antique necklaces endow the wearer with a timeless beauty. The value of vintage jewelry depends on its condition, rarity and the era it represents.
Whether you’re shopping for a riviere or a dog collar, understanding the difference between vintage and antique jewelry can make all the difference when making your purchase. Learn about historical necklace trends that continue to inspire design today.
A long necklace can be just as elegant as a short one, with many different options available. There are also a wide variety of styles available, from chokers to operas and ropes.
Choker necklaces hug the neck closely and are often made from beads, velvet, or gold dipped chain. Wider chokers look great with strapless or spaghetti strap silhouettes, while slimmer chokers work well with high necklines like boat necks.
A riviere necklace is a short style (around 14 to 16 inches) simply strung with a line of faceted rhinestones or gemstones that gradually decrease in size. These types of necklaces are very popular and can be found in a range of prices. They are usually paired with a pendant necklace for a complete and classic look.
Vintage jewelry spans a wide range of styles. From lustrous pearl strands to leather dog collars, each era has added its own unique flair to the necklace. These styles continue to inspire designs today.
Understanding the lingo helps buyers make more informed decisions when buying and selling antique pieces. Learning the difference between a lavalier and a festoon will help you recognize the value in an antique necklace.
A pendant is any necklace that incorporates a hanging feature. It can be made of chain, cord or ribbon as long as it has a pendant attached to it. The pendant can be fashioned of metal, beads or any other material. A pendant can also incorporate a religious symbol, like the cross or star of David.
A short necklace carries the power to elevate your wardrobe. In a delicate dance of form and style, these designs accentuate the grace of your neck, elevating your entire look to an elevated state of sophistication.
Typically, necklaces with a length of 22 inches or less sit above or just under your collar bone. A popular choice for both casual and formal attire is the matinee necklace, a favorite with layering multiple pendants at different lengths. This length also works well with plunging evening dresses.
A graduated necklace plays with scale, usually by using beads that recede in size from the clasp towards the back of your neck. Also known as a bayadere, this design is popular with chain and pearl styles. These necklaces also work well with tassel and fringe pieces.
Antique necklace sets are a piece of history that brings you closer to the artistry and elegance of past generations. From intricate platinum pieces with lace to delicate filigree designs, you’ll find a variety of antique necklaces that are sure to stand the test of time.
As you shop for vintage and antique jewelry, be sure to look for the mark of authenticity on each item. This signifies that it was handmade and is older than 20 years. A good dealer or jeweler will be able to help you determine whether something is an antique or vintage, Kothari says. Also look for items made of silver and gold that are plated with rhodium to ensure the longevity of your treasures. These are often called heirloom pieces.
Although we associate choker necklaces with the ’90s and emo kids, they’ve been around for centuries. These tight necklaces, which are worn close to the neck, have been seen in archaeological findings and in representations like statues and paintings.
They were popular among wealthy women in ancient Egypt and were also worn by queens of England during the Victorian era. Some women wore the style to hide scars. Others wore it to symbolize mourning. It was also a favorite with prostitutes who were portrayed in ribbon chokers by artists.
The tight neckpiece was also a popular accessory for noblewomen during the bubonic plague as it was thought to protect them. It gained popularity again during the French Revolution when females at the secret bals des victimes wore red ribbons to show their solidarity with those who had been guillotined.