We all have those family heirlooms that we love and cherish. You know, the ones that don’t really see the light of day or leave the protective cocoon that is your jewelry box. I’m talking the real expensive stuff; the old gold with the stones inset in such a way that would never strike you as being new and modern, rather, an old treasure with some significant personal meaning attached to the piece.
For me, my heirlooms don’t leave my left wrist, and consist of three 18k gold bangles that probably date back to Morocco in the 30’s. Others have their grandmothers’ jewelry that they seldom wear for a variation of reasons; my guess being the fact that they would be scared to lose these important pieces, or find these settings extremely outdated. The jewelry market, alternatively, thrives on the inspiration that throwback pieces can give to modern and less authentic trinkets.
The style of true vintage jewelry can be copied, but there are some key indicators as to whether a piece is authentic or not when it comes to comparing the details of old jewelry to modern counterparts. I find real vintage jewelry tends to focus on the details, such as the way stones are set in intricate metal detailing, while more modern jewelry is more angular, with straighter lines and brighter metal finish.
Today I went on a walk through the Glebe after spending the day downtown, and found an antique shop with endless amounts of costume and genuine jewelry.
I found these two pairs of earrings at $10 a pair, meaning they are purely costume jewelry, however, vintage nonetheless. These earrings are clip-on, lightweight, and put the maximum emphasis on the stones. The amber-colored pair, however, looks more antique than the green pair because of the ‘gold’ detailing around the border of the stones. The thin prongs holding the stone in place, in addition to the weaving metal on the earrings’ contour gives off a more antique vibe than the rounder green pair. Both pairs, however, would be eye-catching with a simple outfit and a ponytail to expose the ears.
Middle: Black on gold vintage-looking ring with hammered gold tone detail, from asos. Right: Super vintage inspired cocktail ring with intricately detailed prongs and jewel setting, from Juicy Couture.
True vintage artistry!
So what ever your price point may be, there is costume jewelry out there that can help you achieve a classic look while keeping your pocket full. Just be choosy and try to spot the stuff that is so obviously wannabe-vintage. Cuz that swag ain’t classy.
Keep your eyes on the details,