Where is the best place to buy vintage jewellery, you ask?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’re purveyors of individually selected antique and vintage jewellery and are constantly hunting high and low to find the jewellery that you love!
However, we don’t want to just talk about ourselves, and hopefully, you’re already in love with Lillicoco. So we thought it would be worthwhile to find some of the other excellent places that you can buy vintage jewellery. As well as helping you find the other places that sell vintage jewellery we though it would also be good to help you learn how to buy vintage jewellery safely.
The first online jewellery shops to mention are the ones listed on e-commerce website, and one of the most well known is Etsy. This e-commerce website has some amazing things to buy; from vintage clothes to accessories to furniture, let alone the incredible jewellery, so this is a great place to start.
Another key place for buying jewellery online is ebay. This behemoth is the original online auction website that sells all range of products from all over the world. You will pretty much find all you could imagine from costume jewellery to rare pieces of vintage jewellery, and with a keen eye, you can grab some real bargains!
If you love your vintage jewellery cute and kitsch then some great places to look are charity shops, thrift stores, antique fairs and jumble sales. I know this may be some people's idea of hell, but getting down and dirty and having a good old rummage is and always will be a great way of finding rare, old and unusual jewels that have been hidden away from the "highstreet gals". Just remember the old saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure", keep an open mind and a keen eye and you'll find all kinds of vintage jewellery riches!
Even better still, sometimes you don't even have to get your hands dirty (literally!) as you can do some of this shopping from the safety of your own home. Many charity shops these days photograph their donations so you can browse them from your couch, with a latte at your local coffee shop, or on the move from your phone or tablet.
What to look out for when you’re buying jewellery online
The dangers of buying vintage & antique jewellery
There will always be a limited risk online of things not appearing as they should. Fraud is rare but does happen from time to time and this is why you need to do your research and make sure buyers are certified and have the necessary credentials. If a deal looks good to be true, it may very well be!
More often than all-out fraud some unscrupulous sellers will "bend the truth". As in sometimes, the item may well be what they say it is, but they won't disclose damage or alterations that have been done to the piece. For instance, a seller might describe a ring as Georgian and in "excellent condition", but might not disclose that it's had a modern re-shank. If this is the case you're entitled to ask for your money back, so don't take "no" or being ignored for an answer!
There's nothing wrong with adding a new or a period shank to a Georgian ring, but that's not the point here. The point is as a consumer you have the right to know exactly what you're buying, and if the seller has misrepresented it you should be allowed to return it, whether it was bought online or in person.
Any trustworthy and competent vintage jewellery or antique dealer knows that their business is only as good as their word. If you see the words "no returns" or "all sales are final" we would recommend to stay clear, or at the very least move forward with extreme caution.
A great tip to safeguard yourself against fraud or sellers that tell "porky pies" (Cockney rhyming slang for lies!) it to buy online rather than in person. This may sound counter-intuitive as we've all been taught about internet scammers, but if you buy anything online there is a paper trail and online payment platforms such as Paypal and Shopify offer all their user's automatic buyer protection, so if things don't go to plan they can help put things right.
The Benefits of Buying Antique Jewellery Online
One of the best benefits of buying jewellery online has to be the cost. Purchasing jewellery online will enable you to cut the cost of retail stores, where their prices will also include the cost of the shop and the staff that work in it. This means that you’ll be getting much more vintage jewellery for your money. (Yay!)
As well as being able to get better jewellery deals, you will also be able to find prices across the board easily. This means that you can compare prices and find what you want and for the best value.
Shopping online has changed the face of retail and the customer has been placed at the forefront of everything. What the customer wants and what the customers say has become vital to the success of any business in the 21st century. Online reviews are a reflection of this modern shopping phenomenon and enable the consumer to see what other people think about using the associated service.
How to buy vintage jewellery properly
So what do you need to do? We’re pretty well placed to help you and we, like most other online shops, want our customers to have the best possible experience.
Computer security – Firstly, you need to keep your computer up to date with its security. This will limit the chances of you picking up bugs from any online sites, or from any emails you receive.
