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7 top tips for caring for your vintage jewellery collection

Maintaining vintage jewellery can be daunting, here's some expert advice to follow

vintage jewellery
Natalie Salmon
Natalie SalmonFashion Digital Editor
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The vintage jewellery market is booming, in the last two years we’ve seen vintage and designer costume jewellery surge in price and popularity. According to vintage expert Jackariaeh Francis vintage Chanel is some of the most coveted out there. 

“In 1986 Hollywood screen goddess and diamond fanatic, Elizabeth Taylor wore a pair of large 24ct gold plated dangling circular hoop earrings featuring the iconic interlocking CC motif on set of the film There Must be a Pony shot in Los Angeles. My company Parisian Sweet sold the exact pair of  earrings back in 2017 for £550, and now in 2022 I’ve seen them selling for between a staggering £2,800-£3000 on the secondary market.”

RELATED: The 6 best places to buy vintage jewellery online

elizabeth taylor

Elizabeth Taylor's Chanel earrings are now selling for around £3000

The French maison’s signature iconic interlocking Chanel CC pieces are fetching astronomical prices, and thanks to a consumer shift to minding eco-credentials of our wardrobe by investing in circular fashion it’s clear that vintage tendencies are here to stay. We spoke to Jackariaeh about his love for vintage, and the top tips to follow when it comes to purchasing vintage jewellery…

“The first ever piece of jewellery I purchased was an original arts & crafts sterling silver brooch by Norwegian jeweller, Marius Hammer. It depicts an intricately carved stag heads with emerald green glass cabochons and I still have kept it to this very day. Remembering vividly as if it was yesterday, I picked it up in London from Grays Antique’s Market In the heart of London five years ago for a few hundred pounds and now it’s worth eight hundred. 

RELATED: Vintage chanel handbags: 5 things to know before making your first purchase

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Despite being a longtime vintage aficionado, it wasn’t until recent years that I fell down the rabbit hole of collecting 1980s, 1990s archival runway pieces from the era of the original supermodel. 

Think of those Edina Monsoon, “I only want it if it’s Christian Lacroix,” outbursts on Absolutely Fabulous… those inimitable days of Jennifer Saunders clad in bejewelled crucifixes and sacred hearts, seasoned with Mediterranean influence. I’ve lusted after that exact same cross for the last decade and managed to swipe it last year for my private archives from the reseller “HK Vintage”  who can be found on Instagram and located at 1 Rue Théodore de Banville, 75017 Paris. The stag and the crucifix are some of my top pieces which make for great personal enjoyment and financial investment.”

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Parisian Sweet's top tips for caring for your vintage jewellery:

1) Check the condition 

My best tips are always buy your pieces in the best possible condition and hold out or don’t pay to much if they have damage or heavy plating wear as they won't hold too well if you choose to re-sell them further down the line. 

2) Store in a cool dark place

Always store them away out of direct sunlight, wrapped in acid free tissue-paper.  

3) Save the best for last

When getting ready to go out always apply your jewellery last, pretty please avoid perfume and sprays as they will cause build up on the metal over the years which can cause corrosion and wreak havoc with foil backed gems.

4) Keep it dry

Body sweat can also tarnish plating so try and keep sweat contact to a minimum and always clean with a light dry cloth after wearing as you may have a nasty surprise when you open the box a few months down the line. 

5) Where to go

If you're ever in Paris I also recommend “Opulence Vintage” located 107 Rue Réaumur, 75002 Paris, France. The wonderful owner Raul always has a fab collection of fairly priced archive jewellery. I recently acquired an extremely rare chunky Byzantine cross with gripoix embellishment sold for half the price I’ve seen it listed for on the secondary market by other resellers.

6) Do your homework

It’s always pays to really do your homework, you can educate yourself if you head online or glacially flip through the Chanel runway catwalk or ready to wear books to see exactly what pieces were worn on some of the most historically celebrated collections. 1995 was a superb year and you never know enhancing your knowledge you may spot an incorrectly priced heirloom that you’ll instantly reap the rewards on, or in years to come. 

7) Enjoy

Most importantly have fun when buying and always remember to buy what you love.

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