As an antique and vintage jewelry collector for the past 30 plus years, and due to the great success of my jewelry shop online Great Vintage Jewelry, I often receive calls and emails from people who are in need of basic jewelry research information. Some of the most frequent questions I receive relate to dating antique bracelets, art deco bracelets, and vintage bracelets, defining what they are made of, who made it, and the value of antique bracelets and vintage bracelets.
The dictionary defines the word antique as anything 100 years or older, however this is not true for antique or Art Deco bracelets per say. Most jewelry collectors today consider the Art Deco period (1920-1935) as antique jewelry due to nature of the styles. Antique jewelry eras also include the Edwardian Era (1890-1920), the Art Nouveau Era (1895-1910) and the Victorian Era (late 1700s - 1900).
Most antique bracelets found for sale today were not made in the US but rather in Europe, The Far East, Persia, and Northern Africa and many are considered ethnic bracelets. Art Deco bracelets were made in the US and worldwide. Most, but not all, designer and vintage bracelets found today were made in the US between the 1920s and the 1950s when there were over 10,000 US designer jewelry firms in operation. Vintage bracelets also include more Modern designer bracelets made in the 1960-1990 era.
Pearl bracelets can be made of glass pearls, plastic pearls, cultured pearls, and Majorca pearls (which are glass pearls with a durable powdered fish scale coating). Pearl bracelets are rarely antique bracelets and the vast majority you will find are vintage bracelets.
Gold bracelets can be antique or vintage and if there is a gold mark followed by GF or HGE, these terms mean gold filled or heavy gold electroplated. Sterling silver bracelets are most often signed Sterling or 925. Alpaca silver bracelets from Mexico are not sterling silver.
Lucite bracelets including bangles and cuffs are some of my favorite wild vintage bracelets and while many are not signed, most were US designer made. Vintage copper bracelets can be extremely valuable and impressive to wear, especially designer vintage copper bracelets made by Renoir, Matisse, Rebajes, and Bell Trading Co.
Some people who shop for jewelry online get confused by sellers who dont understand how to date or describe jewelry using the term antique when it should be vintage, or other words that create confusion. Buyers should beware of descriptions that use the word “style” to describe an antique bracelet or an art deco bracelet or a vintage bracelet, buy stating it is an antique style or art deco style. The word style indicates the bracelet is new. Other words also used are antiqued, antique design, antique motif, antique type, antique look, vintage design, vintage motif, vintage type, or vintage look.
At Great Vintage Jewelry, I have a very unique collection of over 100 different authentic antique bracelets, art deco bracelets, vintage bracelets, designer bracelets, gold bracelets, sterling silver bracelets, pearl bracelets, ethnic bracelets, copper bracelets, and lucite bracelets that are all beautiful, affordable, highly collectible jewelry, and in excellent condition. You will find big clear jewelry photos and precise descriptions. I offer professional personal care to every customer, worldwide shipping, and free luxury gift wrapping.
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