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Archive for April, 2009

Buying Antique Jewelry Guide

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Here are the basics on how to protect yourself when purchasing antique jewelry and what to look for in a good piece:

So, is it antique or vintage?

There’s actually a distinction between vintage pieces and antique pieces. Typically, a vintage piece of jewelry may be about 30 to 70 years old, while an antique piece could be hundreds or thousands of years old (in which case it should be in a museum).

What are the most popular antique jewelry pieces?

Most dealers offer a range of antique pieces, but collectors tend to prize pieces from the Victorian era and the Art Deco period of the early twentieth century. Jewelry from the Victorian period (1837-1901) tends to exude grace and history, while still exhibiting modern craftsmanship and quality. Pieces from earlier periods tend to be cruder and the stones of a lower grade, which is why jewelry collectors focus on the Victorian age.

Meanwhile, the antique jewelry from the Art Deco design era (1920-1930) attracts a lot of attention thanks to its unique shapes and overall style. Because of the industrial aesthetic, these pieces are distinct and highly valued amongst collectors.

What about modern “antiques?” What are they?

Because these styles are so popular, many jewelers are carrying pieces that look like antiques, but are actually made today. They’re not original Victorian brooches or Art Deco bracelets, but they’re made to look like it. These can be a great option for someone who wants the wearability and durability of a modern piece, but the look and style of an antique.

If I’m buying an antique, how can I be sure it’s real?

Always get every aspect of the piece in writing from the retailer, including the stone carats and quality. Then, have the piece appraised by an independent appraiser. If it doesn’t match the description given to you by the retailer, return the item for a full refund or ask to renegotiate the purchase price.

To prevent potential fraud or misrepresentation problems, always deal with reputable and respected dealers who offer a clear and easy-to-understand return policy.

Charms, a Great Way to Remember Special Moments

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Today we wear jewelry for a wide variety of reasons but the most popular one is that it makes us feel good. People wear all sorts of sparkling accessories. Women enjoy wearing earrings and necklaces that enhance the appearance of their clothing. Each piece is specifically worn to add a little extra color and flash. Other pieces of jewelry are symbolic, like a wedding ring to show marriage or a charm bracelet to mark special moments.

Charm bracelets are increasingly popular because you can wear small remembrances of special milestones or moments in your life on them. You could have charms to represent members of your family, your career or a hobby. Whatever is special or important in your life can be captured on a charm.

Charms can be made from gold, silver, or pewter. All of these metals work great for charms and bracelets but vary greatly in price. Gold is the most expensive by far. Silver is reasonable but also can become costly if you are purchasing a large number of charms. Pewter works great for charms. It is light weight, beautiful and is inexpensive plus pewter comes in a wide variety of styles.

Charms are not the only jewelry items made out of pewter. You can also purchase earrings, pendants and other jewelry findings including rosary centers made from high quality pewter. These pewter pieces don’t even have to be used for jewelry. Pewter charms are also found on bookmarks, key chains and even scrapbook pages. There are a number of uses for charms made from pewter. It really is only limited by your own creativity.

With so many uses, pewter really is a great medium for charms. Plus, the price is so reasonable that whether you are a hobbyist, a store owner or even someone searching for a fund raising product, you will be able to do more for less.