How to know if your jewellery is vintage

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If you’ve been clearing out your home and have found some old jewellery you no longer wear, how do you know what to do with it?

Perhaps it’s worth something but you’re not sure how to check, which is why we’ve listed the typical signs to help you determine whether or not your old jewellery is vintage.


How to identify if something is vintage

With so many replicas on the market, it can be difficult to know whether your jewellery is a rare vintage find. Be sure to analyse the design and look out for any distinguishing features.

Identify any signs of wear on your jewellery, particularly smooth edges around clasps and hooks. These should open and close fairly easily as resistance would have worn down over time.

Keep an eye out for any logos or symbols that indicate who created the piece. Perhaps a recognisable name is shown on your item that may give you a clue as to when the piece was first made.

Certain types of clasps were used in the late 20th century so be sure to do your research to understand the year in which your jewellery was created.

If you do believe you have something vintage but you no longer have a use for it, you could consider selling it for extra cash.


How to date your vintage jewellery

The style of your jewellery can be reflective of a specific time period. For example, Georgian jewellery is still commercially available and is one of the oldest jewellery styles around. It is known for its colourful gemstones, yellow-gold hue and elaborate designs.

Victorian jewellery was named after the late Queen Victoria. Her husband gifted her a snake ring, which became very popular during this era. Following his passing, the public joined the Queen in her mourning by wearing various pieces of black jewellery, which featured jet, onyx and garnet gems.


How to clean vintage jewellery

Vintage jewellery should be well-maintained to keep it looking as good as new. Regular cleaning will increase the metal’s longevity and prevent future damage.

Gold is often easier to clean than silver. You should rinse your jewellery under warm water and use a soft brush to gently scrub and remove any dirt. Use dish soap if your jewellery has stubborn marks and let it soak for a few minutes.


How to store your vintage jewellery

Carefully storing your jewellery items will prevent tarnishing and chipping. Ideally, you should always keep vintage jewellery stored in a jewellery box or a soft pouch.

This is to ensure your jewellery is well-protected and can breathe. Don’t store in direct sunlight – keep it in cool temperatures away from moisture.


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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