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How to Collect Vintage Jewelry

How to Collect Vintage Jewelry

Vintage jewelry is typically handmade, authentic, and of high quality. It’s often sold at high prices. But even if you’re a vintage jewelry buff, it’s not always easy to collect jewelry that you love and/or may profit from. 
Jewelry experts have their own takes on how to collect vintage jewelry, but as an aficionado yourself; you must know what you want, where to look, and what’s worth investing in. This is where we’ll start in our tips for building your collection.

What to Know About Collecting Vintage Jewelry

Consider the Investment Opportunities

It’s not only about what you love (although your collection can reflect your passions). The pieces you buy should at least retain their value over time, if not increase. If it’s something that will always be in demand, you can profit from selling it later. With vintage jewelry, a bargain is probably not a good deal; saving money now won’t likely give you a good return on investment.

Do Your Homework

Research vintage items before jumping in on a purchase. If you can’t find enough information or background details, don’t take a chance. Consult with a vintage jewelry dealer to make sure the piece is authentic. There are too many fakes out there.

Look at It Carefully

An antique piece of jewelry may have a shiny finish. But it should show some signs of wear. This might not affect value, but you can factor in worn prongs or chipped gemstones in negotiating a price. But there’s no doubt—if a piece of vintage jewelry is old, it should look it. A unit claimed to be a couple centuries old should not have pristine enamel.


If antique jewelry is somewhat smaller or lighter than you’d expect, it’s more likely to be authentic (people were smaller years ago). Some larger pieces were intended to wear over gloves. Average ring sizes (such as a 6 or 7) are hard to find among vintage rings.

Don’t Obsess About the Brand 

Trendy brands come and go. Nonetheless, you can find a good investment with an iconic or signature piece. But choosing a piece for the name isn’t necessarily wise; the unit’s value may not hold up over time. Unsigned pieces can turn into a great investment, especially if they’re at least 18-karat gold.

You Don’t Have to Buy What You Love 

Why would you buy jewelry if you’re not personally connected to it? If you collect jewelry as an investment, what appeals to you personally might not always be popular (now or in the future). With vintage jewelry, personal taste isn’t necessarily the top priority. Research what is selling and what people are into. This can provide a perspective of what may be worth later.

Take Your Time

Build your collection slowly. Give yourself room to research rather than rush. You might find high-quality vintage items you’re more emotionally connected to. Random purchases generally don’t make for authentic collections. 

Shop In Stores And Online 

Vintage jewelry is often sold at antique shows and traded hands at auction houses. Sure, you can get plenty of inspiration on the web. However, attending a public event or coming into a store gives you a chance to ask questions, network with industry experts, and try items on. 

Shop With Us to Collect Jewelry 

Jeweler’s Touch carries many styles and collections of diamond engagement and wedding rings, gemstone jewelry, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and charms. We employ certified repair technicians and can custom design a piece just for you. Our online educational resources can aid in your research of vintage jewelry as well. For more information, call 714-579-1616.

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