Monday, June 8, 2009
IS THAT JEWELRY ANTIQUE? VINTAGE? PERIOD? DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?
Time for a break from talking about designer vintage costume jewelry ... especially when I have so many superb pieces of period jewelry to share with those who visit this blog. "Period jewelry"? If you're wondering what that term means, well here's what I learned a few weeks back about the difference between "vintage", "period" and antique jewelry:
Antique is that jewelry, costume or fine, that is 100 years old or more.
Vintage is that jewelry, usually costume, that is at least 20 years old.
Period is that jewelry that is both at least 20 years old and is made of fine materials i.e. gold, silver, genuine gemstones, diamonds etc.
I never knew that! I just called anything that I knew wasn't antique, but was at least 20 years old, "vintage". So tonight I want to share some of the fabulous "PERIOD" pieces we currently have listed in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, like the gorgeous 14k white gold necklace shown at the top of this blog. This one is something else: it's made in Italy and stamped both 14k and 585. It contains .60 cts of sparkling top quality diamonds, hangs to a finished length of 20", and weighs 11grams. But what I just love about this necklace is its workmanship and design: it's superbly crafted with intricate filigree-type work surrounding the diamonds. And for some reason, it reminds me of lace. It's reminiscent of art deco but it most likely does not date to that era. I'd say it's from the 70's or 80's. For me, this necklace merges old world styling with contemporary tastes. What a way to dress up your best evening gown or your blue jeans!
Shown above is another of our recent "period" additions to our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, and wow, do I love this one! This one is an opal lover's delight. It's both a brooch/pin and a pendant i.e. there's a loop in the back through which you can insert a chain. I am currenly showing it at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE on an 18k choker length chain which may not suit you if you like your pendants to hang lower on the chest. The chain I'm supplying is only 15" long so the opal pendant sits in the hollow of your neck. I like it like that but if you don't, you can purchase just the pin. Details are on the ITEM PAGE.
This pin/pendant is fashioned from 14k yellow gold and has a diameter of 1 1/2". The opals in this pin are outstanding, full of fire and not a nick in them anywhere. And yet, this brooch dates back to the 30's or 40's. The condition is amazing. Those who collect opal jewelry should definitely add this one to their collection.
Last but not least tonight, I'd like you to take a look at this art deco ring featuring 14 square cut genuine rubies and 5 glittering diamonds. Again, what a beautiful design in this ring. How many do you see like this? I guess that's one of the reason I'm so keen on vintage, period or antique jewelry: the designs, the craftsmanship and the quality so often surpasses what we find in the shops today. And because you are buying something that has been pre-worn or if you prefer, pre-loved, you can often buy it for so much less than you would a similar brand new piece today. Oh sure, when it comes to rings, bracelets etc, expect that there'll be signs of wear, some scratches to the gold, and sometimes even chipped stones, but then, you're not paying megabucks either. But what you're getting is unique and beautiful and often, in remarkably good condition, as is this ring: it's 14k, a size 6 and plenty of gold for re-sizing if needed. Do click on the photo to see more and learn more about this ring and the other pieces I've shared with you tonight. Happy shopping folks!