Why Antique & Vintage Jewellery is Making a Comeback


Antique jewellery typically refers to pieces over 100 years old, while vintage jewellery describes items that are at least 20 years old but not yet a century in age. These terms not only denote the age of the items but also encapsulate the unique styles and superior craftsmanship from bygone eras. In recent times, there's been a noticeable resurgence in the popularity of antique and vintage jewellery, with enthusiasts and fashion-forward individuals alike seeking out these timeless treasures.

The appeal of such pieces is multifaceted—antique and vintage jewellery embody the elegance of the past, bringing with it a storied history that modern accessories seldom possess. The intricate designs and handcrafted details showcase an artistry that transcends generations, making them coveted items among collectors and style connoisseurs.

As you consider adding to your collection or starting a new one, exploring options like those offered by Vintage Times can be an excellent way to discover authentic antique and vintage jewellery. With a wide array of Art Deco, estate, and other period pieces, sites like Vintage Times provide a window into the exquisite world of past-era jewels. Whether you're in Australia or shopping internationally, the comeback of these historical adornments is undeniable—a trend that honors tradition while making a sophisticated statement in contemporary fashion.

1. Historical Significance

When you wear antique jewellery or vintage jewellery, you're not just adorning yourself with beautiful trinkets. You're wearing pieces of history, tangible reminders of bygone eras.

Each antique and vintage piece carries a unique story. Whether it's a Victorian brooch, an Art Deco necklace, or a Retro Modern ring, your jewellery whispers tales from the past - tales of love, celebration, or even heartbreak.

Imagine owning a locket from the 1800s, knowing it once held a cherished portrait or a lock of hair - personal keepsakes that were treasured by its previous owners.

These items are not just accessories; they're conversation starters. They can ignite curiosity and lead to enlightening discussions about different historical periods and their corresponding fashion trends.

Collecting antique and vintage jewellery is akin to embarking on an educational journey. Every piece in your collection serves as a testament to the craftsmanship techniques prevalent in its era. For instance, the intricate filigree work in Edwardian jewellery or the bold geometric designs of the Art Deco period reflect their respective time's aesthetic sensibilities.

In essence, these pieces can teach us much about our past - about the values, tastes, and skills of the people who crafted and wore them. This historical significance adds immense value to antique and vintage jewellery, making them more than just pretty adornments for your outfits.

2. Timeless Beauty and Style

When you explore the world of antique jewellery and vintage jewellery, you'll discover a realm where beauty lasts forever. These treasures from the past are made with such care and attention to detail that they continue to captivate us today.

Crafted to Last

Skilled artisans from previous generations poured their hearts into their work. Every delicate detail, from intricate filigree to the placement of gemstones, was executed with precision and dedication. This level of craftsmanship is hard to find in our fast-paced world, making antique and vintage pieces truly special.

Standing the Test of Time

Unlike some modern jewellery  that may lose its luster after just a few years, antique items often maintain their beauty for decades. This is thanks to the use of high-quality materials like pure gold and platinum, which resist tarnishing and wear.

A Style That Transcends Trends

The designs of these pieces possess an inherent timelessness that sets them apart from passing fads. Whether it's an Art Nouveau pendant or a Georgian era brooch, these pieces add a touch of elegance that is both classic and contemporary.

  • The design elements of antique jewellery often inspire current trends, demonstrating their lasting influence on fashion.

  • Their ability to blend seamlessly with any wardrobe showcases the timeless nature of their appeal.

In a world where trends come and go quickly, antique and vintage jewellery stand as symbols of enduring style. They offer more than just an accessory – they make a statement that goes beyond time.

By choosing these historical yet fashionable pieces, you connect with a legacy of style that enhances your personal aesthetic with unmatched grace.


3. Sustainability and Ethical Advantages

When it comes to sustainability, antique and vintage jewellery stand out as a green choice. By opting for these pre-owned pieces, you are reducing the demand for new mining and production processes in the jewellery  industry. This choice helps preserve natural resources and reduces the environmental impact linked to mining operations.

In contrast to newly mined materials, antique and vintage jewellery offer an ethical sourcing alternative. Current-day jewellery  production often involves labor concerns, including unfair wages and unsafe working conditions. Choosing antique or vintage pieces means you are not contributing to these present-day labor issues.

Antique jewellery possesses an added ethical advantage. These pieces were typically crafted before the advent of mass production techniques, meaning they were made by skilled artisans whose craftsmanship is evident in every piece.

