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Authenticating Designer Vintage Jewellery

Authenticating Designer Vintage Jewellery

Authenticity is an absolute fundamental to Jagged Metal. We have over 10 years experience in collecting, selling and authenticating vintage jewellery. We work with a trusted global network to ensure that every piece meets our exacting standards- we are absolutely vigilant around authenticity.

 

Here are some of the things we look for:

Official Documentation

Authentication is easy if the original purchase receipt is available. Other documentation, such as care cards or maintenance logs for repairs or resizing,  can also help verify age.

Hallmarks

Fashion houses have stamped and dated costume jewellery in different ways throughout the decades. There are distinct eras where designers have used particular designs for their marks which give us the first indication of authenticity.  There are particular details we will look for when analysing these marks to ensure they are real. In addition to this we would ensure that the design of the piece accurately reflected the era indicated by the mark.

Patina

The wear and tear of a piece that has built up over the years is a critical component.  Decades of storage and wearing can be hard to replicate accurately.

Metal

We specialise in costume jewellery so most metals are gold or silver plated on to high quality base metals. The quality of the plating is important in the authentication process - this can be determined by eye - colour, texture, and the way the metal has worn over the years.

If necessary, quality can be determined by testing with chemicals.  The metal will turn different colours depending on the treatment of that metal. The weight and feel of the metal is also an important determinant of authenticity.

Stones

Most stones used in all designer costume jewellery will be non-precious. Older pieces will be made from Gripoix (poured glass) and it is possible to see bubbles in these stones especially in older chanel pieces. Older faux pearls will also have a very specific lustre and feel which has developed over years of use. The texture, lustre and patina of chanel pearls is particularly important.  We look for the way the stones have been set. The glue is often an important indicator of age.

Fastenings

Different designers have used different fixing, findings and fastenings over the years.  This is an important component in the identification of authenticity and age.

Documented pieces

Often our pieces can be seen in old photography for runway shows, advertising campaigns and magazine editorials

Intuition

When you have held thousands of pieces over the years, there is a natural instinct around look, weight and patina that comes into play. All of the above factors become hardwired and there is an intuition that can’t be quantified!

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