Hidden Gems – A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

30 April 2014

Hidden Gems – A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

Vintage is really big right now so it seemed that a guide to muying vintage fine jewellery would help you uncover the hidden gems out there!

Nothing says luxury like a 1950’s tennis bracelet dripping in diamonds or an antique Edwardian ruby ring.

Vintage glamour is in high demand among today’s celebrities and socialites, yet antique jewellery has long been a hit with collectors.

Before you head to the auction house or start browsing eBay for sparkling gems, you’ll want to learn a little bit more about what makes vintage jewellery so valuable.

Gemstones, diamonds, and pearls can all vary significantly in size and quality.

Hidden Gems Hidden Gems - A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

Sourcing Jewellery

There are a number of venues in which one can acquire luxury jewellery. This includes traditional sources including auction houses, antique shops, and specialty jewellery retailers. However, you can also look for vintage pieces online.

This requires a bit more time and research to be sure that you’re getting a high quality piece, however.

If you are buying diamonds or coloured gemstones, you’ll want to request a report or certificate from the seller that authenticates the stone’s quality, colour, and cut.

jewelry shop Hidden Gems - A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

You can often find great deals on heirloom pieces through listings websites like eBay, but it’s best to view the item in person before you buy to ensure high quality.

If you’re buying online, it’s often better to look at sites with local sellers like Quicksales in Australia where you can meet the seller in person.

Those seeking a particularly rare piece of jewellery may find auction houses to be the best bet, because they have their team of experts to help give advice to buyers.

What to Look for in Diamonds

Whether you purchase your jewellery online, at an auction, or through a traditional retail shop, there are a few features to be on the lookout for. In the case of diamonds this is the “four c’s,” or cut, carat, clarity, and colour.

Hidden Gems diamonds Hidden Gems - A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

Before you buy a diamond piece of jewellery, ask for a third-party appraisal. Coloured diamonds have also come in and out of fashion over the years and can provide extra intrigue to antique pieces of jewellery.

The rarest colours are green, red, purple, and orange, but you can also find pink, yellow, and even brown diamonds.

Tips for Buying Gemstones

Like diamonds, there’s a high level of variation in gemstone jewellery pieces. Rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are traditional gemstones that can be worth a fortune.

It’s important to be aware that many auction houses or jewellery vendors will treat gemstones to improve the colour.

Colored gemstones Hidden Gems - A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

You’ll want to be wary of purchasing vintage jewellery that has been overly processed to the point of changing the stone’s natural colour or increasing its weight. Untreated gems are always worth more.

Pearl-Buying Hints

Finally, pearl necklaces are associated with traditional luxury and are a classic piece always in high demand. Cultured pearls from the South Sea can be extremely valuable, but price will depend on the pearl’s shape, texture, and colour.

Antique pearl necklaces are often formed from natural pearls, with the finest coming from the Persian Gulf. Symmetrical natural pearls are hard to find today due to over-farming, which is why these antiques can be so valuable.

Pearls Hidden Gems - A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery

Like gemstones, find out if the pearls have been treated at any point.

These are but a few guidelines for finding high quality, luxurious antique jewellery pieces. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to always have a piece appraised by a reputable third party before making your purchase.

We hope you enjoyed this Hidden Gems – A Guide to Buying Vintage Fine Jewellery Article and be on the look-out for more amazing tips!