Jewellery is worn by both men and women from ages not only to beautify one but also as a symbol of power, wealth and status. Antique jewellery has seen the rise and fall of empires through centuries. Made from gold, silver and other semi-precious stones, antique jewellery was crafted by highly skilled jewellers, with the designs dictates by the wealthy clients. While the rich enjoyed the valor of precious jewellery, the middle class and the poor beautified themselves with the cheap costume jewellery. The costume jewellery looked just like the antique real jewellery but was made of glass or other metals like copper and brass rather than gold and silver.
Today, when ages have passed and the market of antique jewellery is booming, there is a desperate need to identify between the antique jewellery and costume jewellery. There are a lot of antique jewel collectors and the vintage jewellery is trending, which makes it essential to only purchase the real antique jewel and not get tricked by millions of tricksters out there.
Function of the Jewellery
Definite pieces of jewellery were worn only in a specific period of time which makes them easily indefinable according to their era. Also in particular periods of time, the necklaces and other pieces of jewellery were worn for a specific function which makes them easy to relate to that period.
For example, the dress clips were very popular pieces of jewellery in 30’s. They were first made in the early 1930’s and by late 1930’s they became very popular. By the end of 1950’s, the dress clips became out of fashion.
Thus, dress clips define a certain period between 1930’s and 1950’s and during that time; they were made with a special hinged clap at the back.
Style of the Jewellery
Different era had different styles and colour dominant. Like architecture of different periods can be defined, in the same way jewellery of different periods can be denied.
In the years from 1910 to 1930, the white colour was the trending colour in jewellery. The silver colour as the base metal was used. Other popular metals are white gold, platinum and other metals, crafted to look like silver.
During the years of 1939 to 1945, the age of World War II, gold became the popular metal. But during this time, gold was available in less quantity, so gold plated jewellery came into existence.
During 1930’s, rhinestones were also used in jewellery but since they came from Europe, the jewellery of this era has more metal and single or small rhinestones in them.
Marks on the Jewellery
All the jewellery made in the part era, had some hallmark or the jeweller’s mark on its backside. Thus, when looking at brooches, necklaces and rings, one should always examine the back to see the hall mark. Additional marks like 925, 999(for sterling silver) may also be marked.
The hinges and the clasps of the brooches and clips can also tell about the age of the piece. A pint shaft extension around the edge of the brooches, reflect that it was made in mid-1800. A ball hinge bracelet is much younger than a tube hinge bracelet.
Thus, antique jewellery can be identified by the function, style and back marks it had in its specific time period. But for some common pieces of antique jewellery Perth, extensive research is needed to identify the correct piece. In the past few years, many jewellery reference books have been published to assist dealers, buyers and jewellery makers.