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As a child I remember so clearly, being fascinated by my nanny’s jewellery box. It reminded me of a treasure chest that you would find on a desert island where x marked the spot on the tattered treasure map. Strings of beads in various colours and pearls, oh yes the beautiful strings of pearl that I would be allowed to try on and stand in front of the mirror imagining I was a grand lady. Nanny had the most fabulous collection of brooches. And she seemed to have a brooch for every occasion. She just loved wearing them and wore them in all manner of ways. I particularly remember a purple floral hat one that she wore a lot, and another of the letter B in gold that she wore on her lapel. Her jewellery box was a treasure trove of all things that just sparkled and shined and I, like so many little girls, was drawn to anything shiny.
Not everything in nanny’s jewellery box had been hers from new, some had belonged to her mother and she would tell me about them. That’s when I first realised that antique jewellery was not just something second hand but had lived a whole life before and if it could speak, could tell stories of days of old and life before our modern times. Now as an adult I still love antique jewellery and enjoy going to country fairs where I know there will be sellers. And again for that moment, I’m the child again in wonder of what stories each piece could tell. Imagining how they were gifted and worn. There is that sense of history right before you that you can buy and treasure and perhaps one day pass on to someone very special so that they too can cherish their beauty.
Now of course now with modern technology you can browse the internet for beautiful pieces of antique and vintage jewellery at online stores like https://carusjewellery.com . Plus there are many jewellery shops that specialise in this field, whom you will find in most towns. There are many that are multi generational and the knowledge and experience has been handed down from father to son or daughter.
Supporting small local businesses is important to me and that’s another good reason to consider when buying jewellery in this way. They have pieces that are unique and lovingly restored from when stones have been lost or damage has been done and then it’s given new life.
Jewellery very much like many things comes in and out of fashion. Cameo rings and brooches and marcasite. But some thing’s never go out of fashion like diamonds and pearls. Whether set in earrings, rings or necklaces. I just love them all. Of course there are many different styles from the Georgian, Victorian ( one of my absolute favourites), Edwardian all the way through to the Art Nouveau and Deco of the late 1800s to mid 1900s. I think one of the things that draws me to antique jewellery, rather than brand new from the high street is knowing that often it was lovingly made by very skilled craftsmen, who paid extraordinary attention to detail and produced the most exquisite and often unique one off pieces. Each piece hand finished, where as today most jewellery is mass produced.
The other thing I like is the fact that there is no VAT on antique jewellery,…..I know!!! So more for your money and I do like the fact I’m getting my hands on something of exceptional quality at an exceptional price! And remember antique jewellery is sustainable. Yes by buying antique rather than new you are becoming a conservator rather than a consumer. Something very close to my heart.
So when I want to give a truly unique and very special gift to someone, I always consider the antique market first. And of course this is not just a gift for ladies, because there are many beautiful pieces for men too, tie pins, cufflinks and more.