Journal About Types Vintage and Antique Jewelry

Antique jewelry is rare, making the quality of each piece of jewelry variable. It was often nature-inspired, featuring delicate designs such as leaves and birds or carvings. Buying vintage or antique fine jewelry is the most sustainable way there is, when it comes to jewelry purchases. It resolves the three most environmentally harmful aspects of contemporary jewelry production.


Rings appear in almost every culture of the world and have been in existence for over six thousand years serving a multitude of purposes and satisfying decorative, practical and symbolic needs. They have been used to seal correspondences, authenticate documents and, of course, to pledge one heart to another. Often rings have been used as symbolic expressions of faith, have served to memorialize friendships, honor those who have left us and as talismans providing protection against the forces of evil. Rings have also been used as tangible evidence of power and wealth. Miraculously, rings of all periods have survived providing valuable historical insight into various cultures and as a timeline of major design themes and materials.


It is largely debated whether bracelets first appeared in Ancient Egypt or in Turkey. It is documented that by the time of the First Dynasty (2680 B.C.), Egyptians were wearing bracelets made of gold and silver. These jewelry pieces were beautifully crafted and decorated with semiprecious stones. Interestingly, bracelets seem to have never fallen out of fashion over the last few millennia and are back in fashion big time this season. Today we’re summing up four things to consider when buying bracelets.

Bracelet Material

Golden bracelets almost always look chic and you can’t go wrong with investing in an antique or vintage golden bracelet. These can be dressed down when paired with jeans or dressed up when used to accompany silk dresses or silk tops. Gold works with every color and shade. It looks especially good against black, white, and deep green. Silver bracelets go best with black clothes and also look amazing with white and gray. These shades make an excellent contrasting background for silver jewelry, without being overpowering. Silver also pairs beautifully with dark navy or royal blue.

Vintage & Antique Cufflinks

Cufflinks are a popular form of masculine jewelry, having both a decorative and practical function. Cufflinks have been a part of men's fashion for hundreds of years. Even though the first cufflinks appeared the 1600's, they did not become a common accessory until the end of the 18th century. Their expansion is closely linked to the development of men's shirts, and although fashion and manufacturing methods have changed over time, the underlying men's jewelry form continues to exist.

Definition of Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is fun, timeless, and expressive. Below is a quick look at the definition of vintage jewelry and costume jewelry.

Vintage Jewelry: jewelry which is at least 20 to 30 years old, so to be considered “vintage” it could be anything made during the 1990's or earlier.

Costume Jewelry: designs that use non-precious materials and the term reflects the use of the word "costume" to refer to what is now called an "outfit". Around the same time, Hobé was making big, dramatic jewelry with rhinestones for the costumes of the "Ziegfeld Follies," which may have something to do with the name "costume jewelry." Elsa Schiaparelli quickly followed with a line of Dada-inspired jewelry using large, fake gemstones.

Vintage costume jewelry pieces are eye-catching pieces not limited by the use of precious metals and expensive materials. The huge popularity of costume jewelry lasted through the 1930s, as many women imitated the glamour of movie stars. Ladies continued to buy costume jewelry as an inexpensive alternative to real jewelry into the twenty-first century, many of the costume pieces designed during the costume jewelry hype of the 1920s have become collectors' items, bringing prices almost as high as gold and diamonds.