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The Guide to Vintage, Antique & Costume Jewellery

Mayveda is passionate about original, one of a kind pieces of jewellery which have a rich history, fun to wear and sentimental. We are excited to share our knowledge with our customers.

Vintage, Costume & Antique Jewellery

Vintage pieces of jewellery have to be at least 20 years old while antique pieces of jewellery have to be at least 100 years old. Jewellery from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian era are antique, jewellery from the 1920s to the 1990s are vintage.

Pieces of jewellery can be either be vintage or antique and costume. Costume jewellery is made from non-precious materials although it can incorporate excellent craftsmanship and high quality materials which can be better than fine jewellery.

The movement towards costume jewellery was due to designers wanting to find more affordable substitutes for precious gemstones and metals.

Costume Designer Jewellery

In the early 20th century jewellery experienced a sea of change in how it was worn and used. Previously only wealthy women adorned themselves in precious and semi-precious gemstones and metal jewellery as a means of flaunting their wealth. In the early part of the 20th century, new materials and industrialisation allowed fashion designers to experiment with jewellery. The materials used were inexpensive and were designed for the current trend of the moment.

Prominent names producing costume jewellery included Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Sarah Coventry, Coro, Trifari and Miriam Haskell to name a few. All of our designer pieces are signed.


Storing any jewellery correctly will extend the life of the piece. A box with compartments and lined with soft fabric will stop the items knocking together chipping or denting. Fabric pouches are very useful to keep the jewellery tidy and contained. Storing vintage and antique pieces in plastic is not advised for long periods of time. When travelling or your jewellery is in transit, protect it to avoid damage. As a general rule, hairsprays and perfumes used near vintage jewellery can be damaging. Silver dip and other harsh chemicals should not be used to clean vintage jewellery.

To keep your pieces in good condition we send all of our pieces in our beautiful complimentary packaging, the boxes are excellent quality designed to protect your piece of jewellery during delivery. The box provided is the perfect place to store your piece.

Value & Condition

Vintage, Antique and costume jewellery are higher in quality in comparison to modern jewellery. For example vintage costume jewellery was often triple gold plated and the glass stones were expertly crafted in Czechoslovakia or Murano, Venice. Antique and vintage jewellery normally show subtle signs of age, at Mayveda we aim to sell items that are in excellent condition. Exceptions are sometimes made if the piece are particularly unique or rare. We seek to provide accurate dates for each item through knowledge, understanding and research. The value of an item depends on the materials, how rare it is, the style or designer who made it.

Your Jewellery Box

We want to help you build your vintage and antique jewellery box, we get very excited when we find a rare piece of jewellery and we hope you will as well. If you would like to know more about a piece of jewellery please email or call, we would be happy to chat all day about jewellery.


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