How to Assess the Value of Your Vintage Jewellery

29 April 2021

If you have some pieces of older jewellery, but you are not sure whether these items are true vintage designs or how to determine their value, there are ways to resolve these issues. First, try to remember where or how you obtained this jewellery. 

If you bought these items in the last few years from a large retailer, they are probably not vintage. Yet if you found them at a flea market or an estate sale, these pieces most likely are vintage costume jewellery designs. They may even be rare and valuable items. 

Next, consider the style of your jewellery. Art Deco, retro designs and mid-Twentieth century items are different styles of vintage jewellery. Many pieces from the 1970s and ‘80s are also categorised as vintage. Remember that jewellery less than 20 years old cannot be considered vintage. After it reaches the age of 100 years, an item of jewellery becomes an antique.

How You Can Assess the Value of Your Vintage Jewellery

You can assess the true value of your vintage jewellery in the following ways:

• Examine Craftsmanship. Around 1950, improved manufacturing procedures enabled the mass production of jewellery, and these pieces are not vintage items. Look closely at your necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings and hair ornaments to determine any handmade qualities. Of course, your pieces do not need to be handcrafted to be vintage.

• Consider the Materials. While some vintage jewellery features fine components like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, gold and platinum, other vintage pieces display less costly materials, including rhinestones, amethysts and silver. Using a magnifying glass, check for stamps that indicate the use of gold, platinum or silver. The value of different jewellery components can greatly increase or reduce the value of the piece.

• Examine the Cut of Gemstones. When examining the cut of gems featured in these jewellery designs, be aware that “European cut” and “old mine cut” diamonds are not produced today. These vintage cuts can help identify the era of your jewellery design as well as its value. Research the estimated value of different gemstone cuts and shapes to help assess the value of your jewellery items.

• Look Closely at Clasps. Necklaces and bracelets may be vintage if they are made with ring or box clasps. The lobster clasp that is widely used in jewellery today was not in popular use until the 1970s. Vintage and antique brooches often have trombone clasps or C clasps. These accessories can be quite helpful in determining the age and worth of jewellery designs.

• Look for Designer Names and Authentication. Popular vintage jewellery designer names that are well known today include Chanel, Christian Dior, Cartier, Hobe, Tiffany and Bulgari. Examine the inside or back areas of jewellery items for the name or logo of a designer. 

If you purchased your pieces at an estate sale, check your files to see if you have documents verifying jewellery authentication and value. If you cannot determine the designer or locate authentication documents, you can contact a professional jewellery appraiser to assess the value of your pieces. 

By consulting our experts at Ken Ross Jewellers in Ashburton Victoria, you can obtain valuable assistance for determining the age and value of your vintage jewellery. Our highly skilled professionals will provide you with an accurate and valid assessment of the true origin and value of your beautiful vintage pieces.

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