Vintage jewelry collecting isn’t exactly easy. Any time you purchase a piece of pre-owned jewelry for your collection, you run the risk of purchasing something that won’t hold its value, or that could even be damaged or fraudulent. With vintage jewelry, things get even more complex, because, while you can probably find a jeweler with the right expertise to assist you when it comes to buying last year’s line of watches pre-owned, it’s a little more difficult to find experts in certain areas of vintage jewelry — but that’s not the case at Yamron.

The Yamron team includes GIA graduate gemologist Melissa Stein, and she happens to know quite a lot about vintage jewelry, so we asked her for her top tips for vintage jewelry collecting. She let us in on her best advice for snatching up pieces that you absolutely love, how to handle your vintage jewelry budget and what to do before you even start shopping at all. Here are her top 8 tips for vintage jewelry collecting.

“Only buy what you love. Never buy something just because you think you may be able to turn a profit.”

It’s great advice! Why would you purchase something that you don’t really like? While, of course, you could turn a profit with a piece later on, there’s also the chance that you could not turn a profit with that piece at a later date — making it all the more important that you actually like the piece that you’ve added to your collection (because, after all, if it turns out to not be as valuable as you originally assumed, it won’t be as big of a blow, as you’ll still own a piece you love and love wearing). And isn’t collecting luxury jewelry all about curating a collection that makes you happy?

“Trust your gut. If you suspect something is ‘off’ about a piece, it probably is, even if you can’t readily identify the discrepancy.”

For beginner jewelry collectors, it can be difficult to identify those discrepancies, as Melissa calls them. You’re just getting familiar with the various luxury jewelry brands, learning the world of vintage jewelry and getting acclimated to the ins and outs of the jewelry industry as a whole. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and, unfortunately, easy to be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous seller.

So, trust your gut, just like you would when shopping for any big purchase, whether it be a new home or a vintage automobile. If something tells you that something’s not quite right, even if you can’t put your finger on it, pass on the purchase.

“Be patient as you look over an item. It’s easy to miss alterations and repairs that may impact the originality and value of the piece.”

Don’t just jump at a purchase, simply because you like the way it looks. Take a careful look at it before you make up your mind — or, better yet, have the piece evaluated by a trained professional, who can more easily spot any of those alterations or repairs that may not be apparent to the untrained eye.

While alterations and repairs may seem harmless, they can actually dramatically reduce a piece’s value, as well as make it impossible to repair or maintain a vintage piece in the future. Some brands refuse to repair certain pieces, such as watches, if they’ve had certain alterations.

“Don’t always set out to buy. Browse boutiques, galleries, museums and lectures to broaden your knowledge. Virtual talks, etc., are widely available and not just to industry experts.”

This is especially a good tip for those collecting vintage jewelry. There’s so much knowledge to be had. After all, vintage jewelry is a little piece of history. Learn as much as you can about vintage jewelry before you begin shopping — whether that’s via browsing auction catalogues and galleries, going to jewelry exhibits at your favorite museum or reading and watching the many readily available educational resources online.

“Signed pieces typically come with a higher price tag, but are eminently researchable, allowing a novice access to comparable pieces to assess condition, etc.”

In other words, if you’re a new collector and you’re not sure where to start with collecting vintage jewelry, you may want to browse signed pieces first. Despite the higher price tag, as Melissa points out, you’ll be able to better compare and contrast signed pieces, in order to ensure you’re getting the best piece and best value possible.

“If you are absolutely wild over a piece, buy it. You may not get a second chance.”

Really! Vintage jewelry is so special because it’s so rare. For some pieces, there’s literally only one available in the entire world. So, if you come across a piece that you absolutely adore, go ahead and buy it. You may not ever get the chance to do so again, and you don’t want to spend the rest of your life wishing you’d made that purchase.

“If you are absolutely wild over a piece, buy it. You may not get a second chance.”

It’s no secret and should come as no surprise to you that you get what you pay for, so if you’re shopping for vintage jewelry and are serious about your collecting, you’d do well to increase your budget as you’re able. You want to shop for the very best in quality and condition that you can afford, so that you then build a more valuable, robust collection — and remember, quality trumps quantity every time.

Have more questions about vintage jewelry collection? Yamron is here to assist.

Whether you reach out via the Yamron website or you visit us at our Naples location, the team of qualified professional jewelers at Yamron is here to help. Whether you’re just starting your vintage jewelry collection, or you want to take your existing jewelry collection in a new direction, we can assist you in finding exactly the pieces you’re looking for — even if you’re not entirely sure just what it is you’re looking for!

Learn more, at yamron.com, where you can follow us on social or reach out via phone or email.