Vintage costume jewellery – How to choose it well? Treasure hunt.

May 5, 2022

Buying vintage jewellery is like going on a treasure hunt. Indeed, finding a unique designer piece from the ’80s, for example, is a tremendous joy for costume jewellery enthusiasts. If you, too, love retro accessories and want to wear unique necklaces, rings or brooches that you don’t see around, there are a few points you should pay attention to before buying. So, here’s how to choose vintage costume jewellery well.

Is all second-hand jewellery vintage?

Strolling in flea markets and second-hand stores, you will see many second-hand bijoux. But not all of them can be considered vintage. Although purchasing pre-owned bijoux is certainly sustainable, you should look for costume jewellery from before 2000 if you want to buy genuine vintage pieces. In other words, vintage jewellery is more than 20 years old. 

Choosing good-quality vintage bijoux

When searching for fantastic vintage jewellery pieces, good quality is crucial. Luxury brands like Saint Laurent, Dior, and Chanel are famous for their costume jewellery from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Fashionistas and vintage treasure hunters cherish these high-quality bijoux made in France that are an essential part of fashion history. For instance, you can’t go wrong with the costume jewellery by Goossens, well-known for making the couture bijoux for Coco Chanel.

On the other hand, some fashion houses like Escada and Nina Ricci mass-produced accessories created by their marketing teams in industrial quantities instead of designed by the jewellery department. As a result, these pieces are less beautiful and valuable than more exclusive vintage jewellery.

Our tip: When possible, it’s better to buy in person. Always check the weight of the vintage piece, the heavier the costume jewellery, the better quality it is.

How to buy online vintage jewellery

Buying online vintage jewellery can be tricky. Make sure you purchase from reliable addresses like Vestiaire Collective or Farfetch, where you can find shops that specialise in vintage jewellery. Costume jewellery from some fashion designers from the ‘80s is highly sought after, for example, the bold vintage pieces from Christian Lacroix. Guy Laroche, Montana and Thierry Mugler are also very popular among retro accessory aficionados. 

Our tip: Pay attention to all the details; weight, size, signature, date, and ask for more photos when possible. 

Now that you already know how to choose your vintage costume bijoux, you may also want to read How to clean your jewellery. And lastly, if your heart beats faster at the sight of fabulous bold bracelets, earrings and necklaces, you should definitely visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris.

Feature image – collage @notoriousmag