We all know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what about emeralds, pearls, and sparkly gems? Our motto: Anything goes! Vicki Sipe, founder of Nostalgic Collections, has this step by step guide to collecting stylish vintage jewels.

1. Make sure all the stones are secure. Time can loosen the setting and the glue can come undone. Caution: Modern cleaning supplies can also destroy and disintegrate vintage glue. Soap and water tend to be gentle alternatives for cleaning vintage gems.

2. Check for clarity. Even vintage faux gems can get cloudy with age. You don’t have to settle for cloudy, dark gems, there are plenty of vintage jewels in great condition and at reasonable prices!

3. Cracks in faux finish. The finish on faux pearls tends to chip and crack over time. Be sure to roll each pearl/bead over to check them from every angle.

4. Be prepared to re-string. Sometimes the beads, pearls and gems are in amazing condition but the string is weak. Restringing is an inexpensive and easy fix.

5. Signed vs. Unsigned. The value of a designer piece is in the signature. Signatures are impressions found typically on the reverse side of vintage pieces. There are tons of beautiful unsigned pieces that buyers can attain for reasonable prices. Vintage costume jewelry has a glamorous feel without the huge price tag!

Signature photo courtesy of www.vintageinbohemia.com

Signature photo courtesy of www.vintageinbohemia.com

6. Parure vs. Demi Parure. Parure is a term used to define a suite of coordinating pieces and elaborate collections of jewelry. Parure collections are extensive and include three or more of the following: necklace, hair comb, tiara, a diadem (ornamental headband or crown), bracelet or pair of bracelets, pins, rings, drop earrings or cluster stud earrings and a brooch. Demi Parure is used when a set consists of less than three coordinating pieces.

Vintage jewelry makes great, affordable accessories. Add a little bling without breaking the bank!


4 Responses

  1. Catwalk Creative Vintage

    I’d like some advice on re-stringing. How easy is it for someone with no experience? I have a 1950’s glass beaded necklace and an Art Deco necklace that needs work done. Where do I start?

  2. Vicki

    Hi Louise!

    Let me see if I can help…

    First, if you don’t already have string, you can purchase some at your local craft store. The most important thing is the size of the hole in the bead. You’ll need to buy something small enough to fit into the tiny hole in the bead ;)You can also make the choice to use string with a little elasticity.

    Next, if all the beads are the same size, I typically put them all in one container and re-string them randomly. If I’m not concerned about keeping them in the same order, I’ll put the best quality beads towards the front. If the beads vary in size, I’ll take them off the old necklace one bead at a time and put them on the new string.

    If you need more help, send me a message 😉

    Vicki at Nostalgic Collections dot com