Vintage Jewellery: Where To Shop & What To Look For

When it comes to jewellery, vintage is having another revival. Not only are you more likely to find something unique, but you’ll also get more for your money – and it’s a more sustainable option. To find out how to source authentic pieces, the latest trends and the best buying tips, we spoke to Isobel Procter, the founder of jewellery brand PI London…
NATI MELNYCHUK/UNSPLASH

On the rise of vintage jewellery: “I’ve made it my mission to bring antiques into the 21st century and make them more available to the modern consumer. With PI London I wanted to create a platform offering smaller, curated collections of vintage jewellery that felt accessible and fresh. My mother, who was an antiques dealer, instilled a great appreciation for unique pieces in me from a very young age. As I got older and started wanting to buy antique jewellery for myself and my friends, I realised the modern jewellery market lacked a vintage jewellery brand with a current feel – especially one that specialised in everyday, solid gold, affordable pieces. 

On social responsibility: “I’m incredibly passionate about being able to source affordable, quality, solid gold and silver pieces that my clients can wear every day, enjoy forever and even one day pass onto their children or loved ones. Also, sourcing vintage pieces that are sustainable and don’t harm our planet is so important to me. With all of us becoming more conscious of our shopping habits, it felt relevant to prove that buying vintage is a great way to enjoy beautiful jewellery in a responsible way.” 

On what to look for: “I buy from an exclusive list of dealers across the country, all of whom I trust. I’m always on the lookout for something a bit fun and different – but it must be solid gold, silver or natural gemstones. Lastly, I always look for hallmarks so I can get a better idea of their age; it’s always good to find out the exact date something was made – it gives the piece more of a story.

On what’s trending: “Earlier this year, I sourced the most incredible blue topaz cocktail ring and a chunky peridot ring for Danielle Bernstein from We Wore What. There’s definitely been a rise in requests for bold, colourful cocktail rings since.”

On making a purchase: “If you see a vintage piece of jewellery you love, buy it – you won’t find anything like it again. Go with your gut and if the price seems too good to be true, don’t be afraid to ask the seller more questions  – sometimes the piece has an amazing story behind it. When I was a teenager, my mum told me you get so much more for your money by buying vintage and you know no one else will have the same. That has always stuck with me.”

On where to shop: “There are some really great antiques fairs in London – Adam’s Antiques Fair is a good one that takes place near Victoria every month. It has jewellery, furniture, art and clothes so there’s something for everyone. Make sure you get there early though, as the good pieces tend to go fast.”

 

Inspired? Here are some of our favourite places to shop for vintage jewellery…

Isobel Procter’s collection of smaller, vintage jewellery has already garnered a loyal fashion and celebrity (Beyoncé-level) following.
 
Visit PiLondon.co.uk

One of the most prolific vintage jewellery curators out there, Susan Caplan has an unrivalled collection of vintage Dior and Chanel, as well as some great chunky gold-tone pieces.
 
Visit SusanCaplan.co.uk

On Church Street in Lisson Grove, you’ll find Alfies Antique Market. Home to over 75 dealers, they sell everything from antique furniture to jewellery, paintings to vintage clothing.
 
Visit AlfiesAntiqus.co.uk

Online jewellery emporium Shop Daphine has just introduced The Vintage Edit, a limited release of pre-loved pieces, lovingly sourced by co-founders Damasia and Philippine. 
 
Visit Shop-Daphine.com

A vintage and antique jewellery specialist based in Brighton, you’ll find an eclectic mix of pieces here, from fine engagement rings to one-of-a-kind heirlooms.
 
Visit Fetheray.com

A more traditional jewellery shop, Guildford’s Cry For The Moon offers a beautiful selection of antique jewels – whether you’re after a statement piece or more affordable costume jewellery.
 
Visit CFTM.com

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