Vintage jewellery, on the other hand, offers a pathway to ethical consumption without sacrificing style or quality. These pieces often showcase unique design elements from their respective eras, making them fashionable choices that also promote sustainable practices.

As you explore the world of antique and vintage jewellery, remember that each piece carries not only a rich history but also embodies a sustainable and ethical choice that contributes positively to our world today.

4. Uniqueness and Exclusivity

A significant appeal of antique and vintage jewellery is their uniqueness. Unlike modern, mass-produced pieces, these items are often one-of-a-kind, offering a distinctiveness that makes them stand out.

Since they originate from different eras, antique and vintage pieces often exhibit design elements and motifs not commonly seen in contemporary jewellery. From the intricate filigree work of the Edwardian period to the geometric patterns of Art Deco, each piece serves as a testament to the craftsmanship and aesthetics of its time.

This exclusivity extends to the materials used. The gemstones in antique and vintage jewellery are often hand-cut, differing from the machine-cut stones prevalent today. These hand-cut stones possess a charm and character that machine-cut ones often lack.

As a result, when you wear an antique or vintage item, you're not just wearing a piece of jewellery - you're wearing a piece of history that's uniquely yours. This quality makes such pieces highly coveted by those seeking individuality in their style.

Also, due to their rarity, these items can be conversation starters. Owning an antique or vintage piece gives you a story to share - about the era it came from, its previous owners, or how you came to acquire it.

Remember: In a world where mass production has become the norm, uniqueness is truly invaluable.

5. Investment Potential

When it comes to antique and vintage jewellery, there's a financial aspect that can't be overlooked: their potential as investments. Unlike many contemporary pieces, which can depreciate in value over time, these historical treasures tend to maintain or even appreciate in value.

One of the main reasons behind this is their rarity. As we mentioned earlier, each antique piece is one-of-a-kind. Their unique designs and the craftsmanship involved are often irreplaceable. Their scarcity only makes them more desirable, contributing to their lasting value.

In addition, these pieces carry a rich history that is reflected in their price tags. The stories they hold, the periods they represent, all add to their allure and monetary value. This history gives them an intrinsic worth that tends to increase with time.

Consider this as well: many antique and vintage jewellery pieces were created during times when the purity of gold was higher and gemstones were larger compared to today's standards. This further escalates their worth in today's market.

In essence, investing in antique and vintage jewellery can serve multiple purposes. Not only do you get to wear beautiful accessories with fascinating backstories, but you're also purchasing assets with potential for financial growth.

Remember though, while the investment factor is significant, it's equally important to buy pieces that you truly love and appreciate for their beauty and history. The joy they bring should always be your primary return on investment.

6. Tips for Buying Antique & Vintage Jewellery

When exploring the world of antique and vintage jewellery, it's important to approach your search with both passion and caution. Here are some valuable tips to help you have a successful buying experience:

1. Research Time Periods & Styles

Before making any purchases, take the time to educate yourself about the different time periods and styles that you're interested in. This will allow you to distinguish between Georgian and Victorian pieces, as well as understand the characteristics of Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs. Each era has its own unique features in terms of styles, materials used, and craftsmanship techniques employed. Having this knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions and identify genuine pieces that truly speak to your personal taste.

2. Examine Condition Carefully

When dealing with antique or vintage jewellery, assessing its condition can be more of an art than a science. Here are some key points to keep in mind when evaluating the condition of a piece:

  • Look for signs of aging, such as a natural patina, which can actually enhance the charm and authenticity of an item.

  • However, be able to distinguish between these signs of aging and actual damage, such as cracks or missing gemstones, which may significantly impact both the value and wearability of the piece.

  • Pay close attention to the condition of important components like clasps, prongs, and settings to ensure that they are sturdy and secure.

3. Understand Repairs & Alterations

It's not uncommon for well-preserved antique or vintage jewellery to have undergone repairs or alterations throughout its history. These changes could involve anything from replacing a damaged gemstone to resizing a ring. While these modifications don't necessarily diminish the value or appeal of a piece, it's still important to be aware of them as they can affect its historical integrity. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Try to determine whether any repairs or alterations were done professionally or if they were more DIY in nature.

  • Consider the overall impact of these changes on the original design and aesthetics of the piece.

  • Keep in mind that some types of modifications, such as adding a modern clasp to an antique necklace, may actually make the item more practical and wearable for you.

