3 Signs You Have Quality Vintage Costume Jewelry

Posted on: 31 October 2022

Vintage costume jewelry is making a huge comeback. Those pieces that languished in your mother's or grandmother's jewelry box for years are now ready to be worn. People are looking for jewelry that is unique and retro. If you have inherited or found great pieces at yard or estate sales, you may wonder if your articles are valuable to anyone besides you. You can learn to spot great pieces using tips from vintage costume jewelry buyers.

1. Inspect The Assembly

The assembly of a piece of jewelry tells you a lot about it. Look at the prongs, latches, and fastenings. Ensure they are all solid and tight. You run the risk of losing your stones or settings with loose pongs. But you can lose the piece itself with a loose fastening. 

Look at the quality of your stones, gems, or glass. High-end materials continue to sparkle even after lying dormant for many years. If you have a missing stone, look to see if there are other non-obvious places where you can move one from to replace it.

2. Ignore The Tarnish

Do not get distracted by tarnish. Many great pieces get overlooked because of years of tarnishing. Being packed away or exposed to air over time can cause a chemical reaction with the jewelry, causing tarnishing. 

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to clean tarnish off. All you need are some items around the house, such as toothpaste, an old toothbrush, a Q-tip, and a clean cloth.

Did you know that a small amount of plain white toothpaste and an old toothbrush can restore the shine of your vintage jewelry? Smear a thin coating of toothpaste on the piece and lightly scrub it with your toothbrush. Use a Q-tip to get in the tight cracks and crevices.

The same texture and chemicals in the toothpaste that cleans your teeth remove your jewelry's dirt, grime, and tarnish. Once you scrub your jewelry, rinse with cool water and dry with a soft clean cloth.

3. Look For A Mark

Many vintage pieces are marked. While the naked eye may easily see these, you may need a jeweler's loop to make out the finer details.

A mark on vintage costume jewelry provides a wealth of information. It identifies the manufacturer, metal content, country of origin, and more. Your piece may also include unique engravings, monograms, or dates. These distinctive markings can be incredibly endearing on heirloom pieces.

If you have jewelry you will never wear, remember others will. Some vintage costume jewelry buyers will find your piece a new home.