Vintage Costume Jewellery – 5 ways to get the best deals

January 23, 2009 · Filed Under Antique Art Deco Jewellery 

When looking for vintage costume jewellery, you’ll notice that it might be a little hard to ensure you’re getting a good deal.  In fact, if you’re not sure of the questions to ask and what to look out for, then the whole thing can be a complete minefield, especially if you’re buying vintage costume jewellery on-line.

In many department stores today, the costume jewellery that they have on display will, unfortunately, lose value rather than gain it.  However, vintage costume jewellery is a whole other story.  Get a piece of vintage costumer jewellery in your collection and if it’s in demand, then you’re on to a winner – if you know what to look out for when buying that is.

So here’s five simple steps and a quick (very quick) guide to finding the best vintage costume jewellery around.

1. Study the market
Remember that no precious metals or stones are used to make vintage costumer jewellery, so it’s worth knowing what pieces will stay and continue to stay in fashion.  Some designs have become very popular, and those are the ones to watch out for.

2. How rare is the piece?

Do a quick search online to see if the same piece of vintage costume jewellery is being sold elsewhere.  Chances are that it probably is because vintage costumer jewellery pieces are usually produced en masse, however if you can’t find anything similar, then it’s worth looking at more closely.

3. Find out the manufacturer
If possible, speak to the seller and find out the manufacturer of the vintage costume jewellery.  This is because of differing batch sizes; a smaller manufacturer of costume jewellery may only produce hundreds rather than the bigger manufacturers, and this all effects the price.

4. Design
Take a close look at the design traits of top manufacturers.  Know what sells and what doesn’t, what’s in demand and what isn’t.  Once you know the design traits you’ll be able to combine this with your knowledge of the market and be able to make considered decisions.  And it’s a good idea only to buy vintage costume jewellery that you actually like.

5.  Is it signed?
Some companies did not start to sign pieces until around the 1940’s and beyond.  If it is signed, then great, if not – and you know it’s a vintage costume jewellery piece by a top manufacturer – even better!  Knowing the design traits of the top manufacturers will help you determine this.

That’s a quick guide, but I look out for other posts on the blog where I’ll go into more detail about vintage costume jewellery, the designers and how to buy to sell.

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