If you love vintage jewelry, but are hesitant to buy it online, you’re not alone — but you are missing out. There are stunning, unique pieces to be found, by iconic names like Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and more, at great prices. To help you get past your reservations, we asked Alexis Clarbour, Director at Portero — a reputable destination for pre-owned luxury jewelry, handbags, and more, on Gilt today — to share her top tips for shopping vintage jewelry online.
1. Do your homework: “It’s important to make sure you’re buying from a trusted source. Research the person or the company that you’re buying from, as well as the item itself.”
2. Look for hallmarks: “If you’re buying vintage designer jewelry, examine its hallmarks or maker’s marks [see the Cartier ring above], as they can change depending on the period of a certain brand. For example, Van Cleef & Arpels’ 1960s markings look different than the modern day markings. Hallmarks can also help you find the provenance of a certain piece.”
3. There is beauty in imperfection: “Estate pieces may have some patina or light dents from normal wear and tear, which I think are part of their charm.”
4. Don’t be fooled: “If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a Cartier bracelet priced for $200, it probably isn’t what’s advertised.”