If you’re like me, when you find a stunning piece of vintage jewelry you just have to know everything about it at once. In fact, doing the historical jewelry research is almost half the fun of being a collector. The internet is a treasure trove of information, but sifting through all the oddities and wrong turns can be frustrating. Here at Haute Bauble, we have taken some of the guessing out of the game in this comprehensive list of the top 50 vintage jewelry resources. From discovery, maker’s marks and value guides to the sometimes necessary purge, here are the top 50 sites to aid in your vintage jewelry research.
Vintage Jewelry Blogs and General Information:
- Antique Trader is a great resource for any
collector. Simply type in what you are
looking for and a list of articles will be at your disposal.
- Collectors Weekly is another great resource for historical information. Not only on vintage costume jewelry, but also on vintage fashion. Scroll through images of current auctions and great examples of stunning rare pieces.
- Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry has a great collection of vintage jewelry, but what makes it a great resource is their "Jewel Chat" pages full of designer signature samples, vintage advertisements and much more.
- The Jewelry Loupe is a great jewelry blog for lovers of today's trends and yesterday's jewels. Check out the section on vintage jewelry for interesting reads and insights.
- Gem Gossip is a great blog that features many unique designers and a plethora of fine vintage jewelry. This blog is a great read for any jewelry enthusiast. Visit Gem Gossip for stunning examples of vintage and follow along on fun jewelry adventures.
- The Bauble Blog is Haute Bauble's jewelry-centric blog focusing on trends and vintage. Visit past
posts here or peruse the current blog right here on Haute Bauble Vintage.
- Ageless Heirlooms is a blog full of great information whether for a beginner or expert. From buyers guides to jewelry FAQ, look around and and learn something new.
- If your interests are in Native American Jewelry, then check out Native American Jewelry Tips. Find great examples of Native American Jewelry as well as answers to your collecting questions.
- Diamonds in the Library is a fun blog that focuses on all jewelry types with some great posts on vintage and antique. Wonderful photos will have you ready to purchase your next piece.
- Jewels Du Jour is another great jewelry focused blog with articles and images that will satisfy every jewelry junkie. Find a new favorite designer or learn about jewels from across the globe.
- Liz Kantner is the curator and writer of her own jewelry blog LIzKantner.com. Visit her site for beautiful imagery and stunning jewelry designs.
posts here or peruse the current blog right here on Haute Bauble Vintage.
Vintage Jewelry Resources and Historical Information:
- Illusion Jewels is the webs best resource for looking up vintage designer signatures and dating your vintage and antique jewelry. Among the galleries you will also find vintage advertisements and patents.
- Searching for vintage jewelry patents is one of the best ways to date your vintage and antique jewelry. Google Patents has simplified the process. All jewelry collectors should have this vintage jewelry resource bookmarked.
- If you haven't figured out that vintage signature yet,
Jackson Jewels might have a few signs you've been looking for. Along with the markings you'll find a small bio on each designer available.
- Think you have found a piece of vintage jewelry from across the pond? Then you are going to need to check out the patents from the United Kingdom.
- 925-1000.com is the place you want to check out if you are looking for unique silver markings. Markings on flatware as well as silver jewelry marks from around the world will be found on this site.
- JewelryPatents.com is a website dedicated to vintage jewelry patents only. You will also find vintage jewelry advertisements and photographs.
- Enchanted Learning's All About Jewels Glossary is sort of like a dictionary of gems. Search through the images and learn all about gemstones and vintage bling.
- Along the same lines as All About Jewels, check out
The Gemology Project. It is a "wiki" style database all about gemology and gemstone identification.
- Research wouldn't be complete without a search of
United States Patent and Trademark Office. This is one of my favorite search sites. It might take some digging, but it is full of rare finds.
- Google Images is a great place to search for look-a-likes. Not only will it give you an idea if your piece is rare, but you might come across a fellow collector that knows a little more than you do about the same piece. Reach out and ask. It never hurts to drop a friendly line.
- About.com offers a section dedicated to vintage jewelry. Divided into categories including articles and price guides, this page is a great place to start your vintage jewelry research.
- One of my favorite things to search for is turquoise jewelry and Native American jewelry. Each handmade piece reflects a unique set of hands that created it.
Art-Amerindien.com has a stunning collection of Native American jewelry, but also an extensive collection of makers marks.
- There are times when you will come across a piece of vintage jewelry that has a mark, but no name or letters associated with it.
Junk Box Treasures has taken the guessing out of graphic marks with their list of unsigned markings.
- Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration, shopping resources and general research. Make sure and stop by Pinterest and see what your fellow jewelry lovers are pinning. It might be something you have been searching for.
- The Library is also a fantastic place to check out some good ol'fashioned vintage jewelry reading material. There are many wonderful books with histories and markings to be discovered. Be leery of printed price guides as the market for vintage jewelry is always changing.
- American Society of Jewelry Historians is a great site for all kinds of jewelry research. Do some digging around and perhaps bookmark their glossary of terms for future reference. You never know when you might need to double check the meaning of some jewelry jargon, like maybe Cloisonne or Millefiore.
