While the two terms are sometimes used synonymously and with little distinction, vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry are often entirely different things. The confusion largely lies in the fact that there are many pieces are not described properly and the untrained eye can’t distinguish. Luckily the experts at Gems West are here to help. One important question to ask yourself: Do I want something from another era or do I want something that only looks the part? While some people care for the real thing, others are after a look. Neither is good or bad, mostly just a personal preference.
Defining the Standards
First, we must understand the difference between Antique, Vintage, and Vintage-inspired.
Quite simply, antique means 100 years of older, vintage applies for pieces between 20 and 100 years of age, and vintage-inspired can be any age. But only refer to a period before its actual date of manufacture. Of course, this definition does mean that more existing pieces of vintage jewelry will become antiques as time goes on.
Vintage jewelry has many great advantages that keeps us intrigued. The designs are noteworthy as they changed the dynamics within the world of design. The scarcity of vintage is quite notable as items that remain are either one-of-a-kind or made in small batches. What remains of the production guarantees the rarity of each piece. The craftsmanship of an average vintage piece (compared to an average contemporary piece) is considerably higher along with dedication when designing each piece.
Vintage jewelry also implies that a piece lives on for few or more decades. Considerably prevailing through the wear and tear, and the effects of gravity and oxidation. They’re usually some blemishes that accompany most vintage items, which regular buyers of vintage are accustomed to.
Vintage-inspired can also be consider brand new, around (5-15 years from manufacture), or can be a vintage piece that hints to a time beyond its look (i.e. a Victorian design that’s consistent with 1860’s design that was manufactured in the 1960’s).
Newer pieces that are vintage-inspired offer the benefits of modern technology, and higher standards for alignment. Vintage-inspired offers options for those in design or high fashion. The client can determine which details to include, and exclude from each piece. Conversely, with vintage there are fewer options to customize.
Overall vintage inspired and vintage are substantial within the jewelry business. But they share many differences yet similar when you consider the longevity they hold.