Where to Find Vintage Jewelry for a Vintage Jewelry Collection
Vintage jewelry can be located from a variety of places
- Estate sales, yard sales, or garage sales
- Pawn shops
- Antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores
- Online auction sites and stores
- Advertise that you're seeking to buy vintage jewelry
How to Store and Keep Vintage Jewelry
Like any treasure, vintage jewelry should be stored properly
- Protected from exposure to sunlight
- Protected from exposure to moisture
- Protected from dirt and dust
- Protected from exposure to hair care products, hair sprays, etc.
- Each item of vintage jewelry should ideally be stored in it's own protective bag, case, box, or covering, to prevent scratching, and to prevent heavier pieces from knocking out rhinestones etc., in other pieces.
- Store vintage jewelry in cloth jewelry pouches, cloth lined drawer dividers, jewelry boxes, or bags.
- Hang necklaces, earrings, and bracelets from specially designed hangers, but in an area protected from dust and moisture.
How to Clean Vintage Jewelry
Vintage jewelry should be kept clean, but exercise caution with how you choose to clean it, and specially when cleaning rhinestones, and vintage plastics.
- Do not use water, soap, or other cleansers to clean rhinestones.
- Gently clean rhinestones with rubbing alcohol on a soft bristle toothbrush, but shake out the excess first.
- Use a jewelers cloth to clean sterling silver settings.
- Use a fine cloth moistened with water, and a very mild soap if necessary.
- Avoid using harsh cleaners or chemicals, which could cause damage to vintage plastics and rhinestones.
- When not in use remember to properly store vintage jewelry so you won't have to clean it as often.
- Remember that excess moisture may darken or loosen rhinestones, so avoid moisture around them.
- Avoid using chlorine even on gold as it can weaken gold prongs.
Other Things to Know About Collecting Vintage Jewelry
- Altering vintage jewelry pieces is not advisable, as it can affect the value of the vintage jewelry items.
- Only consider altering vintage jewelry if the pieces are broken and beyond repair or restoration.
- Don't remove clips or screw backs from earrings to make them into post earrings, unless they can be converted back to their original condition later if you should decide to sell the vintage jewelry.
- Vintage rhinestones are often different sizes and colors than new ones. If it's necessary to replace vintage rhinestones, you may not be able to match them unless you find replacements from other broken vintage jewelry pieces.
- While wearing vintage jewelry, protect it from exposure from hair care products, perfumes, skin lotions etc. as those can leave a residue, which can become impossible to remove, and especially from vintage rhinestones! Some chemicals may also damage vintage jewelry plastics.
- Collect vintage jewelry with respect to its original design, and when possible refrain from altering pieces in good condition, unless they're a very undesirable item in themselves. Yet, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what you find to be unattractive may be another person's treasure! Collect with respect.
Additional Helpful Tips
- Avoid using hairsprays, cologne, perfume or makeup, once you've put your jewelry on.
- If you set your jewelry out on your bathroom counter, cover it with a towel to protect it from the shower steam, water from your sink, the cosmetics listed above etc.
- After wearing your jewelry, and prior to storing it, you may wish to wipe down the backsides to remove any perfume, cologne or makeup residue that may have rubbed off your skin.