Guides & Shopping Advice

What is Antique Jewellery?

“Antique” is a word that is just as easily defined as it is misunderstood and abused. You don’t have to spend much time on auction websites to know that anything and everything can seemingly be labeled as an antique. This is, I believe, due to two things. One being that people don’t understand the difference between antique, vintage, and pre-owned/used, the other being that “antique” can be used to describe how something looks. This is a fascinating aspect of the English language, and a constant source of annoyance because item descriptions can so easily mislead without being strictly dishonest. This also applies to names of gemstones or different eras – a necklace may be described as Victorian because the style mimics Victorian opulence, not because the necklace is actually Victorian. A sapphire stone set in a gold ring may be a sapphire blue piece of paste set in a golden ring made from brass.

But let’s get back to what an antique actually is. Basically, it’s anything that’s at least a 100 years old. 99 years old? Vintage. 100? Antique. The word says nothing about the quality, usefulness or value of the item, it only describes the age.

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