What does it mean when we call something vintage? The common misconception is that vintage items are also antiques. While this is often true, it is not an absolute. Vintage items can come from any era or period, even last year. In fact, the word simply means a period of origin or a date of manufacture. An antique, on the other hand, must be at least fifty years old. In this article, we will discuss vintage jewelry and how to keep it safe.
Like most collectibles, jewelry often appreciates in price, especially if it is vintage jewelry. The most expensive types of collectible jewelry are also antiques that were created in and are representative of different eras. The most important eras for jewelry design were Georgian, Early Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco, and Retro.
Any serious collector or professional jeweler could tell you which era a piece of vintage jewelry belonged to on first glance. For example, jewelry from the Georgian Era, the earliest era for vintage jewelry, was handmade, which meant the quality of each piece was inconsistent. The designs were often inspired by nature, with lots of birds and leaves, and jewelers frequently used precious stones to decorate them. Pieces from this era are often over two hundred years old. Needless to say, they are expensive and very rare.
As you might expect, women who own rare collections of vintage jewelry cant just keep them in a drawer. These pieces are often quite fragile and they can be damaged by dust, debris, or simply by jostling them around. That is why many collectors keep their vintage jewelry in a safe or safety deposit box. But for women who like to show their collections off to friends or perhaps even wear a piece or two on a special occasion, the only practical option is a good jewelry organizer.
There are many different types of organizers, from the classic jewelry box to the more commodious jewelry armoire. The type of organizer that you require depends upon the size and the type of jewelry in your collection. The standard organizer has separate compartments for earrings, rings, broaches, bracelets, and hangers for necklaces so that they dont get tangled up.
If you are collector who only procures certain types of jewelry, like earrings or necklaces, then you might consider a specialty organizer. Folding earring screens, revolving earring organizers, and tiered earring holders can offer more protection and more space for a specialized collection. Most of these organizers can safely hold and display hundreds of pairs of earrings. For collectors who purchases vintage necklaces, necklace hangers or trees are the easiest way to keep your collection organized and safe.
Of course, most collectors do not own specialized collections. Most vintage jewelry aficionados procure all types of pieces from different eras or periods. They may have a fondness for Early Victorian or Art Nouveau or Art Deco jewelry. But whatever the period, they often need organizers that can store many different types of jewelry from earrings to broaches to necklaces.
The most popular organizer for the home is the upright jewelry valet. Like the standard jewelry box, the valet is designed to sit atop a dresser or on a vanity. It is about twice the size of a standard jewelry box and can accommodate small to medium-size collections. On average, the standard upright jewelry valet has four to six drawers for rings, broaches, pendants, and earrings. It may also have hooks on the inside of the swinging doors for necklaces or bracelets. For safety reasons, we recommend an organizer that has a lock and key.
The next step up from the jewelry valet is the jewelry armoire. These organizers are designed for people with own truly impressive collections that they have amassed over many years. The armoire organizer is available in two versionsthe wall-mounted organizer and the free-standing jewelry armoire.
The wall-mounted armoire is for collectors who need a bit more room than the valet offers, but do not want to take up valuable floor space with another piece of furniture. Because it comes with a built-in mirror, the wall-mounted organizer can also double as a vanity station. The one drawback is that this version is not quite as spacious as the free-standing armoire. In fact, the average model is only a bit bigger than the average jewelry valet. Most of the models that we reviewed had four drawers that were lined with felt, double doors with hooks on the inside for bracelets and necklaces, and a small mirror in back.
No other jewelry organizer can compare the free-standing jewelry armoire when it comes to space. Each of the models that we reviewed were much larger than their wall-mounted counterparts, with nearly twice the available drawer space and more individual compartments for storing specialty jewelry. Most of them also had a flip-top mirror and swinging doors with several hooks on the inside for necklaces.
When storing large valuable collections together, we recommend placing each piece in its own zip-loc bag. This is a cheap and easy way to protect your vintage jewelry from dirt, dust and debris.
There are many ways of keeping your most precious jewelry safe and well organized. Before you go hunting for your own organizer, be sure to take these tips and suggestions into consideration.