing they can see the best vintage jewelry, trust the quality and feel good about the price,” co-founder Jennie Pastor explains.
LOOK FOR A MARK
Most jewelers include a unique stamp or engraved signature mark on their jewelry. It could be the initials of the jeweler, a logo, the year it was made, or a number that was part of a collection from a particular era. Also look at the craftsmanship of the mark. Does it look like it was recently added? If so, this could be an indicator of a counterfeit.
WEAR & TEAR
Vintage jewelry has history so it is expected to have reasonable wear and tear from its previous owner. This doesn’t excuse any damaged or broken elements to the item. Make sure the price takes into consideration any significant wear or damage that cannot be restored. After all, this is an item for you to wear, enjoy and pass down for many more years to come.
VALUE & PRICE
Traditionally the price of vintage jewelry is less than a new item, however, rare and historic vintage jewelry is very valuable. Make sure any claims from the seller that the item was worn by someone notable or famous can be documented appropriately. This is important for many reasons, including insurance should anything happen to the item, vintage jewelry, particular of this nature cannot be replaced.