With the recent COP26 Events it is clear we need to change our ways and help our planet. How? Gifting and buying sustainably.
A few pieces from our antique collection
Antique jewellery is often more valuable and higher renowned than modern jewellery. We can see this in other walks of life as well; first edition books, classic cars, stately homes, pieces of art and jewellery is certainly no exception. The classic saying ‘they don’t make them like they use to’ comes into play here and often it’s true. Jewellery is now accessible to everyone and made by everyone. The production of cheaper metals and lab grown diamonds means many brands can get away with partaking in the fast fashion fix at a cheap cost. The jewellery industry churns out vast amounts just to keep up with fast fashion and the demand for luxury items. Much of the jewellery on the market is produced unethically and definitely not sustainably. Cheaper metals and stones are being used which uses up precious materials and resources to only amount to, more often than not, landfill. This is bad news for the planet and it needs to change.
Art Deco Cartier Tutti Frutti Brooch Ruby and Diamond Bracelet circa 1910
Antique jewellery stands the test of time. The workmanship and materials that go into each piece are designed to last. Today, most modern jewellery is cast. But antique jewellery is almost always handmade. Antique jewellery was made by highly skilled artisans who took a long time creating each piece and it is nearly impossible to find the same level of craftsmanship in todays jewellery market. Jewellery was not mass produced in the past, a lot of the time it wasn’t even widely available to the masses! This means that your antique piece is one of a kind. It is incredibly rare that you will find an antique piece identical to another. Often these pieces were produced by a skilled craftsman for a member of the upper class. This means time, love and effort when into each and every part of the jewellery, they would only ever create the best. This can be shown by the fact it is still around today! Antique jewellery is still intact and in good condition - this mean it’s is extremely well made and with proper care. As well as knowing your jewellery is crafted from the finest artisans, you also know you wont see somebody else with the same! It is easy to find (and spot) a piece created in the style of past eras but it something entirely different to see a piece from that era. Nothing beats the craftsmanship, techniques and materials that went into that piece. Look at it like having a print of a Renaissance painting in your living room - you’d want the real deal right?
Edwardian Diamond Drop Earrings
So apart from all the reasons listed above, why buy antique jewellery? Firstly, with no manufacturing cost antique and vintage jewellery tend to be cheaper. With old jewellery you are buying the same quality gemstones and materials without the cost of manufacturing. The value for money is incredible when you consider the craftsmanship, the hours gone into the piece and the materials. Antique jewellery holds it’s value and even grows in values. Think of it like an investment - perhaps that’s how to phrase it to your partner! Money spent on good quality antique jewellery is money well invested. A simple way to put it - when buying a new car you will pay a ‘new’ price for that car. Once bought, it is already gone down in value as it is no longer new. With jewellery the piece has already gone from ‘new’ to ‘old’ before buying therefore it’s purchase value remains the same.
Secondly, your piece of jewellery now has a story. Whether that’s a brooch which was once worn by a film star or a ring that was treasured by a wife for 50 years, your jewellery will always have a story. There is something romantic about jewellery from a bygone era. Perhaps you know the history? Or you can just have a bit of fun imaging where this piece has been and worn by whom. Perhaps one of the best reasons of all is there’s no compromise on quality or beauty. Antique jewellery offers character, authenticity and style that is very difficult and expensive to reproduce.
Jade and Diamond Ring, 1940 Diamond and Enamel Pendant, 1900
It takes significant resources to mine gemstones and precious metals which makes it very difficult to produce jewellery in an eco-friendly way. Conflict diamonds (also known as blood diamonds) only came into existence in the 1980s with civil war in Africa. Diamond jewellery created before this time are untarnished by this unpleasantness. By purchasing antique you are eliminating the need for mining and lessening the demand for new diamonds and precious stones. Your items will predate any regional conflicts associated with the diamond trade and precious gemstone mining. This will reduce your carbon footprint, something we can all do.
Fabergé Enamel and Diamond Brooch, circa 1900
Lastly, anybody can go into a well known jewellery brand and select a piece of jewellery that has been made hundreds of times before. Why would you want the same as everyone else? Or even the same as a lot of fakes! To go out of your way and find a piece of antique jewellery that you fall in love and is made to your style is something. Your jewellery will be unique and what a find to discover something made to you from hundreds of years ago. You can act as a conservator rather than a consumer. We know which we’d prefer to be.
Gift sustainably with us this Christmas.