Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 Reasons to Love Vintage Jewelry

I've mentioned in the Alterations Needed forum before that when it comes to jewelry, I always go for vintage. For the best finds, my favorite place to go jewelry shopping is at the antique stores in Cold Spring, NY:


 The town is adorable, and filled with antique and vintage stores with reasonably-priced clothes and accessories (unlike the super pricey stores in the city)! I always leave my day trips to Cold Spring with a ton of vintage jewelry. Why do I prefer vintage, do you ask? Here's why:

1.) It's beyond affordable.
If you go to the right places, you can find great pieces for a STEAL. I would stay away from stores specifically geared towards selling jewelry, and would instead head to antique stores that sell a variety of items from clothing and accessories to furniture and knick-knacks. These stores will usually have a jewelry section and won't be as pricey.

2.) Many styles are timeless and elegant.
I LOVE pearls. Can't get enough. The great thing about pearls is that they've been in style for decades, and antique stores are usually full of pearl jewelry! Even for those of you who are into bolder looks, bright and funky jewelry from the 60s and 70s can usually be found right alongside the more classic items.
Here are some of my favorite vintage pearl finds:


I had been looking for a pearl cluster ring like this for AGES! And by some miracle, it fit my size 4 finger, which brings me to my 3rd reason...

3. Many styles are smaller-fitting.
I don't know if women from previous decades had smaller fingers and wrists, but for whatever reason, I always seem to find vintage jewelry that fits. Like the above size 4 ring, or this lovely little gold watch that fits my teeny wrist:

The watch is from the 80's when delicate styles were in, as opposed to today's more larger watch styles. I can't believe I bought it like this: it's proof that there are other women out there with toddler-sized wrists.

But for those of you that aren't in need of small-fitting jewelry, there's sizes all over the spectrum. Many pieces have already been custom-fitted to their previous owner, therefore coming in a wide array of sizes that aren't always offered in stores.

4.) The fun of the find
Shopping for vintage jewelry is always an adventure. It's exciting to pass by a storefront and see a large display of jewelry I have yet to look through, and similarly exciting when I discover a nook of an antique store I hadn't seen the first time that is filled with jewelry.

Two years ago, I was on a mission to find a silver necklace that wasn't too shiny or flashy. I wanted something with a short chain and a small, simple pendant (you will not believe how hard it was to find this!). When I finally came across a little love-knot pendant necklace from the 50s, my heart skipped a beat (I'd show you a picture, but I left the necklace at my parent's house). It was perfect! There's nothing like finding EXACTLY what you want, in the right fit and for the right price.

5.) The stories
Often when I buy a vintage piece, I wonder about the person who owned it before me. Were they given this as a gift from their spouse? Or was it a hand-me-down from their mother? Where did they wear it to?
When I find a little inscription, that makes it all the more special.

* * *

Of course, my favorite place to get vintage jewelry is from my mother's jewelry box. If only she'd let me keep a few pieces!....



Ali said...

Gorgeous jewelry! What great finds.