Vintage jewelry collecting, and especially vintage costume jewelry collecting, has exploded onto the market in recent years. Many are signed and many are unsigned. With this explosion has been an increase of fake jewelry to go along with it. Therefore, when it comes to collecting vintage jewelry, be sure you know what you are looking for and at. Later on, you will be glad that you did.
But, how do you know if the jewelry is real or fake? There are a couple of different ways to look at this. One would be to deal with a trusted dealer. Possibly one that either you, or someone you know, has dealt with before. The second, and probably the best way to attack this issue would be through research and education. There are many books on the market now that include many photographs that can be use to compare other pieces with. This is a highly resourceful resource that would, could, and should be used when unsure of the piece.
The internet is a vast array of knowledge on this subject also. Many collectors create and maintain a person website describing what they personally collect and enjoy. These can assist also. If you are going to search through some of the internet auction websites, rest assured that there are good as well as bed when it comes to this aspect of the jewelry collecting field. When utilizing an internet auction, do the research. Check out the seller. Make every attempt to verify that you are dealing with a creditable resource and dealer. This single most piece of advice is probably the most valuable advice any jewelry collector should heed.
There are many unsigned pieces out there. These are pieces that was, for the biggest part, created for the masses and sold wholesale to places like Sears and J.C. Penny. These are very nice pieces. However, these pieces need to be extensively researched in order to avoid the pitfalls of purchasing a fake. Some of these highly sought after and collectible designers would include Miriam Haskell, Weiss, and Eisenberg.
Cleaning is a crucial part of taking care of your jewelry. But, be aware when it comes to rhinestones. If you immerse it under water, odds are that you will destroy part of it, without even knowing that you did. There is a very thin foil lining on the back of most rhinestones. Liquids have a tendency to destroy this foil lining. To avoid this, spray your cleaner directly onto a rag or towel, and wipe the piece gently and throughly.