Vintage Luxe Information

What is Vintage Pre-owned Luxe?

Rare Dior by Galliano Statement Necklace

Vintage pre-owned luxe is a carefully curated, sustainable collection of pre-owned luxury vintage and antique pieces sourced from antique fairs and expert dealers all over the world. Only the finest and most attractive pieces make it through our selection process. We source pieces from noted designers such as Dior, Givenchy, YSL, Trifari, Monet and much more.

The term ‘Vintage’ describes pieces made 30 – 99 years ago, while ‘Antique’ refers to jewellery that is more than 100 years old. Vintage jewellery in particular, is a collectable form of art and sentimentality, and as such captures the attention of only the most discerning fashionistas. The attraction lies in the discovery of that unique piece, one of a kind with quality workmanship which has survived a previous life. It’s like uncovering a well-kept secret. Jewellery within this genre is categorised as costume jewellery, as generally speaking it is made from inexpensive materials. However rare, high quality items have an ardent following and can garner high price tags. Costume jewellery has been part of culture for almost 300 years. During the 18th century, jewellers began making pieces with inexpensive glass. In the 19th century, costume jewellery made of semi-precious material came into the market. Jewels made of semi-precious material were more affordable, and this affordability made jewellery accessible to a wider audience. Costume jewellery often emulated the style of high end fine jewellery.

Costume jewellery was made very desirable by high end designers in the mid-20th century. Some of the most revered names in costume jewellery include luxury brands like Dior, Chanel, Yves San Laurent, Givenchy, Miriam Haskell, Monet, Napier, Corocraft, Coventry and Crown Trifari.

Era-Defining Looks

Art Deco Period Jewellery

Vintage jewellery is identifiable by the period in history in which it was made. Desirable eras include;

The Art Deco Period (1920 & 1930s)

The Art Deco movement was an attempt to combine the harshness of mass production with the sensitivity of art and design. It was during this period that Coco Chanel introduced costume jewellery to complete the costume. The Art Deco movement died with the onset of the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II.

Some era defining characteristics of costume jewellery in the Art Deco period include;

  • Free-flowing curves were replaced with a geometric and symmetrical theme
  • Long pendants, bangle bracelets, cocktail rings, and elaborate accessory items such as cigarette cases and holders became desirable.


Retro (1935 to 1950)

In the Retro period, designers struggled with the art versus mass production dilemma. Natural materials merged with plastics. The retro period primarily included American-made jewellery, which has a distinct American look. With the war in Europe, many European jewellery firms were forced to shut down. Many European designers emigrated to the U.S. since the economy was recovering.

Some era defining characteristics of costume jewellery in the Retro period include;

  • Glamour, elegance, and sophistication
  • Flowers, bows, and sunburst designs with a Hollywood flair
  • Moonstones, horse motifs, military influence, and ballerinas
  • Bakelite and other plastic jewellery came into production

Art Modern period (1945 to 1960)

1950s Sphinx Aurora Borealis Brooch
1950s Sphinx Aurora Borealis Brooch

In the Art Modern period following World War II, jewellery designs became more traditional and understated. The big, bold styles of the Retro period went out of style and were replaced by the more tailored styles of the 1950s and 1960s. 

Some era defining characteristics of costume jewellery in the Art Modern period include; 

  • Bold, lavish jewellery
  • Large, chunky bracelets, charm bracelets, Jade/opal, citrine, topaz
  • Poodle pins, Christmas tree pins, and other Christmas jewellery
  • Rhinestones

The 1980s

In the 1980s, jewellery became a way to express your individuality, with a heavy jewellery look becoming popular. Designers began thinking laterally to design pieces that had never been seen before. Earrings were often over sized and over-the-top.

From dramatic hoops to large clip-ons. 80s earrings were made of various materials, including plastic and steel. Fake pearls and gemstones were popular, especially set in stud button earrings, with clip on backs. Layering bracelets became popular on the catwalks, with multiple thin bangles or bracelets worn at the same time. Brooch designs were largely influenced by nature featuring insects and floral motifs like leaves, vines and flowers.

Some era defining characteristics of costume jewellery in the 1980s include; 

  • Large statement jewellery
  • Large necklaces, hoop earrings, cocktail rings and heavy bracelets
  • Fake pearls and gemstones, think Princess Diana.
  • Floral and insect motifs
1980s Gingko floral brooch
1980s Gingko floral brooch

Vintage jewellery style has evolved over the years taking influence from art, history, and culture which influenced jewellery trends. This created a unique fascination for collectors of these items, as the styles changed and materials which were used affected the value and longevity of each piece.

Why Buy Vintage?

Vintage is kind to the environment, breathing new life into old pieces is our kind of sustainable style. It takes considerable resources to mine gemstones and precious metals which makes it hard to produce jewellery without a heavy environmental impact. There is a mystical beauty in each piece and the life it lived before. The quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail shines through. It creates maximum fashion impact at an affordable price.

Shop Vintage Luxe Collection