Dating vintage costume jewellery
From contemporary pieces to antiques, jewelry hallmarks are typically found on gold and silver jewelry.These hallmarks — commonly known as purity marks, maker’s marks, symbols, or date letters — can give you some useful insight on the materials, epoch, and producer of a piece of jewelry.
Therefore, for sterling silver, look for marks that include “925,” “STERLING,” “STG,” or “STER.” Watch out for metals that are etched with “German Silver” or “Nickel Silver”- these pieces are not made up of any silver at all, but are actually composed of copper, nickel, and zinc.In 1961, the American government also mandated that jewelry manufacturers include a maker’s mark, which indicates the maker.Hallmarking in Great Britain has had a long history dating back to the 14th century and today’s standards are regulated by the Hallmarking Act of 1973.If you’re looking to expand your jewelry collection or would like to know more about the examples you already have, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on what these tiny etchings really mean – and how to ensure you’re buying the real thing.
To be considered an antique, a piece of jewelry must be 100 years or older, while a vintage piece must be 20 years or older.
collections created by designers Frank Gehry, Paloma Picasso, Jean Schlumberger, and Elsa Peretti also feature the designers’ signatures on the jewelry.