- Of course vintage jewelry research would not be complete without a visit to Etsy. Etsy is a great research tool especially when it comes to pricing information and rarity. If you search your piece and find five of them on Etsy, it's probably not that rare, but the other thing is that Etsy sellers are friendly and always ready for a chat about their pieces.
- Ebay of course has been setting the pricing standard for sometime now. However, I would like to say that just because someone is asking a certain amount for a vintage piece, does not mean they are going to get it! Ebay is a great place to peruse the market, see what is being sought after and what is avaialable. Keep a watch on certain auctions to see how high they go and ask questions of collectors. Some may be more willing to help than others. Ebay's vintage jewelry buying guide is a great resource for vintage jewelry best practices.
- Ruby Lane is one of my favorite vintage shopping/research sites. These shop owners know their stuff and are not above answering your questions and queries. Their site is easily searched and when your looking for something specific, you're sure to find it there.
- Bonanza is an interesting sight for vintage jewelry. It boasts over 100,000 listings, but I feel like Bonanza requires patience. There are all sorts of things listed and if you are on a search, you might just find it at a great price. Don't be afraid to make an offer. Bonanza sellers will negotiate and you might just walk away with a deal.
- 1stDibs is a site that has a wonderful selection of vintage jewelry. Stunning pieces I have never seen before. The pricing can be a little higher than other sites I am used to, but still a great vintage jewelry resource.
- The Antique Jewelry Museum is a great resource for researching styles of jewelry throughout the years. Check out their collections by period or read a brief history of jewelry.
- Of course you can't forget Wikipedia for all your research needs. You can search for a certain designer or just read up on different periods and styles. You'll find examples, dates and a plethora of vintage jewelry information.
Vintage Jewelry Collections:
One of the best ways to learn, keep tabs on the resale market and identify rare pieces is to snoop around on your comrades vintage jewelry collections. Window shopping is part of the collecting fun and it can tell you the rarity of an item, what it might be worth and help you find sister pieces if you are trying to locate a set. Here is a compilation of some great collections of fine and vintage costume jewelry to help you with your vintage jewelry research.
- Mahnaz Collection is a stunning collection of vintage and antique fine jewelry. If anything, check out this collection to help you recognize hidden gems as you hit your next estate sale. You might just find a diamond in the rough.
- AZillion SPARKLZ has a large collection of vintage jewelry from Bakelite to compacts. Peruse their list to see what you can find.
- The Three Graces offers a stunning collection of fine vintage and antique jewelry spanning across generations and continents. This collection is amazingly photographed and presented.
- Vintage Costume Jewels is a website with a great collection of vintage costume jewelry assorted by color, type and material.
- Trifari.com is not just a site for Trifari Jewelry lovers, but for lovers of all vintage costume jewelry. Search for your favorite vintage designer or maybe discover a new one.
- Brilliant Earth is a great resource if you are in the market for vintage diamonds and engagement rings. Stunning vintage gemstones as well as vintage inspired rings will be found among their collections.
- All Vintage Jewelry has a great collection of vintage jewelry from signed and unsigned pieces dating back to the Victorian Era.
- At Jewel Diva you can search through designers like vintage Yves Saint Laurent, fine jewelry designers and unsigned beauties.
- Earthly Adornments is another great resource for vintage costume jewelry, but also gemstone jewelry and silver. You can search by type, era, style or material making your search efforts much easier.
- Search Broadwater Jewels for specific designers or styles. You'll find designers such as Matisse to Hobe and also Native American Jewelry.
- If it is vintage rhinestones you are after, visit Rhines Of Old for a large collection of vintage jewelry decorated in stunning rhinestones. Large statement pieces down to simple pendants, this site will have the rhinestones you are after.
- Haute Bauble Vintage adds new pieces to their vintage collection regularly. Hand picked for style and intrigue, Haute Bauble's vintage costume jewelry is a great addition to your collection or closet. You will find collectible designer signed pieces mixed in with stylish vintage accessories all affordable prices.
- One Kings Lane was once just a site for stunning interiors, but now they have a section dedicated to vintage jewelry and accessories. Take a look at their pieces and see how they curate and price.
- If you are a lover of cameo jewelry than CameoJewelry.com is the place for you to expand your collection and brush up on all things cameo.
- If you have an interest in making your own vintage inspired jewelry or maybe you are trying to track down a replacement piece, EstateBeads.com is a great vintage jewelry resource for all your beading needs. Plus they have a great vintage jewelry collection.
- I am always in search of something a little different. The Antique Jewellery Company is a London based online shop that curates beautiful vintage jewelry and accessories. Shop jewelry through the ages or their wonderfully curated collections and find something truly unique.
Well, there you have the Top 50 Vintage Jewelry Resources at your disposal. Now it is time to put this list to work and start your treasure hunt. If you feel that I missed something, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I too am always on the look out for the next great vintage jewelry resource.