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Jewelry mirrors time, culture, and societal values. It reflects the taste and attitude of every period in history. Luckily, there are definitely clues that can be used in deciphering how old your jewelry is. The older and more rare the piece of jewelry, the more valuable it will be. There are many more clues than just five, but these are quick and easy ways to help determine the age of your jewelry. The invention of different earring findings will help date your jewelry. Jewelry findings are ready made pieces that jewelers use such as clasps, pin stems, hinges, etc.

In addition, there were some specialty clasps used, such as snap clasps, unique pin clasps found on wide link and bangle bracelets, and unique hook clasps.

As with bracelets, commonly used vintage necklace clasps include ring clasps, foldover clasps, and box clasps. Often oval shaped, the long hook was inserted and locked into place. Usually, the necklace had a chain that allowed the hook to use any of the chain links, making the necklace length adjustable. The S-hook clasp is a variation on the hook, with a rounded, S shape. Older pieces will show some darkening of the metal, looking more like brass. In the kidney wire was introduced.

This was a more sturdy and secure fastener, as the wire was secured with a hook at the bottom of the earring. Both fish hooks and kidney wire earring backs are still in use today. Post earrings also known as stud earrings were also common at this time and normally the studs were threaded so that the backs of the earrings could be secured with screws.

Up until the s all earrings were made for pierced ears. In the screw-back earring was invented, allowing women without pierced ears to wear earrings. The earring clip was patented in and by the s became the preferred earring style for women without pierced ears. The clip mechanism has been improved over time and clip earrings are still quite popular today. There are additional attributes that help to identify and date pieces. Other jewelry parts such as the metal, plating, stones, and bead characteristics can help determine the origin and age of jewelry.

These are additional topics that I plan to write about in the future. I hope this article has been helpful to you. Please click the comments link below this article to add your comments. To share this article, use the share buttons below.

You can also use the Social Media buttons in the right sidebar to visit my pages. Christine, I was impressed with the information you provided. It is simaler to an oval shape. Split at top section of oval. The strange part is one side front hook is straight. The back half of clasp, how I see a tpye of safety latch. Anyway I would like to know and learn more about jewelry.

You have peaked my interest more than before reading your article. I sometimes ramble and get lost in the thinking of it. Anyway these earring clasps are different. The back piece has an opening for the front piece to go in thus securing it better. I was wonder wher I could find pictures of all different styles.

Thank you for letting me ramble on, too. Very interesting. This is such great information. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I am bookmarking it for future reference. Very informative and loaded with tons of valuable information for future use!

Thank you so much for leading the path for some of us who are learning! Do you know of somebody who repairs Italian micro-bead jewelry?

It is one of the very few things she had left that he gave her, so I would like to have it restored. Can you direct me to anybody who might have the resources missing beads and one missing pin to restore it? Thank you. Sorry, Jean. You might want to try Etsy - there are a lot of craft people there who work with jewelry. Recently purchased a Czech necklace and did not know it came from a smokers home.

How do you clean the smell? Joanne, you might try putting the necklace in a plastic bag with a slice of bread - the bread should absorb the odor. Belonged to New York lady. No markings but brass.

One is a bear claw with mink inside middle with pearl inset. Your information is very good for me as a beginner in her sixties. Such beautiful designs. Thank you again Christine for sharing your well researched useful information with us. I find it very helpful that you also show photos along with the information, making it much easier to learn about the different jewelry styles and eras. Much appreciated. A Wealth of Information I am anxious to start using.

The Photos Really do Help with Identifying. Thank You for all Your Research Efforts.

Dating vintage jewellery

Thank you for your kind comments, Tammie. I thought your article was very informative. It was interesting to learn about all the different closures, and I will try to keep that in mind next time I go antique shopping. However I was hoping to learn about unique closures.

Christina, I too have a bracelet with a heart and rod closure. It large pale gold pearls and i purchased it from China close to 10 years ago. Hope this helps! I started collecting bracelets that had these kind of closures, but did not know why. I guess, my guesses have been paying off for me, if I ever sell the collection, that isoh, and something is only worth what some one else is willing to pay for it.

5 Easy Clues for Dating Antique or Vintage Jewelry

In the crest CM and bottom HR. Any idea or a good reference to further research? Thank u! How have I not found your blog before. So far I am loving it. Wish I could stay longer buy I have to go for now. I promise I will be back.

Once I get back to see more, I would like to post a blog reviewing and linking and singing praises to you for a job well done. I have been in the vintage jewelry collecting, admiring, selling, buying, wearing world for at least ten years. This is put together very well. Very informative!