By equipping yourself with these insights, you'll be better equipped to choose jewellery pieces that not only capture your heart but also hold long-term value. Each purchase you make becomes a part of that piece's story—a testament to its past and a contribution to its future legacy.

"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan

Moving forward, proper care is essential to maintain the beauty and condition of your treasured finds...

7. Caring and Maintaining Your Collection

When you invest in antique jewellery or vintage jewellery, you take on the responsibility of preserving its beauty and integrity. Proper caring and maintenance are crucial for ensuring these treasures continue to shine for years to come.

Proper Storage

  • Keep each piece separate to avoid scratches or tangling; soft pouches or lined jewellery  boxes are ideal.

  • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight as heat and light can cause some gemstones to fade or discolor.

  • Consider anti-tarnish strips or cloths for silver items to prevent tarnishing.

Regular Cleaning

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth for gentle cleaning; this can remove oils and dust without damaging the metal or stones.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals and cleaning solutions; mild soap and water are usually sufficient for a deeper clean.

  • Ensure pieces are dried thoroughly after cleaning to prevent water spots or rust on metal components.

Special Precautions

  • Be mindful of the fragility of certain pieces; older settings may be delicate and require a professional's touch.

  • Pearls and opals, for example, require special care as they can be damaged by alcohol-based sanitizers and perfumes.

  • When in doubt, consult with a professional jeweler who specializes in antique and vintage items.

By attending to the specific needs of your collection, you guarantee that each piece remains as captivating as it was when it first sparked admiration. It's not only about keeping jewellery aesthetically pleasing but also about protecting your investment.

Moving forward, integrating these timeless beauties into your daily fashion repertoire can be both exciting and stylish when done thoughtfully.

8. How to Style Antique & Vintage Jewellery with Modern Outfits

Styling antique and vintage jewellery with modern outfits is an art that can elevate your fashion game to a whole new level. The fusion of old charm with new trends creates a unique aesthetic that is both timeless and current.

8.1 Balance Old and New

A key tip when styling antique and vintage pieces is to balance them with modern elements. For instance, layering delicate antique necklaces with minimalist contemporary chains creates a look that's rich in contrast and intrigue. The delicate details of the antique necklace combined with the sleek simplicity of a modern chain create an eye-catching blend of styles.

But remember, less is more when it comes to pairing old and new. Let your antique or vintage piece be the star of your outfit. A statement ring from the Art Deco era, for example, could be paired with a simple black dress and minimal accessories. This allows the ring's intricate design and historical charm to shine without competition from other elements.

8.2 Play with Earrings and Hairstyles

When it comes to earrings, consider pairing bold vintage studs or dangles with a modern updo hairstyle. The hairstyle's contemporary feel can complement the earrings' classic design, offering a harmonious blend of past and present.

8.3 Mix Periods and Styles

Finally, don't shy away from mixing periods and styles. A Victorian brooch could beautifully adorn a modern denim jacket, while Retro Modern bracelets might just be the perfect companions for your favorite smartwatch. With creativity and careful pairing, you can effortlessly infuse antique and vintage jewellery into your modern wardrobe.

9. Popular Collectible Eras in Antique & Vintage Jewellery

When it comes to collectible eras in antique and vintage jewellery, several periods stand out as highly sought after by collectors today. These periods are characterized by distinct styles and renowned designers, adding a layer of historical and artistic significance to the pieces.

1. Art Deco

This era, spanning from the 1920s to the 1930s, is known for its geometric shapes, bold colors, and a fascination with all things exotic. Art Deco jewellery often features intricate designs influenced by the Egyptian, African, and East Asian cultures. Renowned designers such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels crafted stunning pieces that epitomize the glamour and sophistication of this period.

2. Victorian

The Victorian era, covering the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901, produced jewellery with romantic and ornate designs. Pieces from this period often feature intricate metalwork, sentimental motifs like hearts and flowers, as well as the extensive use of pearls and gemstones. Victorian jewellery reflects the sentimentality and opulence of the time, with notable designers including Castellani and Carlo Giuliano.

3. Retro Modern

Also known as the "cocktail jewellery" era, Retro Modern emerged in the 1940s and continued into the 1950s. Jewellery from this period is characterized by bold, large-scale designs often featuring colorful gemstones set in yellow or rose gold. The influence of Hollywood glamour is evident in Retro Modern pieces, with iconic names like Cartier and Boucheron leading the way in creating show-stopping designs.

