Remember when you were a little girl and Mom or Grandma let you play with her jewelry box? All those pins, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings were so much fun to wear, and to pretend you were a grown-up lady.
Vintage costume jewelry, like those long-gone treasures (or, if you were lucky enough to inherit them, the precious mementos you have kept) can be found at very reasonable prices.
There are 5 major things to consider when buying vintage costume jewelry for your personal collection, or as an investment.
1. First of all, do you like it? If you’re going to own it, admire it, display it and wear it, you need to like it. It doesn’t matter what it is, what it looks like to others – the most important thing is that you like it.
2. Next, consider its condition. Be sure that the vintage piece is in good condition. Does the hardware work properly? Are all stones intact? Are metal finishes worn away? If you are considering the purchase as an investment, it doesn’t matter as much whether you like it, but it must be in good condition.
3. Is it a good investment, if that’s why you are buying it? Is it signed (is the manufacturer’s mark on the piece)? Is it part of a growing trend, such as Christmas jewelry, or ’60s flower power?
4. Is it signed? Designer-signed jewelry is generally a good investment. Invest in a jeweler’s loupe (small magnifying glass) so you can find the signature – it may be on the back, on the stem of a brooch, on the screw-back or clip of an earring, or on a clasp.
5. Are there any added features? Jewelry sets of two or more pieces are highly collectible. The original box adds value, as do original price and manufacturer’s tags.
Have fun with your collection! Learn more about vintage costume jewelry from books, internet searches and blogs. Just looking through a price guide will give you inspiration and hours of pleasure. But beware! Collecting vintage costume jewelry can become addictive!