The definition of “vintage” is somewhat disputed by those who deal in such items across all sorts of genres and marketplaces. In jewelry terms, though, there is a pretty much agreed definition. To be called vintage, pieces must be at least 20 years old but less than 100, at which point they become antique. Of course, there are lots of antique pieces available, and are highly collectible as those 80 years covers many different design periods and fashions.
Because vintage jewelry can often be bought quite cheaply, pieces are especially popular with new and younger collectors, as can be witnessed by the number of Instagram accounts showing those collections off. Here, we look at some of the best accounts which focus on vintage jewelry.
A self-confessed “lover of vintage jewelry”, Caron has lots of images of the pieces she owns, in her account. Most are not chosen because they have a high monetary value, but for their charm and general appeal. There are, though, some real gems (no pun intended!) here, such as this very unusual Art Deco abalone ring.
Caron also looks for the unusual when on the search for new pieces. One great example is this very pretty Stanhope anchor pendant. French in origin, the pendant contains a tiny viewing window in the center through which a view of Lourdes can be seen. Caron is clearly an enthusiastic collector of vintage jewelry, and the account is well worth a browse.
Another account where the owner clearly has a love for all jewelry of the vintage variety. There are lots of great art nouveau-inspired pieces here which bring all the colors of the rainbow to life beautifully. Everything from rings, to pins, to earrings and bracelets is here, and in all the design types you can imagine.
One of the more unusual items here is a vintage cameo brooch which not only has what appears to be a Roman lady of some standing on it, but the lady herself is wearing a tiara, earrings and pendant set. They are almost certainly not original, and will have been added more recently, but the effect is very nice!
We’re going to have be honest here, and say that our knowledge of the Russian language is pretty limited, so it’s just as well that a picture can paint a thousand words on this Kiev-based account. There are some stunning pieces here, from all around the world including a stunning English pewter shield brooch that evokes visions of anglo-saxon warriors fighting the Northmen
Nature featured greatly in art nouveau, and its influences have been seen in every period of design since then. Flowers, butterflies and other insects are very well represented here, such as in this stunning gilded Dragonfly brooch. In simple quality terms, this account is outstanding for the beauty of its images.
Back to the US for this account, which specialises in fine vintage costume jewelry and even contains images of some very high end jewelry and other items from such as Tiffany and Rolex. One of our favourites is this Native American turquoise and hard stone necklace. With a huge chunk of rough carved turquoise forming the eagle motif at its heart, and other important symbols of nature around the circumference of the natural cord, it is quite a lovely thing to look at.
At the other end of the cultural spectrum is a Tiffany money clip, knife and nail file combination for the woman who, if she has this, truly has everything! Resembling the modern credit card-type swiss army devices that we see today, it is unusual and very attractive.
Stretching the notion of vintage a little, but still well worth a look. My Vintage Jewelry has doesn’t so much feature genuine vintage pieces, but rather more modern vintage-inspired designs. There is just about everything you can imagine here from hair clips to vintage tea cups and, if we’re happy to suspend our views on what really is vintage, there are some very pretty designs here.
Again, art nouveau influences are obvious here, with colored stones and other materials used to bring vintage right up to date like these lovely coral-colored earrings or this delightful scalloped necklace. Vintage may not always be vintage as we know it, but when it looks this good, it’s hard to ignore either way!
If you like your vintage jewelry a little more “industrial”, this is the account for you! With lots of silver, pewter and other metals, and turquoise very much the dominant theme throughout, the effect is quite fantastic. Much of what is shown is Native American influenced, including this Navajo sterling silver and turquoise ring which shows that gemstones don’t always need to be free of flaws and inclusions to be spectacular.
Inlays in jewelry are something we don’t see so much any more, so we were delighted to see this terrific example of of a design inlay in this lovely Zuni Bracelet which shows that true craftsmanship is still very much alive. This account, again, does push the boundaries of vintage a little, and it’s not for the faint hearted, but it is a very pleasurable way to get lost for a few minutes looking at all the great jewelry here.