What to Know When Buying and How to Find Vintage Jewellery

What to Know When Buying and How to Find Vintage Jewellery


Dear Grace,
I want to experiment with secondhand jewelry but have no notion where by to start out. Any strategies?

THE ROW’S 2nd PARIS Manner 7 days demonstrate previous October was as painfully stylish as just one would assume — staged in an personal baroque saloon in a tucked-absent corner at the rear of The Ritz, where by guests were being served fresh figs and celery juice. Between the array of minimalist splendours was an sudden surprise: a smattering of classic jewelry from the prolific French designer Line Vautrin. The brand’s co-creative administrators, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, hunted down these rare items from the French classic supplier Mon Classic exclusively for the clearly show. This came only months immediately after Rihanna’s promptly legendary being pregnant announcement shoot, in which she accessorised her Chanel puffer coat with a Chanel pearl necklace and an outsized Christian Lacroix cross brooch, all circa 1996. This was qualified proof that the jewellery globe experienced eventually entered the “circular economy” chat. Secondhand jewels are formally in trend, Dear Reader, and you are correct in seeking to be a aspect of it.

“The rewards of classic and antique jewellery are twofold,” clarifies Josephine Odet, head of wonderful jewellery at Omnēque, the internet site dubbed the Vestiaire of vintage jewelry. “The initially is that the items are of outstanding high-quality. These items were being manufactured when fast vogue and mass creation did not exist, making use of traditional strategies that no more time exist in the modern market. The other reward is that the pieces have individual, rare characteristics that transcend tendencies. You will use and enjoy them for life.” Omnēque’s providing spans all the things from ’70s-era Yves Saint Laurent costume jewellery to Edwardian engagement rings that cost tens of 1000’s of pounds. What they have in popular is their individuality and “feel good” element — these items have been designed devoid of the carbon footprint and stone mining of modern manufacturing. It is a notion that the biggest international names in jewelry are jumping on by themselves — Cartier, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels now offer vintage and jewelry from their archives, substantially of it purchased back from extensive-phrase customers.

Susan Caplan, whose eponymous brand name sourced much of the vintage jewelry worn by Elizabeth Debicki’s Princess Diana in The Crown, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the earlier hundred a long time of fashion jewellery. “The assertion necklaces from the ’80s are a own favourite, but I also take pleasure in the common search of Dior in the ’60s and ’70s,” she tells me, noting that her all-time favourite piece — a ’90s Versace harness — was quickly snapped up by a high-profile movie star.

Related: BAZAAR’s guideline to getting classic jewelry

The items have Unique, Unusual characteristics that TRANSCEND Traits. You are going to dress in and adore them for existence

Caplan states the critical to buying secondhand jewellery is the “three Cs”: believability, craftsmanship and condition.

“Ensure the piece is an primary by asking for authentication or checking that the markings bear the appropriate signature of the designer,” she indicates. “Then overview critical parts of the piece, like its fat. Are the claws in fantastic condition? Intricate depth and meticulous artistry are always distinct with very good high-quality vintage jewellery.” Rookie buyers’ most important issues are often acquiring a piece that is not authentic or not noticing a fixed product that could quickly split again. Her advice is to start out by undertaking your study.

“Acquiring vintage jewellery can require a selected quantity of historic understanding and abilities, which can be learnt by publications, checking out antique marketplaces and researching auction residences,” she states.

Odet claims hoping on and obtaining in person is usually preferable but not necessary. She recommends asking on the net purchasers for unedited, high-resolution photos taken in normal light to see the good top quality of a piece. “Don’t be concerned to inquire loads of issues, but check with the suitable thoughts,” she asserts. “Most people today experimenting with secondhand jewelry are asking the very same inquiries they ask about up to date jewelry. But you should really concentration much less on the high quality of the stones, which ended up less of a precedence in the previous, and extra on where by and when the piece was built, authentication papers, and the hallmarks [stamps that verify the gold and design] of the piece.” Her greatest idea? Though secondhand jewelry is competitively priced compared to its present-day market place counterparts, just about anything that feels “too cheap” will be a reduce price for a purpose. Regionally, Like Well is the main specialist in sourcing vintage and antique jewellery. (You can shop as a result of its Instagram account or enquire immediately if you are on the lookout for one thing in specific.) And if you just want to perv, you can discover Anne Schofield’s amazing 108-piece $2 million antique jewelry collection when it goes on display at the Powerhouse Museum later on this 12 months. You know what they say: (sustainably sourced) diamonds are a girl’s finest good friend.

This tale seems in the February 2023 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia/New Zealand, available for delivery here.