Last updated on August 28th, 2020 at 03:20 pm
Last Updated on August 28, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Most collectables made of precious metals like silver are displayed on a shelf and rarely handled. You can certainly choose to display your vintage silver jewellery in this manner, but these pieces were intended to be worn. The purpose of collecting vintage jewellery is not only to own something beautiful and valuable, but it is also an opportunity to express your own creativity by combining different styles to create something unique and personal to you.
If you’re new to buying vintage jewellery, you may be interested in specific pieces but are unsure that they are of high quality. The following is a grounding in the different nuances of vintage silver jewellery and what makes a piece valuable.
What Is the Difference Between Vintage Jewellery and Estate Jewellery?
While there is some overlap between the two, they are actually two different concepts. It is the age of a piece that makes it vintage, whereas if a piece is described as estate jewellery, it has more to do with its history of ownership.
Vintage jewellery is that which has been around for several decades but is less than 100 years old. Once a piece of jewellery reaches the century mark, it becomes an antique. Most jewellery categorized as vintage originated in the 20th century, typically sometime between the 1930s and the 1970s.
Estate jewellery refers to pieces that once belonged to someone else. Some estate pieces were sold by their original owners, while others are family heirlooms gifted or bequeathed to loved ones. Estate pieces can be antique, vintage, or more recent.
What Are the Different Types of Silver Jewellery?
Pure silver is rarely made into jewellery. Although it is valuable, it is not a practical material for jewellery-making because it is so soft that, over time, it loses its shape. The most common type of silver jewellery is made of sterling silver. This is an alloy consisting of 92.5% silver. The remainder consists of a stronger and more durable metal, usually copper but sometimes nickel. An authentic piece of sterling silver usually has a mark on it somewhere inconspicuous identifying it as such. However, if the piece is too small, sometimes this is left off.
Silver-plated jewellery is common and inexpensive. The reason is that it is not really silver jewellery at all. It is made of copper or another metal coated with a thin layer of silver on the outside. For this reason, silver-plated jewellery is not very valuable. If you are serious about collecting jewellery, be on the lookout for silver plate represented as the genuine article.
What Is the Value of Buying Vintage Silver Jewellery Pieces?
Obviously, part of it is that precious metals are worth money, but there is so much more that makes vintage jewellery valuable. For one thing, some vintage pieces were crafted by hand. This is not always the case as the vintage period spans several decades in which jewellery was often mass-produced. Still, some vintage pieces are entirely original, which makes them unique. Vintage pieces, especially those made by hand, also tend to be of a higher quality. The very fact that they have survived long enough to become vintage speaks to their durability.
Vintage pieces also have a history to them. You may be aware of the specifics if you buy a piece with a well-documented provenance. Sometimes a piece is more valuable because of who owned it than because of its materials. Even if you don’t know who owned it, however, you get a sense of the history through which it has existed when you handle a piece of vintage jewellery.
Best Quality Vintage Jewellery
It is important that you only purchase vintage silver jewellery from a reputable dealer. Colonial Acres has been in business for nearly three decades. We ensure that you get the best quality by choosing each piece carefully before adding it to our inventory.