For me, it’s the finishing touch to any outfit.
My collection is costume jewellery, and I think my very favourite item is a set of cardigan clips that I bought at Twinwood Festival. They’re a gold-ish sort of a colour with pearls, and they’re beautiful. They brighten up my work outfits no end, even making me cheerful on a Monday.
Vintage jewellery isn’t all pearls. My most recent purchase was a pair of fruit basket earrings (photos to come on their first outing) and look at these sparkly insect earrings!
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So, if you’re looking to start (or build) your vintage jewellery collection, where do you start? Using my experience (read: seeing things I like and buying them), I’ve put together a few pointers on where to buy and what to look out for.
Places to buy vintage jewellery:
Vintage fairs. This is where I end up buying most of my jewellery. I usually find plenty of brooches (my particular weakness), along with necklaces and earrings (be aware: most vintage earrings are clip-ons, which I actually prefer).
This little haul was all from the Summer of Vintage festival in York last year.
eBay and etsy. etsy is especially good if you’re looking for something a bit special, and I’ve bought a few sets of beads from eBay. Try adding ‘true vintage’ or ‘original vintage’ at the start of your search terms (I know I give this advice a lot, but it works!).
Charity shops. Another great place to find jewellery, especially brooches in my experience. Jewellery’s usually in the glass counter under the till, so you’ll need to ask to take a look. On a separate note, if you make friends with the nice volunteers working in charity shops, they might even let you leave your details in case they get anything else in. Every charity shop in my local area has mine!
Top tips for buying vintage jewellery:
Do your research. If there’s something specific you’re after, do a bit of research before you buy. Buying something and learning later that you’ve paid over the odds is ruddy annoying.
If you like it, buy it. There are some things I own (see insect earrings) that some of my friends find a bit much. But that’s ok, because I’m a bit much.
Check before you buy. I don’t mean get out a magnifying glass, but just give it a once over. For example, if you’re buying something with stones, make sure none of them are missing or likely to fall off before you get home.
Speak to the experts. I know next to nothing about gemstones and the like, so if I were ever looking for a real gemstone rather than an imitation, I’d head to the local jewellers. Or ask my friends to see if they know someone with that expertise.
Have you got a favourite piece of vintage jewellery? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Or would you like more tips on finding vintage jewellery? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!
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