I especially am impressed with the depth of the posts. Thank You! Does anyone know a resource for using the engraved patterns on the back of brooches to id the maker? Can you tell me when the bracelet in the picture for the Wide Bracelet Pin Clasp dates from? My parents bought a silver bracelet for me in an antique shop in a small town in Germany. It looks super old and I am really wondering when it could be from. Your picture was the only one I have been able to find that looks like the clasp on my bracelet!

I collect and sale antique cameo brooches and pendants. I am always researching clasps and found your blog very informative, thank you so much! Looking forward to more post! I have a ring that I cannot place the circa it was made. Do have any information on rings. The ring- saw tooth setting, in a collet, red stone-with a R, and the band looks like someone rolled a pattern on it.

Also the band looks like one side is gold attached, curled around to the other side of bottom of collet, and attached.

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Thread stud earrings from are thicker in diameter and the nut is much heavier than those that are made today. Screw-back non-pierced earrings that were made in are still made today but they are not that common on newer pieces.

Kidney wires were invented in the s and are also still used today. The shape has been modified in the modern earring. Knowing the difference between all of these can be helpful when determining the date of your jewelry. Most answers to understanding jewelry can be found by looking on the backs or undersides.

Brooches have evolved over one hundred years, and the backs provide much of the information we need to date the piece. Again, this drawing shows the different types of clasps used on brooches or pins with the approximate date as to when they first appeared. I have found that the trickiest thing about dating a brooch is not necessarily the kind of clasp, but an altered back. Look for any suspicious solder. Pools of solder would only be on a piece that has been altered or repaired.

Another thing to look for are oval or round metal pads where the pin has been attached to the back of the brooch. This is also a sign that the piece has been altered. When I first started buying jewelry I came across this unusual 14k gold-filled piece with a "c" clasp pin and a "hook" on the backside of what looks to me like a pendant. After some research I learned what it really is. Is this a brooch or a pendant?

Clue 1: Fittings and Findings for Earrings

Have you seen this before? Take this poll and leave a comment. Black jewelry can be found in abundance at flea markets, estate sales, and antique stores. Identifying what the black material is can make a big difference in determining when it was made and how much it could be worth. Black jewelry most likely made of one of the following: plastic, glass, stone, jet, gutta-percha, crepe stone, bog oak, and bakelite.

There are ways to test each one of these materials to determine what it is. Auctions on are fun to watch. I like to look up different styles and periods of jewelry to see what comes up and how much it sells for.

This helps me to understand the market better. Then when I shop at estate sales, auctions, and antique stores, I have a better idea of what I am looking at. I also come in with a price in mind. The use of color gemstones and enamel correlates to architecture and decorative art of the times. For example, color in the Renaissance was almost gaudy, while the use of color during the Victorian Era was somber because the death of Prince Albert caused Queen Victoria to declare an extended period of mourning.

After the Victorian Era, the period of Art Nouveau utilized soft and delicate colors with rich gold and silver metals. This was short-lived as the Art Deco era moved to the forefront with its use of bolder colors and geometric designs. A devil-may-care attitude influenced the look.

I have been asked many times to advise on how to spot fake Chanel jewellery, especially now that it is so popular and expensive. The obvious reply is to handle as much vintage Chanel as you can - but this is not exactly practical for most people! If you know Chanel well it is easier to spot a fake - the weight must fee. Sep 20,   Part 1: Vintage Jewelry Marks: Help for Dating Your Vintage Jewelry Part 2: Silver Jewelry Marks: Learn to Identify and Date Silver Jewelry Part 3: Vintage Jewelry Patents: Find and Use them to Date Vintage Jewelry. So let's get started learning about vintage jewelry hardware. Vintage and Antique Brooch Clasps. Napier costume jewelry from the s and early s is extremely hard to find and highly prized by both Napier enthusiasts and collectors of Art Deco jewelry. Like Ciner costume jewelry, it is often difficult to date Napier pieces simply by looking at the mark. This is especially true for the novice collector or dealer that has not studied.

Color palettes dominated different time periods throughout history. Knowing which color gemstones were predominant at certain times in history goes a long way in helping to date a piece of jewelry. Hallmarks and markings are an important clue to help date a piece of jewelry.

Most often these marks are hidden on the inside of a shank on a ring, the inside of a bracelet, or on the inside back of an earring.

Using your loupe, you will often find some kind of mark identifying the jeweler, designer, retailer, or manufacturer. If you bring this to a jeweler, they may be able to date the piece based on the marks. These marks can also make a tremendous difference on the value and collectability of the jewelry.

Remember that the value is not always about the intrinsic value. The trademark can also provide information about when and where a piece was made. The photo shown here is a sterling silver filigree camphor glass necklace.

Dated aboutit features the "Order of the Eastern Star" in the center. The center star has five enamel points and with five different images. However, this piece is not all authentic. The open center panel has been taken off and replaced with this rectangular piece.

