8 Tips for Buying Vintage Jewelry

Perhaps one of the most magical aspects of fine jewelry is it’s ability to stand the test of time. Head to any vintage or second-hand jewelry store and you will see diamond rings and gold bracelets that are decades old. In jewelry museums and specialist jewelry stores, you will find jewelry that is hundreds of years old!

If you are a vintage lover or a jewelry fanatic, antique jewelry brings together beauty and history. You will want your jewelry looking its absolute best, so here are our tips for making the best choices for your antique jewelry.

Research the shop

A quick look online will give you some good insight into the quality of the jewelry store. In particular, take a look at any customer reviews and build and idea of how reliable the jeweler seems.

Check the settings

Old jewelry has usually taken a bit of a battering over the years. Gently push the stone with your finger nail and try to detect any movement. Settings can easily be tightened.

Check the Gemstones

While settings and metal work can be easily fixed, diamonds and gemstones are not so forgiving. Ask to use a jewelers loupe (or buy your own online) and assess the diamond or gemstone. In particular, you want to look for any signs of damage such as crack, chips or resin. Jewelers will sometimes use resin to try and disguise the damage, but the internal structure of the diamond will be extremely weak.

Look for hallmarks

Using your jeweler’s loupe, look for any hallmarks. There is usually a mark for the type of metal, the purity and the assay office. This sheet tells you all the hallmarks to look out for.

Have it cleaned

You can ask the jeweler to give the jewelry a good clean – before you buy it! Having the jewelry cleaned will allow to see what is dirt and what is damage.

Take it to a professional

Services such as jewelry repair DC from Washington Diamond can help to establish which areas of the jewelry need fixing and complete the job to a flawless finish. You want to be able to wear your jewelry safe in the knowledge that it isn’t going to break and you aren’t going to lose a gemstone.  

Consider a makeover!

Many vintage rings only require a little polishing to look truly outstanding, but don’t forget that antique jewelry can also be repurposed into something entirely new! This is especially true of rings or pieces of jewelry that contain rare or unusual gemstones and diamonds. The blending of old and new can produce some truly mesmerizing results.

Learn the basics!

Some knowledge of the four c’s of diamond quality and an overview of gemstone quality will go a long way when it comes to choosing vintage jewelry. Empower yourself with knowledge and take any potential stress out of the jewelry-buying process.

So, what are you waiting for? Step out in style with your new (and old) vintage treasures!