When you love the history associated with antique jewelry, and the beautiful craftsmanship, you may wonder how to determine if your jewelry is a true antique or a replicated piece. From checking the type and cut of the stones used, to knowing the markings of vintage jewelers, you can do some investigative work to find out if your piece is truly an antique. If you want to take a good shot at figuring out your jewelry's lineage, you have to know your sources and the markings to look for when evaluating vintage jewelry.
Take Good Look at the Stones Used
Traditionally mined stones are lighter in color, and don't have the same sheen as stones that have been heated and chemically treated. The cut of the stone in vintage jewelry was done by hand, while modern gems are cut using precision instruments. If you find a minor flaw in the cut of the stone you are evaluating, you could have an antique piece of jewelry on your hands.
Know the Basics of Markings Used in Antique Jewelry
Check over your piece of jewelry for any markings to determine if your piece was made by a specific jeweler. Look for any letters, especially around the clasp of bracelets or the inside of rings. Pieces of jewelry that are carefully marked are likely more valuable, as the manufacturer took the time to sign the piece with their imprint. Whether the piece is vintage or modern will be determined by the type of markings and figuring out who the manufacturer is.
Check the Stones for Authenticity
If there are diamonds in the piece of jewelry you want to evaluate, start by blowing a breath of hot air on the piece. If the diamonds dissipate the fog immediately, you probably have real diamonds. While you can try to use the diamond to scratch a glass surface, you don't want to ruin a piece of vintage costume jewelry in the process. You can use a diamond tester to see if the stones are real, or bring your piece to a gemologist to see if the stones are worth money in your jewelry.
Antique jewelry was made by hand, and if you can see any imperfections in your piece, it is more likely that your piece is vintage. Check over the piece carefully, look for markings, and bring your jewelry to a professional like Rhonda's Jewelry if you are unsure if it's real or not.
Ever since I was a child, I've loved the look of fashion earrings. However, I soon discovered that my ears are sensitive to metal-coated earrings. Rather than spend a small fortune for custom made jewelry, I've found retailers that sell hypoallergenic earrings. These earrings are made for individuals such as myself with sensitivity to metals. Check your high-end department stores or local jeweler. You'll find hypoallergenic earrings in sterling silver, white gold, yellow gold, and platinum. The main thing is to never choose jewelry containing nickle, as this is commonly the culprit. A good alternative to metals listed above is titanium jewelry, as this is considered to be hypoallergenic. Also, avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals to clean your earrings and jewelry, as this may cause further irritation. Mild dish soap may work well, but be sure to rinse your jewelry thoroughly.