Many people are drawn to vintage and antique items. From cars and clothes to furniture and jewelry, collectors often search for years until they find a piece that appeals to them. Vintage jewelry specifically, has seen a huge resurgence, as women turn to the past for costume pieces, engagement rings, and family heirlooms.
With everyone looking for vintage designs and styles, you may be wondering why this trend is so popular. Learn more about why vintage jewelry has gained new momentum in recent years.
Is it Antique Or Vintage?
While you may be thinking “antique” and “vintage” are interchangeable terms, they are actually different classifications based on an item’s age. Vintage items are between 25 and 100 years old, and antique items are over 100 years old.
The age of vintage pieces makes them more popular as everyday wear, as they’re less expensive, sturdier, and easily wearable. The price of antique jewelry makes it inaccessible to many, and those that can afford the sky-high cost are often wary of wearing these pieces too often for fear of extensive wear-and-tear.
For those who love fashion, vintage jewelry is often the perfect accessory. With boho-chic styling taking over runways everywhere, vintage jewelry allows for eclectic mixing and matching to create a look that is polished and unique. Vintage pieces made of mixed metals, especially those with nature-themed designs and different gemstones truly represent this romantic, hippie sensibility.
Once you take a chance and create your own mixture of assorted vintage jewelry, you have the opportunity to experience the freedom and fun of boho-chic style. If you’re mixing vintage jewelry for the first time, it’s best to work with rings that all have a similar design element such as flowers or animals.
Remember the Past
Another reason many choose to wear vintage jewelry is their aura of nostalgia. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a piece that relates to your culture and history, many feel that wearing these vintage styles represents themselves, their family, and their past.
Whenever they slip on an old diamond ring or a silver and turquoise bracelet, they fall into the past and recall a familiar smell, a wistful emotion, or a happy memory. Nostalgia has a strong effect on many, as they indulge in lost moments, imbued with happy emotions.
Tells a Story
While some are interested in what a piece may say about their past, others are intrigued by the history of the item itself. This is especially relevant in Native American and old European jewelry.
Much of the vintage Native American jewelry you see today is tied to a specific tribe and was handmade by one of its artisans. Where the piece comes from, and what techniques were used in its production, fascinates many people and often evokes an emotional connection to a specific piece of jewelry. Native American jewelry, in particular, tends to reflect ancient techniques and traditions that people today love to explore.
European jewelry is generally popular for two reasons, the first is its aesthetic connection to a gilded history and the second is its liberal use of precious gemstones. With the remote possibility that a certain piece was owned by a member of the Spanish nobility or French aristocracy, those who chase after vintage European pieces, peppered with rubies, sapphires, and garnets, infuse the romanticism of regal ownership into their search.
Symbolism and Mysticism
While many pieces today are mass produced according to trends and styles, vintage jewelry is more personal and specialized. Older pieces were created according to the whims of the artist and often featured more symbolism that manifested in their designs.
One of the most common sources for this duality of iconography and mysticism is in the turquoise jewelry of Native American jewelry makers in the American Southwest. Imbuing every piece with references to their culture, symbols of the natural world appear everywhere with feathers, arrows, and animals motifs. These totems speak to many people who desire a deeper meaning echoed through their jewelry.
Find Your Favorites
Whatever your reason for wearing vintage jewelry, you’ll be able to find tons of new pieces at flea markets, vintage fairs, and art festivals wherever you are.