Antique, Retro and Vintage: is there a difference?

Posted by Lauren Shaffran on

Antique, Retro and Vintage Jewelry have become popular terms in fashion  commentary, and an increasing number of people are looking to collect them. You may  be surprised to hear that they are actually difficult to find when you’re looking  for the authentic thing. Many sites, such as Ebay, sell antique, retro and vintage  jewelry, but before you venture out on your own search, there are some basic things  you should know before you spend your time and money.

First, there are differences between these styles of jewelry, but the main one is the length of time that it has been around for.  Jewelry is considered antique if it is 100 years or older. Retro was a trend in jewelry  during the 1940-1950’s. And, vintage jewelry is jewelry that is older than 20 years. Vintage jewelry has interchangeably been called ‘costume jewelry’.  The price tag of these pieces reflect both their quality and their authenticity. One should be aware  that many of these pieces have been altered over time and cannot be resold as  an ‘authentic piece’. 

Many people search far and wide to find authentic pieces of jewelry, but we  have found some websites that will help you search from your home. Online  stores such as Ebay, Rubylane and Vintage Button  Designs all sell authentic vintage jewelry. We  even found a site that helps you verify whether your vintage jewelry has value .

After all of the work involved in looking for and buying an authentic vintage piece  of jewelry, it’s important to know how to take good care of it. A good option is to lay it flat on a  cotton-lined cloth in your jewelry box. Given the age of these authentic vintage pieces,  personal care products such as hair spray, make up, and perfumes, can negatively affect this  jewelry even more than modern pieces. It’s a good idea to develop the habit of  wiping down your vintage pieces after every time you wear them to keep them in tip top  shape. For more cleaning and care tips check out our blog on how to care for your  jewelry.


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