Antique jewellery is not just incredibly beautiful; it’s stylish and often unique. With the clean-cut jewellery that we have on offer today, it makes the hand made and distinguished items of yester-year even more precious. Vintage Norwich popped along to Aleks Jewellers on London Street in Norwich to speak to Paul Harris the manager to get a bit more info on what makes vintage jewellery special and how to care for it.
Aleks have a large range of antique jewellery that Paul was kind enough to let me have a look at, and even try on a few bits, such as a Victorian diamond ring whilst he told me more about Antique jewellery.
One of the main ways to tell an Antique is by its hallmark. Hallmarking started in Great Britain around 700 years ago and was the result of a statute which required the Goldsmiths Guild to use the specific hallmark, which was the Leopards Head hallmark, as an indication that the piece met the Monarch of the period’s required quality. The Maker also made his mark, often his initials or a symbol. A lot of jewellery will have a hallmark hidden in unusual places, or it will have faded over time so is always worth a good search to confirm if it’s the genuine article.
The best way to care for your antique jewellery is to take it to a professional jewellers that have the knowledge and equipment to hand to care for it and preserve its history, however if you are unable to do this, then we were given a few helpful tips.
- Avoid moisture as this can cause damage to your jewellery, take it off when you clean or have a shower. At the least it can make jewellery lose it’s lustre.
- Pearls need to be worn, as they often take oils from your skin to keep them bright and “alive”.
- Avoid the jewellery getting dusty, use a jewellery polishing cloth instead to keep jewellery dust-free.
- Keep the Jewellery separate, as they can be damaged when left loose in a jewellery bag or box.
Jewellery needs to be about 100 years old to be classed as an antique. Most of the antique jewellery that can be found in jewellers today is Victorian and Art Deco. Gold was more commonly used in jewellery prior to this time period, and the pieces themselves tended to be much bigger. They showed status and were often custom-made for individuals, such as a special gift from a husband to a wife.
Aleks Jewellers has been a part of the Norwich scenery for many years and the owners have over 30 years experience in the business. Walking in through the quaint shop front, you know you are in good hands. They have a wedding ring showroom and a jewellery workshop on-site and can offer personal consultations as well as being diamond ring specialists
For any one that is considering purchasing some Antique jewellery as a pretty adornment, a keepsake or even an investment, then Aleks’ is certainly the place to go.
Title quote: Shakespeare – Two Gentleman of Verona
Act II, Scene 4.
She is mine own,
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.