Vintage Jewelry Guide for Brides-to-Be

Posted by on 25 April 2016

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

A timeless piece of vintage bridal jewelry is the perfect way for brides to include that “something old” – or something borrowed if it comes from a friend or relative – in their special day. A piece of vintage jewelry is a special piece of history. Wearing a piece of vintage jewelry ties your wedding day into a bigger story of couples across time. Selecting the perfect piece of vintage jewelry, however, can be a challenge. Here’s how to get started.

1. Consider your dress and hair.
Vintage jewelry can be the perfect finishing touch for your wedding dress– or it can tip the scales overboard! Remember, less is more. While accessories will add a unique touch to your special day, too many accessories will detract from your dress. When shopping for vintage jewelry pieces, consider your dress style and how you plan to wear your hair. For example, if your wedding gown is a simpler style, opt for a bold vintage necklace to make a dramatic statement.

If you’ll be wearing your hair down, stick to simple stud earrings. If you’re wearing your hair up, it’s okay to make a bolder statement with dramatic chandelier danglers. Not planning to wear a veil? A diamond-studded vintage hair comb will instantly upgrade your hair do and add an unexpected sparkle.

2. Know your options.
Vintage jewelry is any jewelry piece that is older than 20 years but younger than 100; pieces over 100 are considered to be antiques and pieces younger than 20 are considered “pre-owned.” Costs for vintage jewelry range widely depending on piece quality, the presence of precious or semi-precious jewels, and the metals used in the piece. If your dream vintage piece is out of your budget, consider newer “vintage-inspired” pieces that borrow design elements from a previous era, like Art Deco without the high vintage price tag.

3. Protect your investment.
Whether you plan to wear your vintage jewelry again on special occasions or will be saving it to pass down to loved ones, it’s essential you protect your investment with proper care. Silver jewelry can tarnish quickly and need to be cleaned and polished regularly, even if you’re not wearing it. Vintage white gold may be plated with rhodium, which can chip away with long-term wear. To clean, soak white jewelry in a mixture of warm water and mild soap for 20 to 30 minutes. Gently rub the jewelry with a soft brush to remove any dirt.

Rose gold is one of the hottest trends in jewelry right now, and finding the perfect vintage piece can feel like winning the lottery. However, because of the copper content in rose gold, regular care is essential to protecting this investment. Be careful to keep your rose gold jewelry away from any harsh chemicals or ammonia, which can tarnish or otherwise harm the piece.

No matter what vintage jewelry you select, opt for pieces that reflect your unique sense of style and personality. You’ll feel more confident – and beautiful – on your wedding day.

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Is your love in the air – or is it set in stone?

A diamond is a forever investment. Understanding the four C’s – carat, color, clarity and cut – will ensure that you make a smart selection. While some of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, they do directly impact a diamond’s overall quality and price. When selecting your perfect diamond, keep the following in mind:


A diamond’s “cut” grading measures whether a stone has maximum brilliance and sparkle– it’s what brings fire to the ice and catches your eye. Cut is different from the shape of the diamond (e.g., princess cut, emerald cut, etc.). The cut evaluation rates the diamond’s angles and brilliance, evaluating the diamond’s proportion, facet arrangement and overall workmanship quality. Diamond cut grades range from “excellent” to “poor” with the excellent rating resembling the ideal cut illustrated below.

Diamond Cuts


Virtually all diamonds for sale today include minor irregularities or imperfections, although these imperfections are rarely visible to the naked eye. The minor imperfections in a diamond are caused by the liquid volcanic rock in which a diamond is created. While diamonds are primarily pure carbon, during the crystallization process, other nearby minerals may become trapped within the cooling mass, which in turn affects the diamond’s clarity.

Clarity is measured on a scale with grades running from “flawless” (virtually no imperfections) to “included” (imperfections heavily included). “Pure” diamonds are flawless or internally flawless; these diamonds are exceedingly rare and expensive. VVS-1 and VVS-2 grade diamonds have very, very small inclusions; VS-1 and VS-2 diamond have very small inclusions; SI-1 and SI-2 diamonds have small inclusions; and I-1, I-2 and I-3 diamonds are heavily included. Diamonds are graded under a 10X magnifying glass in good lighting by an experienced grader. The final grade is determined by how easily the grader can see the inclusions and blemishes.


The “color” rating actually refers to the absence of color in a diamond. Like a drop of pure spring water, when it comes to diamonds, the less color, the better. The jewelry industry recognizes the highest quality gemstones by purity of hue. In order to demine the absence or presence of different hues, an experienced diamond grader will compare the diamond to “master stones” using artificial or natural northern daylight. Colorless diamonds are graded either D, E or F. Near colorless diamonds are graded G, H, I or J. Slightly tinted diamonds receive a K, L, M or N rating. Very light yellow diamonds are graded O, P, or Q; light yellow diamonds are graded R, S, or T; yellow diamonds receive a U, V or W grading and light fancy diamonds are graded X, Y or Z.

Diamond Color


The most well-known of the four C’s, “carat” is the unit of measurement for ta diamond’s weight. A carat is subdivided into 100 “points”; for example, a 50-point diamond is “half a carat” or “0.5 ct”. Today, many individuals also equate carat with size. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the larger (and more expensive) the stone. However, color, clarity and cut also affect a diamond’s price; two diamonds of equal carat weight may have very different prices due to these three ratings.