When shopping for jewelry in Tustin, one of the first considerations you need to make is whether to get a contemporary or antique piece. Antique jewelry, which is usually defined as any piece that is around a hundred years old or more, can add a truly unique flair to your style or make a deeply personal statement. Additionally, estate jewelry (a general term that encompasses all pre-owned jewelry) can often be more affordable than brand-new pieces. Like with any meaningful purchase, however, there are pitfalls to avoid when shopping for vintage estate jewelry. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of tips for when you’re looking for a new addition to your collection.
Shop at a Reputable Source
Shopping for jewelry can be an exciting experience, but it’s one you should have in a trustworthy environment. You wouldn’t want to literally buy fool’s gold after all! Fortunately, with almost 30 years of experience, Watch & Wares can help you find vintage estate jewelry that suits your tastes. Our jewelry experts are certified by the Gemological Institute of America, enabling us to authenticate every piece that comes our way. Unlike other, untrustworthy resellers, we can provide background information on every pre-owned piece we sell, such as where it came from, what time period it was made in, and more.
Check For a Mark
Antique jewelers often left a maker’s mark somewhere on their work after they were finished to verify its authenticity. If a piece is from the 1950s or earlier, it will most likely feature a mark such as a small icon or the maker’s initials somewhere on the jewelry. A trustworthy jeweler should be able to point out a maker’s mark if there is one present.
Familiarize Yourself With Different Periods
Antique and vintage estate jewelry will reflect the time periods they were made in. Therefore, you’ll want to do your research and try to find a period that truly speaks to you and your sense of style. For example, jewelry from the Edwardian era (1901-1915 England) often features platinum, pearls, and diamonds in lace-like patterns that have a distinctly feminine aesthetic. Art Deco (1920-1935), on the other hand, typically consists of geometric and symmetrical designs that have a more industrial feel to them. Getting to compare different historical styles side by side is one of the greatest advantages of shopping for vintage estate jewelry.
Look for Signs of Age
Obviously, a vintage jewelry piece will probably show some signs of age. This doesn’t mean that an antique piece will look worn-down or cheap, just that it may have some tarnishes, dents, or a lack of shine. This weathering is valued by some, but others would rather have it removed. That’s why we offer jewelry repair and restoration services that can have pieces looking as pristine as the day they were first crafted.
Watch Out for “Antique Style”
When shopping for vintage estate jewelry, be aware of the phrases “antique style,” “vintage style,” and other variations. This often means that the piece is a modern reproduction rather than an actual antique. These pieces will still emulate the style of the period they claim to emulate, but they will not actually be from that era. At Watch & Wares, we are always upfront about whether one of our pieces is a modern reproduction or truly from the period it represents.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy source for vintage estate jewelry in Tustin or the surrounding Orange County area, look no further than Watch & Wares. We’ve proudly served Orange County since 1991, buying and selling antique and estate jewelry from a wide range of historical periods including Victorian, Edwardian, Art-Deco, Art Noveau, and more. If you would like to learn more about our jewelry offerings or schedule an appointment, call us today at (714) 731-9600.