Why would I buy vintage or antique jewellery?


For those curious about antique and vintage jewellery, the first question is usually “why?”. Why would I buy antique jewellery? Here we give six compelling reasons why you should!

Magnificence and splendour 

First and foremost, antique jewellery is divine. Whether it’s a platinum, diamond and onyx brooch from the Art Deco period or a diamond gypsy ring from the Victorian era, antique jewellery has a magnificence and splendour all of its own.

There have been so many distinctive eras in fashion and jewellery – Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco to name a few – as well as jewellery which reflected particular sentiments be it love, loss, empowerment or friendship. These different strands make such an interesting palette from which to paint.

Antique jewellery also benefits from craftsmanship. Modern day jewellery is typically computer designed, machine milled and lacks the charm of antique pieces that were often hand-crafted or engraved, where stones were cut by hand tools and set by a jeweller

Now that is not to say all antique jewellery is fabulous and wearable today or that no modern day jewellery lacks beauty – that is patently not the case and there are some very high quality pieces manufactured now.  However, whilst there are some antique pieces that for whatever reason aren’t desirable in the modern day. Some antique items contains ivory or other materials that in today’s more ecologically responsible society are not appropriate, or perhaps the item might be macabre or distasteful. But, putting aside those items, there is a true abundance of simply amazing antique jewellery out there!

Each piece is an individual

Before the modern age of precision manufacturing, jewellery was made by hand piece by piece. This was a highly-skilled craft that took years if not a lifetime to acquire. This hand-crafting means that antique pieces are very often one-off and each item of jewellery has its own unique character and individuality.

This remained the case right up to the 1930s but even as manufacturing became more prevalent through into the 1950s and 1960s, it is only in the last 50-60 years that mass production in jewellery has led to the influx of cheaply made and, frankly forgettable, jewellery.

Antique jewellery has character and uniqueness; not blandness and ubiquity.

It tells its own story

Antique jewellery has been through a lot. It’s had a life of its own for 100 years or more. Some pieces of jewellery bear the marks of having been on a journey, some look the same as they would have been on the day they were first purchased. Many will have inscriptions or engravings, initials or crests or perhaps even hidden meanings or hidden treasures which also tell a

For most items, we will never know the full history but they will almost certainly have been a witness to or participant in all sorts of stories – stories of romance, recognition, hope and dreams as well as losses and tragedy.

When we pick jewellery, we are very conscious that we are a custodian of that piece for a short period of time and that the next owner will treasure the item for hopefully many many years to come and will imbue their jewellery with new stories which will perhaps be passed on to the next generation. That continuity of life and experience is something which is very attractive about antique jewellery.

Play your part for the environment 

Mining for precious metals and gemstones is an energy-intensive activity, not to mention dirty, dangerous and can sometimes cause pollution and damage ecosystems.

The benefit of antique jewellery is that your purchase does not contribute to this – the gold, the diamonds and other precious stones have been mined many many years ago and you are playing your part in reusing and recycling albeit with the most wonderful of items.

You get much better value for your money

In the UK (and often elsewhere) buying antique jewellery means you don’t pay VAT like you would for a new item of jewellery in a high street store. This means that more of the money you spend actually goes towards the item your purchasing and not to the taxman!

Make an investment for the future

In addition to the good value for money, antique jewellery can prove to be a

Unlike modern jewellery, it is a product which becomes scarcer every year and demand for high quality items continues to increase unabated.

Who knows, that Victorian antique piece you buy might just be worth a small fortune in the years to come… and even if it doesn’t turn into a $1m investment, you still have the enjoyment of something beautiful rather than numbers in a bank account.

The long-lasting nature of antique jewellery

Having endured 100 years or more, antique jewellery has proven its longevity both in terms of the quality of the craftsmanship but also its style and desirability.

Antique jewellery was and remains a class above; hand-crafted, engraved and set. Unique and individual. Elegant and attractive.There’s no doubt those antique pieces will continue to be around and stand out in another 100 years!