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What is behind a vintage piece of jewelry?

Etymologically speaking, the term “vintage” means “harvest” and designates a remarkable year for wine. But the world of jewelry also has its particular periods during which unique collections have seen the light of day and are the object of desire, like a good vintage or a good vintage. Reflection of authenticity, the vintage jewelry is this retro, rare, precious object, this exceptional vintage more than ever brought up to date. This feminine jewel, from a bygone, dated, memorable era, is all the rage in today's fashion.

From yesterday to today, why wear vintage jewelry?

Wear vintage jewelry it’s about choosing a period piece of jewelry. Steeped in history, it is inevitably prestigious. It reflects a particular moment in the history of fashion, and history with a capital H. The collective one, of which we have a testimony through an object that has stood the test of time. It is also full of history, the intimate story of a woman about whom we will probably never know anything. She who, yesterday, slipped this ring on her finger, adorned herself with a necklace or a pendant, shiny earrings or who even adorned her clothing with a precious brooch. We repeat the same gestures as her, we feel the emotion that moved her decades earlier. All that remains is to question the jewel to guess what it is wearing, what anecdote, what romantic or family story it is hiding, and to penetrate its confidential universe to uncover the secret it is hiding.

Which vintage piece of jewelry is right for you?

From the Tank jewel (1936 to 1950)…

Named in homage to tanks, Tank jewelry has given rise to surprising, atypical motifs, especially on feminine jewelry. Never has reality been so represented in the world of art. And the jewel is no longer intended to be a precious, offbeat piece, spared by vicissitudes: it illustrates, it evokes, it denounces. It is no longer content to be ornamental, it recalls memory, pays homage and conveys a message. The woman gets involved, even gets involved.

The Tank is placed on her finger, clings to her neckline and leaves her with her massive, imposing and powerful appearance, a saving grace at the time. Convoluted, heavy, voluminous shapes, full curves roll up and spread out, imposing themselves. The war has left its mark on women's jewelry.

The patterns of vintage jewelry Tank also tells of this troubled time that we want to remember only so that it doesn't come back. The nightingales and birds of paradise that adorn brooches and pendants are in a cage: the door, closed during the war, opens upon liberation. Geometric designs, strongly articulated, almost rigid, recall the tracks of tanks on the bracelets which, themselves, are wide, imposing, voluminous. The tubogaz mesh, which evokes gas pipes, is crisscrossed on the necklaces, and is definitely linked to everyday life. The rings break with any idea of ​​lightness and refinement and take on volume, in memory of these heavy years, difficult to wear. Gold, a safe haven before war, when tensions rise, is used in the composition of massive pieces.

… to vintage jewelry from the sixties to seventies

The ring from the 1960s-1970s is also called a Vintage ring. Composed of precious metals, its yellow, pink and white gold take on the appearance of a crumpled, hammered, chiseled, grainy, even oxidized texture. The spiky shapes appear to place the stones randomly, asymmetrically. The bouquet shapes are set with precious stones, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and fine stones, opals, uncut rock crystals, amethysts, agates; these abundant materials and the shimmering colors it takes on give it an unparalleled intensity and a unique sparkle. Bold, extravagant, exuberant, the vintage ring of this decade can only be noticed on your finger!

Vintage jewelry tells its own story and owns his identity. Wearing this complex, precious, prestigious piece, with unparalleled charm, is giving yourself the opportunity to write the rest. Far from being outdated, it is definitely trendy and its originality never goes unnoticed. An exceptional piece, carefully crafted by the jewelers of the time, it gives importance to the individual history that ancient jewelry can bring, but also to the collective history to which it pays homage. With vintage jewelry, history invades the world of women's jewelry, women's jewelry pays homage to those who wrote history.

What is vintage jewelry?

At Castafiore, we like to think that vintage jewelry, in the same way as old jewelry, is a bracelet, a ring, a necklace that has lived a thousand and one stories before blossoming, once again, by our side. Despite this common characteristic, which certainly satisfies the sweet dreamers among us, antique jewelry and vintage jewelry do not meet the same definition.

On the one hand, antique jewelry, also called “antique jewelry,” is all jewelry creations whose manufacture dates back 100 years or more. In fact, even jewelry from the Art Deco period, which extends until the end of the 1930s, at the dawn of the Second World War, is considered antique. More broadly, any piece of jewelry from before 1950 authenticated by our jewelry experts finds its place in our collection of antique jewelry.

The other, the name “vintage jewelry” designates all creations produced from the 1950s to the 1980s. Through our catalog of beautiful jewelry, any piece of jewelry over 20 years old can claim the status of vintage jewelry, given the constant evolution of fashions over the decades .

Despite their often timeless beauty, antique jewelry and vintage jewelry stand the test of time. They therefore respond to the aesthetic codes of their respective eras. Thus, antique jewelry often takes up the codes of French classicism, but it is also inspired by natural elements or even antique fashion. Animal-shaped brooches and other floral-patterned pendants are the perfect, if fragmentary, representation of the style of antique jewelry.

Vintage jewelry is not really a specific style. However, we can say that it is overall more colorful, even exuberant, than an old piece of jewelry. Yellow gold is truly in the spotlight with vintage jewelry, although it also leaves room for white gold to shine.

Vintage jewelry, jewelry at the heart of the trend

Today, fashion is vintage, both in terms of jewelry, ready-to-wear and interior decoration. Vintage owes its charm largely to its rarity. Owning vintage jewelry, in the strict sense of the term – unlike retro style jewelry which simply imitates jewelry from past decades – is in fact having a unique piece of jewelry.

Authentic in essence, vintage jewelry brilliantly illustrates the adage according to which fashion is an eternal beginning. At the forefront, vintage jewelry proves that what pleased one day is likely to please again. Vintage and second hand then work together to revalorize old creations with intact charm.

Although not all vintage jewelry is necessarily second-hand jewelry, many creations from previous decades have passed through the hands of one or more owner(s) before arriving in our expert hands. The complementarity between vintage and second hand is undeniable: while the strong comeback of vintage fashion allows us to increase the visibility of vintage pieces from sometimes century-old houses, the craze for second hand gives us the opportunity to highlight the virtues of the circular economy.

By adopting a vintage piece of jewelry and second hand, you thereby contribute to the slowdown in production, which itself has a positive impact on the environment, as well as to the perpetuation of the use of an already existing piece of jewelry. Because jewelry is designed to be seen and worn, vintage jewelry has its place on our fingers, in our ears, around our neck and our wrists.

Invest in an exceptional vintage piece of jewelry thanks to Castafiore

Cartier, Chaumet, Fred, Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels: all these renowned jewelry houses and many others are expanding our selection of vintage jewelry using rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other brooches made before the 2000s. Alongside these signed vintage jewels take place unsigned jewelry creations, which Castafiore estimates at their fair value for the quality of their manufacturing materials.

Indeed, it is in particular pieces in 18-carat gold, set with diamonds or adorned with naturally colored (semi-)precious stones which form our collection of beautiful vintage jewelry. Reflections of an era, the vintage jewelry featured on our site are all forgotten treasures that we want to make accessible to as many women as possible.

You own a vintage piece of jewelry but you don't wear it or no longer? Offer the opportunity to another person to experience a beautiful love story with your jewelry, by entrusting it to Castafiore. After having appraised your vintage jewel in our workshops, we will decide together on a fair selling price, 70% of which will return to you once your jewel has met its new owner.

You too, make second hand your first choice by passing on the vintage jewelry that is sleeping in your jewelry box. Why not take the opportunity to let yourself be tempted by the precious beauty of one of our many exceptional pieces? The rare pearl is undoubtedly waiting for you on our online store!