In the field of jewelry classification, you’ve heard the terms vintage and antique jewelry. These two terms are often used with little distinction. There are still a large number of people who are confused and often interchange the meaning for each term.

There are a lot of jewelry stores that claim to sell vintage products. These types of jewelry can be hard to find and are often costly. Whether you are selling or buying, you need to find a reliable vintage and antique jewelry dealers, such as Goldstein Diamonds, who know the difference and value.

The most important factor that sets vintage jewelry from antique jewelry is age. So, let us get to know more about the differences between these two types of jewelry.

Antique Jewelry

Antique refers to something that is over 100 years old. Most Jewelry collectors consider antique Jewelry as pieces dating on and preceding the Art Deco period. However, jewelry from the 1920s is now regarded as antique, especially those that were produced earlier than the said year.

Vintage Jewelry

Jewelry that is at least 20 years and older are considered vintage. So, a piece produced in the 1980s and earlier would be called vintage. As a result, there are a number of jewelry pieces that could be considered both antique and vintage, but something vintage isn't necessarily antique. If you happen to own vintage jewelry today, it will be considered as antique in a few years, if it can stand the test of time and remain in a good condition.

How Do You Determine Vintage Jewelry Worth?

Vintage jewelry has become very popular. Whether gold or silver it has lasted nearly a century because it’s made well. Most items collected today are earrings, necklaces, and pins.

To determine whether your vintage jewelry may be valuable, the first thing to do is to examine it closely for the following things.


Pay attention to the craftsmanship. See if the piece shows signs of being handmade. Even if it’s not crafted by hand, it still may be valuable. In the 1940s and ’50s, a lot of vintage jewelry was mass-produced. Examine the top and bottom of the piece. High-quality vintage jewelry will be finished nicely on the underside as well as on the upper part.

Materials used

Next look at the materials from which it’s made. It could be crafted with expensive materials like diamonds, sapphires, gold, and platinum, or it might use less expensive materials, such as silver, rhinestones, and amethysts. Check for marks inside the piece with a magnifying glass. If there is gold, platinum or silver, there should be a stamp. The materials vintage jewelry is made from can make thousands of dollars difference in its value.

Types of fasteners

The kind of fasteners your jewelry uses can help estimate its worth. The types of clasps used on necklaces, bracelets, and pins can specify different time periods. The type of posts on earrings can also give you a clue as to the decade they were made. Bracelets and necklaces are likely vintage if they have ring clasps or box clasps for example. Brooches and pins had different latches such as C clasps and trombone clasps.

Vintage jewelry condition

Most vintage jewelry has been previously worn, so it is rarely in mint condition. The better the condition, the more valuable it can be. Look for signs of wear or if any parts replacements or repairs are noticeable. Make sure all parts are working like fasteners, clasps, and pins.

Who designed it?

The main thing to look for when trying to see if your vintage jewelry is worth anything, considering all of the above features, is who designed the piece.

Thoroughly check your vintage jewelry piece and look for evidence of the designer. A good indicator of a high-value piece is the designer who made it. If you can find a signature or any other sign of who made it such as a logo, this will tell you a lot about its value. Being a creation of a famous designer or brand can increase the worth exponentially.

Some of the top brands of vintage jewelry are listed here. The dates they came on the scene will give you an idea of how old they may be.

  • Coco Chanel - 1920
  • Van Cleef & Arpels – 1906
  • Harry Winston - 1932
  • Cartier - 1847
  • Bulgari - 1930
  • Tiffany - 1845
  • Piaget – 1959

Other famous vintage brands include:



Christian Dior





Elsa Schiaparelli






Miriam Haskell

Sarah Coventry




William de Lillo

Alexander Calder

Paul Flato

Jean Dunand

Jean Després

Gérard Sandoz

The Benefits of Buying Vintage Jewelry

There is no denying that both vintage and antique pieces of jewelry are classically beautiful. If you want to get a closer look at their timeless elegance, visit an online store. Their old age plays a vital role in their worth. Aside from withstanding long periods of time, the techniques used in crafting vintage jewelry were often superior to the techniques used in making modern jewelry.

It is also true that more antique and vintage jewelry are lost as years pass by, which makes existing pieces rarer and more valuable.

Purchasing vintage or antique jewelry is a perfect way to start an heirloom tradition or to have an exciting addition to your jewelry collection. However. it is crucial to investigate each piece as carefully and thoroughly as you can before investing.

How to know the true value

All of the information here gives you an idea of how vintage jewelry is valued. To know more certainly what the worth might be, an appraisal by a professional jeweler is needed. At Goldstein Diamonds we buy vintage, antique and modern jewelry.

We love vintage jewelry and have a deep knowledge of this category of jewelry. Visit us and bring your item and we can tell you all you need to know about it!