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You can see how it does not fit perfectly. Look on the outer edges and you will see the inconsistency of the space around it.

On the back is a small screw that attaches this shape from the frame. I showed this to my jeweler. He said these pieces were designed so that different pieces could be changed out. It is bothersome that the center shape does not fit properly within the framed shape.

This does affect the value and aesthetics. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I'm so glad to have found this site! I began seriously researching vintage jewelry a few years ago.

But, this is the first I've seen great information on figuring out the material of black jewelry. I will definitely pass this on! I have a question about your piece: sterling silver filigree camphor glass necklace. You say it's not all authentic, but then that your jeweler said the pieces were designed to be switched out. Because it doesn't fit perfectly, could it be authentic, but not meant for your pendant?

I'm sure you know what site I mean. The others I've found haven't been "running" for years. Except the wonderful Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks I have a cluster engagement bronze band silverplate multi cluster diamonds appears to be a 1 carat central piece and a surround in floral appearance of 20 other minature diamonds.

Theyre all mounted perfectly all reflect multicolours at differing times in the sun light so maybe i have a costume piece from a victorian era? Im wanting a little help clarifying the piece that i have. Please assist its going to help greatly in dating my piece.

Hi I have a brooch which is a moon shape with a c clasp green And clear stones in how do I find out when it originated from? I have a beautiful brooch with a copper color backing.

It has enameled and rhinestone flowers. It has a 51 or 57 stamped on the back. I am wondering what the backing might be. It is not tarnished at all. And curious about the number stamped on the back. I have a Victorian starburst pin with a C clasp and a round fastener.

The pin itself is clearly not matching with the rest of the brooch. It makes sense that it would be a badly done repair. I have some old jewelry it has large stones in it and rolls and Ruby's I believe but the necklaces made out of really fine wire and on the back of it it's got indebted in some of the pieces. I have a broach it has pearls and gold leafs iv had it for 40years i think its French? Please help. Your ring sounds really interesting. If you have the time send me some photos of it.

Try to capture a clear image of any hallmarks. You can send them to me at mcdonaldkaren gmail. Look forward to hearing back. Sincerely, Karen. I was given a ring from an Italian aunt that belonged to her grandmother, not sure who gave it to her. There are 2 markings that appear to be letters and maybe numbers. Hi Karen: I inherited a long 42 inchheavy gold necklace that has no makers mark or hallmark.

Might I email a photo of it to you for your opinion? I've researched and haven't found anything else like it. I have a pendent what is marked 95 only and its got a yellowish stone in center surounded by white clear stones this piece confusers mr.

I have two poecea one looks like a braclet it has dimonds or stones but it has a copper clasp the sencond is a prenciess necklace,no marking on eaiter one. Hi Terry. You can send pictures of your necklace to mcdonaldkaren gmail. I'm trying to figure out a necklace I have had for a long time.

I have pictures. I've had this necklace for a very long time. Thank you very much. I found this very old pin with what looks to be a large pink diamond, I'm having a hard time distinguishing the marks.

Hello, how are you doing? I enjoy reading your articles, So interesting. I was wanting to know if you could please help me? I appreciate it so very much. I have what I believe is a Vintage Pearl necklace encased in a Beautiful Heart Pendant with carvings, I have pictures of the front and back of of the Heart pendant.

Pearl is Beautiful Thank you very much. Have a Great and Blessed day. It is on a either inch thin silver chain. I was wondering if I could email you a picture of my great great great grandmother 2 rings.

It Pays To Know How To Date Vintage Jewelry

I hope that you can tell me a little more about it. Age, etc. You can send me images of your bracelet to mcdonaldkaren gmail. I would love to see them and I can help identify a time period for you. Thank you, Karen. Hi, I was given a beautiful bracelet that belonged to my great grandmother. I was hoping to get some guidance to determine its actual age. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. This is a great helpful article.

Thank you to the long ago author. Could a follow up be organised and posted sometime please Administrators? If at all possible? Thank you for your consideration. To those who keep demanding their items be valued the only applicable word - please show some manners and common sense.

apologise, but, opinion

Firstly the author posted this article in You have probably all scared her off unfortunately from ever writing another. I write this comment as a stand against the poor manners so prevalent on social media these days. Your site is quite informative, and the video was well done. I have one question though, how do you tell what you actually have if the piece has no makers marks?

The narrator said not all are marked. And it looks handmade, beautifully done, but plier marks left behind.

seems, will approach

I have a great love and respect for anything old and I find these things very precious. I was hoping to send a few pictures if possible to see if you could help in determining what they are. I do hope that this was not a waste of your time. Kellythomason00 icloud. What can you tell me about a gold locket with the coat of arms of the prince of wales engraved in shell on the front and initials in hair on the inside.

