Antique, Vintage, Second Hand – Classify and Dating Jewelery
What do we correctly call a piece of old jewelery — antique, vintage or second hand?
Antique is a term used when jewelery or any other artifact is at least a hundred years old.
So necklaces, brooches or earrings, etc made before 1909 should be called and classified as antique.
Victorian jewelery is therefore classed as antique. Queen Victoria lived from 1819 to 1901. Edwardian jewelery is also now antique. Edward V11 lived from 1841 to 1910 a short reign (1901 — 1910) but you will see jewelery marked as Edwardian.
The term vintage is not so well defined. Some sources state that an item called vintage is at least 20 years old and some take 25 years as the vintage period. Looking at this in real year terms – that is items manufactured before 1989 or 1984 respectively.
Bit difficult to actually date items so exact, for example a brooch, to the actual year of manufacture. Hence many people will only take items dating up to the seventies as vintage. But time is moving on and the eighties is now being more and more placed as being in the vintage classification.
So that means that second hand or used are items that date from the eighties to present day. No problem with this dating but it is one of the most underused terms.
This understandably leads to problems for both the buyer and the seller on the internet, because:
1. The classification terms are not fully understood by many. Especially if vintage and second hand means the same thing to them = used or not new items. (We asked 10 people between 15 and 18 years old what they understood by “vintage” 8 of those people said second hand or used)
2. Unable to identify year of manufacture, as many pieces of jewelery and other items have been produced over several decades.
3. Fashion has dictated replication of a style of jewelery, many years after the original production. Hence the term revival and style may be used.
4. Aging techniques have been applied to new items to make them appear older than they actually are. Sometimes for the purpose to deceive and obtain a higher price when sold, more so with antique items.
5. Counterfeit items — Jewelery made to look like high priced vintage jewelery from top designers. Trifari and Haskell have been subjected to this, as has many other jewelery designers and manufacturers.
6. Vintage is now a fashionable term but second hand or used is not! More people use the term vintage when searching on the internet than the term second hand. So if you are advertising an older piece of jewelery it would get more views if it was described as vintage rather than second hand.
Some items do have an acceptable second hand or used label such as books, but not items like jewelery or clothing. This is where the difficulty arises for both the buyer who may actually be looking for something that is second hand and the seller who sells antique, vintage or second hand items.
As said before the term vintage is not always understood and with the way fashion dictates what is available in new shops and stores. Many now will be looking to the internet for a certain piece of jewelery or style of clothing that may no longer be manufactured — but has been in the last few years.
Source by Susan C Weaver