Each of these eras offers a unique aesthetic and historical context that continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike. Whether it's the sleek lines of Art Deco, the romanticism of Victorian pieces, or the bold exuberance of Retro Modern designs, antique and vintage jewellery from these eras hold enduring appeal for discerning individuals seeking timeless elegance.

10. Famous Personalities Who Love Antique & Vintage Jewellery

Celebrities often have a great sense of style and love to stand out, which is why many of them are drawn to antique and vintage jewellery. These one-of-a-kind pieces not only make them look glamorous but also allow them to show off their own personal taste.

Angelina Jolie

One famous actress who is known for her impeccable style is Angelina Jolie. She can often be seen wearing vintage jewellery when she attends red carpet events. One of the most notable pieces in her collection is a stunning 10-carat diamond ring from the Art Deco period.

Kate Middleton

Another well-known personality who has a fondness for antique jewellery is Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. She elegantly wears an engagement ring from the Victorian era that once belonged to Princess Diana. This beautiful sapphire and diamond ring has now become one of the most iconic pieces of royal jewellery.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts, the talented actress who won an Oscar, is also someone who loves vintage jewellery. At the 2019 Oscars, she surprised everyone by pairing her off-the-shoulder gown with a unique antique choker necklace, creating a truly memorable look.

Taylor Swift and Rihanna

Even popular singers like Taylor Swift and Rihanna frequently incorporate vintage jewellery into their outfits, showcasing their admiration for these timeless accessories.

These famous individuals demonstrate that wearing antique and vintage jewellery isn't just about owning something old. It's about using fashion as a form of self-expression and embracing your own individuality while honoring the craftsmanship of previous generations.

"Vintage jewellery is not something I wear everyday. I like to wear it when I want to feel glamorous." - Angelina Jolie


Antique jewellery and vintage jewellery are not just beautiful adornments; they are also tangible pieces of history with a unique charm that is hard to replicate. As we have discovered, they offer numerous advantages:

  • They carry significant historical value

  • They flaunt timeless beauty and style

  • They promote sustainability and ethical consumerism

  • They promise uniqueness and exclusivity

  • They serve as potential investments

Each piece tells a story, whispers of the past, and brings a sense of depth and character to your personal style.

Whether you are drawn by the thrill of the hunt for these rare treasures, captivated by their exquisite craftsmanship, or simply charmed by their timeless elegance, there is no denying the allure of these beautiful artifacts from bygone eras.

Your journey with antique and vintage jewellery can start today. Each piece you choose adds a layer to your personal narrative, creating a visual autobiography that evolves with you. Whether you decide to start your own collection or incorporate these pieces into your daily outfits, remember to wear them with pride and style.

There's a reason why antique and vintage jewellery is making a comeback. Its charm resides not only in its physical beauty but also in the stories it carries, the craftsmanship it displays, and the enduring style it offers. So go ahead — embrace the allure of antique and vintage jewellery, and let their timeless charm enhance your unique style statement.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the historical significance of antique and vintage jewellery?

Antique and vintage jewellery pieces carry a sense of history with them, as they feature unique designs from different eras. Wearing a piece of the past allows individuals to connect with different time periods' fashion trends and craftsmanship techniques, making it both alluring and educational.

What makes antique and vintage jewellery timeless in terms of beauty and style?

The quality craftsmanship of antique and vintage jewellery ensures their enduring beauty, transcending temporary fashion fads. Their timeless style appeal makes them a valuable addition to any collection.

What are the sustainability and ethical advantages of choosing antique and vintage jewellery?

Choosing pre-owned pieces instead of supporting new mining and production processes in the jewellery industry offers environmental benefits. Additionally, ethical concerns associated with present-day labor issues often linked to mining operations are not perpetuated when purchasing antique and vintage jewellery.

What sets antique and vintage jewellery apart in terms of uniqueness and exclusivity?

Antique and vintage jewellery items are rare and one-of-a-kind, making them stand out from mass-produced contemporary pieces. Their uniqueness adds a special allure for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Are antique and vintage jewellery considered as an investment?

Yes, antique and vintage jewellery can be considered tangible investments, with their value potentially appreciating over time. This makes them a valuable asset for those looking to invest in unique pieces with historical significance.

What are some tips for buying antique & vintage jewellery?

It is important to research different time periods and their corresponding styles to make informed purchase decisions. Additionally, examining the condition of a piece is crucial, understanding the difference between signs of age (which can add character) and damage that may affect its value or wearability.