Passwords – It’s also advisable that you change your passwords from time to time to limit the chance of them being cracked. If you’re worried about forgetting your passwords then just write them down and keep them safe.
Reviews – As mentioned, online reviews are a great way to test a shops legitimacy. Being able to check what other people have said from using the service you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be going to get what you pay for.
Product descriptions – There should be detailed descriptions of each piece of jewellery and in some ways, this is even more important when you are buying vintage jewellery. Information such as the products weight and the quality of the stones should also be included.
Payments – Sites like Etsy advise to never give your full credit card number over the phone, in an email, or via online messaging. Most sites will use a secure online payment service and this is the best, and safest way, to pay. Be sure that you are issued a receipt, just like you would be if you bought an item in person.
So we’ve given you some tips on buying your vintage jewellery safely, so here are a few places that we like to visit when we're up for an adventure! There are obviously hundreds of quirky nooks and crannies that you can find amazing vintage and antique jewellery, but here are some of our favourites in the UK.
Portobello Market, London:
Portobello market is the world’s largest antique market with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible! It's one of the most historic and iconic markets you'll ever come across, with antique an vintage jewellery from £100 to £100,000. Visitors flock from all over the world to discover one of London’s best-loved landmarks and contains the most extensive selection of antiques in Britain. Don't miss it if you love English mourning jewellery, and big, chunky old cut Diamonds!
Newark Antiques Fair, Nottinghamshire:
Newark Antiques Fair is Europe's biggest antique fair and is full of diverse finds from vintage typewriters, fabulous furniture from Art Deco to present day, as well as a plethora of both vintage and antique jewellery. It's hard to express the range and breadth of the offerings you'll find here! If you're a jewellery magpie you'll find vintage and retro bead necklaces, cute enamel brooches, compact mirrors, English, French and German Silver jewellery from across the Continent, as well as fine jewellery in Gold and Platinum.
The sea of dealers is really a sight to behold, and although it can be tiring it has bountiful offerings for those who care to find them!
Brighton Lanes Antiques:
Brighton Lanes is a well-loved place to go shopping for jewellery in the UK. Set only a few minutes away from the charming Brighton beach, the lanes are a collection of both new and more traditional antique stores that offer an amazing selection of Gold, Silver, gem-set, antique and vintage jewellery, as well as other collectables such as lighting and ornaments.
If you go to visit be sure to get yourself a local map, as the lanes are surprisingly hard to find, considering how many amazing shops there are here! (Also there are two lanes, not one, so don't miss the smaller of the two which also has some amazing jewellery to offer!)
There are plenty of friendly shop owners here who have been in the business for up to 40 years, so you can find a wealth of knowledge and expertise here. By far our favourite shop within the lanes is "Grains of Gold" who have a wide selection of jewellery from Art Deco to Georgian, Nouveau to Victorian; all of a beautiful quality and polished lightly or re-furbished sympathetically.
A great place to try on jewellery and find out what you like and what you don't like if you're new to collecting antique jewellery! Beware there are some sellers (as always) who say things are antique when they are vintage, or that they are vintage when they are new, but don't let them put you off! There are gems to be found here. And don't forget, with all these jewellers in one place the competition is rife so don't be afraid to haggle! Be bold and you're purse will thank you for it!
On the other hand, make sure you don't get carried away and use your common sense! If something seems to good to be true it probably is.
The best advice we can give you is to educate yourselves as best you can. If you're looking for something specific like an Art Deco Diamond target ring in Sapphire or Ruby, then do some online research first so you know what kind of ball-park is reasonable for the size and quality you want. Don't make snap decisions and always trust your gut!
If you're on the fence about buying an item of jewellery please don't feel pressured, Go and get a coffee, a cake and have a chat about it... even go to another shop. If you're still thinking about it in an hours time maybe go back and re-visit it!
If you have any questions please feel free to ask us here at Lillicoco. We can't promise to have all the answers, but we're happy to talk you through anything jewellery related if you'd like some information or just some informal advice.
You can speak to us here in the comments below, or directly via enquiries@Lillicoco.com