What's behind vintage jewelry?

Etymologically speaking, the term "vintage" means "harvest" and refers to a remarkable year for wine. But the world of jewelry also has its special periods, during which singular collections are created and coveted, like a good vintage. Reflecting authenticity, the vintage jewelry is that rare, precious, retro object, that 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?

Wearing vintage jewelry means choosing a piece of period jewelry. Loaded with history, it's bound to be prestigious. It reflects a particular moment in the history of fashion, and history with a capital H. It's a collective history, witnessed through an object that has stood the test of time. It's also full of history in its own right, the intimate story of a woman about whom we'll probably never know anything. She who, yesterday, slipped that ring on her finger, adorned herself with a necklace or pendant, shining earrings or adorned her garment with a precious brooch. We repeat the same gestures as she did, feeling the emotion that ran through her decades ago.

All that's left is to interrogate the jewel to guess what it's wearing, what anecdote, what love story or family history it hides, and to penetrate its confidential universe to pierce the secret it conceals.

Which vintage jewel is right for you?

From Tank (1936 to 1950)...

Named in homage to tanks, Tank jewelry gave rise to surprising, atypical motifs, especially on women's jewelry. Never has reality been so represented in the art world. And jewelry is no longer intended to be a precious, offbeat piece, untouched by vicissitudes: it illustrates, evokes, denounces. No longer merely ornamental, it recalls memories, pays homage and conveys a message. Women, on the other hand, become involved, even committed.

The Tank rests on her finger, clinging to her cleavage, leaving her looking massive, imposing and powerful, salvific at the time. Tart, heavy, voluminous shapes, full curves curl and spread out, imposing themselves. The war left its mark on women's jewelry.

Vintage jewelry motifs Tank jewellery also tell the story of this troubled time, which we want to remember only so that it doesn't come back. The nightingales and birds of paradise that adorn brooches and pendants are caged: the door, closed during the war, opens upon liberation. Geometric, strongly articulated, almost rigid designs recall the caterpillars on the bracelets, which themselves are large, imposing and voluminous. Tubogas mesh, reminiscent of gas pipes, intertwines on the necklaces, and is definitely linked to everyday life. Rings break away from the idea of lightness and refinement and take on volume, in memory of those heavy, hard-to-wear years. Gold, a safe haven before the war when tensions were running high, is used in the composition of massive pieces.

... to vintage jewelry from the sixties to the seventies

The ring of the 1960s-1970s is also known as the Vintage ring. Made of precious metals, its yellow, rose and white golds take on the appearance of a crumpled, hammered, chiselled, grainy or even oxidized texture. The spiky shapes seem to place the stones randomly, asymmetrically. Bouquet shapes are set with precious stones, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and gemstones, opalsUncut rock crystals, amethysts, agates: these materials in abundance and the shimmering colors they take on give them unrivalled intensity and a unique sparkle. Bold, extravagant and exuberant, this decade's vintage ring is sure to be noticed on your finger!

Vintage jewelry tells its own story and has its own identity. Wearing this complex, precious, prestigious piece of unrivalled charm gives you the chance to write its sequel. Far from being outdated, it is definitely trendy and its originality never goes unnoticed. An exceptional piece, meticulously crafted by the jewellers of the time, it gives importance to the individual history that vintage jewelry can bring, but also to the collective history to which it pays tribute. With vintage jewelry, history invades the world of women's jewelry, and women's jewelry pays tribute to those who wrote history.

What is vintage jewelry?

At Castafiore, we like to think that vintage jewelrylike antique jewelry, is a bracelet, ring or necklace that has lived through 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 and vintage jewelry do not meet the same definition. 

On the one hand, vintage jewelry, also known as "antique jewelry", is any jewelry creation whose manufacture dates back 100 years or more. In fact, even jewelry from the Art Deco period, which stretches from the late 1930s to the dawn of the Second World War, is considered antique. More broadly speaking, any piece of pre-1950 jewelry authenticated by our jewelry experts will find its place in our antique jewelry collection.

From the other side, the appellation "vintage jewelry refers to all creations produced from the 1950s to the 1980s. Through our catalog of fine jewelry, any piece over 20 years old can claim vintage status, given the constant evolution of fashions over the decades.

Despite their often timeless beauty, antique and vintage jewels are part of the times. As such, they respond to the aesthetic codes of their respective eras. Antique jewelry, for example, often follows the codes of French classicism, but is also inspired by natural elements or antique fashion. Brooches in the shape of animals and pendants with floral motifs are the perfect, albeit fragmentary, representation of antique jewelry style.

Vintage jewelry, on the other hand, doesn't really fit into any particular style. However, it is generally more colorful, even exuberant, than vintage jewelry. Yellow gold takes pride of place in vintage jewelry, even if white gold also has its place to shine.

Vintage jewelry, at the heart of the trend

For today, is vintagefrom jewelry to ready-to-wear and interior design. Vintage owes much of its charm to its rarity. To own a piece of vintage jewelry, in the strictest sense of the term - unlike retro-style jewelry, which simply imitates the jewelry of decades gone by - is to own a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

Authentic in essence, vintage jewelry brilliantly illustrates the adage that fashion is an eternal restart. In the spotlight, vintage jewelry proves that what once appealed is likely to appeal again. Vintage and second-hand work in tandem to revitalize old creations with their charm intact.

While not all vintage jewelry is second-hand, many creations from previous decades have passed through the hands of one or more owners before arriving in our expert hands. The complementarity between vintage and second-hand is undeniable: while the resurgence 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 piece of vintage jewelry and second-hand jewellery, you are contributing to slowing down production, which in turn has a positive impact on the environment, as well as perpetuating the use of existing jewelry. Because jewelry is designed to be seen and worn, vintage jewelry belongs on our fingers, in our ears, around our necks and on our wrists.

Invest in vintage jewelry with Castafiore

Cartier, Chaumet, Fred, Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels: all these renowned jewelry houses and many more are adding to our range. our selection of vintage jewelry with the help of rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches made before the year 2000. Alongside these signed vintage jewels are unsigned jewelry creations, which Castafiore values for the quality of their materials. 

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

You own a vintage jewel but don't wear it, or don't wear it anymore? Give someone else the chance to live a beautiful love story with your jewel, by entrusting it to Castafiore. After appraising your vintage jewel in our workshops, we'll decide together on a fair selling price, 70% of which will be yours by right once your jewel has met its new owner.

You too can benefit, make second-hand your first choice by passing on the vintage jewels that sleep in your jewelry box. Why not take the opportunity to indulge in the precious beauty of one of our many exceptional pieces? The rare pearl awaits you in our online boutique!