Vintage Costume Jewelry.....Is it Right or Wrong?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You've seen it....vintage costume jewelry and it's in absolutely perfect condition. No stones missing, no scratches in the metal, the clasp is intact....that kind of stuff.

A lot of jewelry artists are incorporating these pieces in their creations, just as I'm attempting to do.

So, my question these vintage pieces have to be in perfect condition in order to sell your jewelry creation if they are only a part of the total design package?  Is part of the beauty of these pieces the fact that maybe they aren't so perfect?  Does it allow us to embellish these pieces in other ways that we might not have done if they were in perfect condition?

Maybe this topic isn't THAT important as not everyone that creates jewelry wants to incorporate vintage costume jewelry as part of their piece.

Picture Courtesy of 
Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
So, what do you think?       

post signature   Until then........Happy Beading!


Kerin said...

Great question! For myself (as a found object artist that uses all sorts of odd items) I personally embrace the imperfect. If I were using one or more of these lovely pieces and they weren't perfect I'd simply disclose that in the description and take photos showing any damage, etc. That way the buyer could decide how important it is.

Georgene Lockwood said...

Boy is this ever "on topic" for me! I was just going through my (very) large stash of vintage pieces for a couple of classes I'm taking next month at Art Unraveled. This is exactly the direction I'm moving in, along with incorporating vintage images in my work. I have some wonderful 1920s and 30s dress clips and earrings but they're missing some stones. I thought about searching for replacements and I have some that Don't. Quite. Match. So what do I do? I was mulling over this same question.

I thought maybe I would attach or layer pieces over pieces. I like that "encrusted" look a la Miriam Haskell. I'm interested to see what you decide, how you adapt and what others have to say here!

Kitty from Perles and Life said...

My personal feeling is that it's OK to use pieces that are not perfect. I think it adds interest. As Kerin said, as long as you reveal this information to your customer....they can then decide if they want to purchase it.

Salzanos said...

I LOVE the imperfect, and use a lot of vintage parts, in a new up cycled piece of jewelry. I always post on the tag if it is vintage and parts etc. I personally have this feeling that the imperfect art pieces are the unsaid things about us as humans on the Earth. No one is perfect (though many may think they are LOL) I embrace the treasure of difference, like a one of a kind rare stone. Totally up to the person I am sure, but for me, I love it.

ferrytales said...

I love using things that are a little worn and broken. They remind us that life is never perfect and that there is beauty in those little imperfections.

Pretty Things said...

To me, if I'm in love with the piece, I'm in love with the piece. If something isn't "right", so what, as long as I love it? People who love vintage KNOW this about vintage -- if it's totally perfect, it may not even BE vintage. Just go with your gut and make pretty things!

Skye said...

I'm a yard sale and thrift shop jewelry junkie *L* I love finding broken or 'ugly' pieces and seeing what I can do with them. I clean them up, I take them apart and change up their function .. for instance... some of those huge ugly eighties earrings make fabulous pendants with a bit of work,or additions to hair fascinators :)

If you're using vintage pieces to incorporate into your own work... then you're not selling it 'as' vintage, merely as 'with' vintage components, correct? Piece of filigree broken or missing...? Weave some ribbon through to cover it; layer another element over that spot; use some sculpty and a dremel to reform it (I read ;) or even snip the remaining into a new shape! The possibilities are as endless your imagination :)

Sarah said...

Hi! I found you from the Bead Soup Party Blog. I design with mostly vintage pieces and I think if you love it you should go with it. With rhinestone pieces, its often hard to find vintage/antique pieces (at a good price) that don't have some kind of issue with it, such as yellowing or dark stones or missing stones. I sometimes will replace stones, but more times then none I will just use as is. I think it adds to the overall look to the piece. Especially since repurposed vintage jewelry has its certain niche and people who are buying a finished piece expect that it isn't perfect. Just my two cents!

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