While contemporary and modern jewelry have their own unique beauty, antique and vintage jewelry have their own characteristics, designs from their era, uniqueness and sentimentaity.
There are many reasons why people wear vintage jewelry; perhaps they inherited it, it has sentimental value, they are drawn to the design of a certain era, i.e. Art Deco, they are looking for unusual pieces, they want to own and wear a piece of history, etc. Many collector's feel a connection to their family history. There are those that only collect a certain type of jewelry, i.e. watches, rings, lavalieres because they might have a favorite maker or designer.
There are those collector's who will travel, within reason of course, to find or acquire the right piece. So often there are vintage/antique markets located out of town, auctions where you will see the "regulars" week by week, month by month, year by year--depending how often they have events or are open.
A recent comment I heard from a lady about her passion for collecting antique jewelry was because it gave her the chance to express her unique personality. She said that her jewelry collection represented her.
Quite often when one inherits or is given a piece of jewelry from the past, this is the beginning of their collection, especially when they truly adore the piece. Others just discover it on chance. It could be as simple as walking by a jewelry store that has an estate section, a piece captures your eye and you are hooked.
With today's high price of gold, investing in an heirloom piece is wise, since the value will go up with time. Do your homework before purchasing an expensive piece. Make sure the the gemstone and metal are in good condition, that there are maker's markings, karat markings. Ask for a professional appraisal.
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