I have a Hedison Jewelry Co with the mark 'Hedy'.

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Any idea. Very interesting! Wish I would have seen this years ago it would have been helpful. I love collecting beautiful jewelry. Nice video. I'm not sure what is giving people the impression someone will be appraising their jewelry, or even answering their questions, as nowhere is it even suggested - much less stated - that these services will be provided.

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The reason you are not getting responses is because you are posting them in a "comments" forum. The author is asking for your comments on her article: was it helpful? What would you have liked to learn about? Is this possible? Very helpful information! But, I'm confused about something that is probably under my nose, so to speak. I see all these posts for help, but I don't see any responses.

The Clasp diagram is great! Is there a way to know how long each style was used? Only the 's indicates it's still used. Does anyone have information on the designer or mark "Vero. All I know is that Vero jewelry, I think only brooches, was made in the s, as late as the 80s. That's right, kitschy! But fun! I have a old ring that I bought for my sixth birthday. It had alternated stones of light and dark yellow stones the entire ring with these circle stones in atotal Val total shape with and adjusted band pending printed what is it worth?

I have a signed YSL black runway cuff bracelet that I wish I could find someone to authenticate and date it. I had a local YSL store look at it, they couldn't but sent a picture to their Paris store and they couldn't either. Said its too old and they don't have data back to the early 60s to look at.?

Were can I go that someone may know about it. I can take picture if you would like to see it. I have what i believe is an old ring. Ita a birthstone ring with five stones and a silver band holding them in. The band is screwed in.

If i sent a picture would you know when this style was used? I'm pretty sure that I have seen them worn in in period movies set around the 's or so, usually on a longish, medium-heavy chain, and then pinned up to the side so that the chain is made to 'dangle' in some sort of artful display.

Or, maybe it's just as simple as to give the owner a choice: Hmmm, pendant or brooch?

remarkable answer You

My previous post described a brooch or pendant that could also be worn on a chain and it's heavy metal. It's not the thin open heart of Luchenbooth hearts rather solid with intricate designs and I can't find any kind of lettering on it at all. Can someone please help me. I have a gold heart brooch with crown on top of it with what resembles a family crest of a crown with cross at top of crown on a green colored background and it has a c clasp.

It is thicker than a modern post - even a screw back. To be able to wear the earrings I am going to have to get the posts replaced. How will this affect value? I received an old brooch from a relative. I don't know who it belonged to or where it came from. Only when I cleaned it did I realize it was silver. It appears to have a clasp unchanged from the 's, has filigree and round silver discs and tear drops that dangle from it. I had a jeweler get the marks off the back for me: H within a circle then S I have researched this myself for days with no luck and am asking for help.

There is no indication that anything on it was altered.

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Thank you! Hi I have got an eternity gold ring that I think is very old. The marking says: N or C but reversed and N. Can you help me to determine the age of my ring please? This is a great article on vintage jewelry.

It's very informative-I'm just learning about the artists and their distinct talents. These 5 clues are a wonderful place for me to begin.

Vintage Jewelry Crafts Vintage Costume Jewelry Vintage Costumes Jewelry Art Unique Jewelry Jewelry Design Vintage Jewellery Fashion Jewelry Handmade Jewellery Many people want to know about dating vintage and antique brooches, and how they can tell if a brooch is old. Many Chanel costume jewelry pieces will have markings. Understanding these markings is an important ct for authentication and will also reveal when the item was made and its history. We hope that you enjoy this Chanel stamping guide. Currently, it is the most complete and accurate guide online. Oct 24,   Karen is an artist, creator, and writer who loves antique jewelry. Jewelry mirrors time, culture, and societal values. It reflects the taste and attitude of every period in history. Luckily, there are definitely clues that can be used in deciphering how old your jewelry is. The older and more rare the piece of jewelry, the more valuable it will be.

Can anyone tell me anything about Tramp Art. I have a piece and know nothing about it. Can you help me to determine the age of my old Jet lignite bracelet that has a cameo on it. Hello, I have several pieces of jewelry that were my Mom's and probably my Grandmother's and great Aunt's.

One piece, in particular, is a very large copper Indian vintage necklace that I need to find the value of. She also has several Ivory necklaces and some scrimshaw bracelets and ring, a star ruby and diamond ring, that dates back to the early s, which has a very unusual shape and other valuable pieces. Where do I go to a reputable place who will give me an idea of what these pieces are worth.

Any info you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. The colors of the star are in the correct order, however, it is not facing the correct direction. The white ray should be pointing down. This also suggests that it is not original as an Eastern Star member would know the correct way it is worn.

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The colors on the star are incorrect but I don't know if it is just the way it photographed.

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