Men have worn jewellery for centuries, mainly to add eye-appeal to the clothing they wear. As with the clothing they wear, men’s jewellery has also changed over the years. However, the men of today wouldn’t even think of wearing the type of clothing that men wore a few years ago, let alone the fashion of a couple of hundred years ago!

This is not so with the trinkets of yesteryear, however. Today, many men invest in vintage men’s jewellery, and are more than happy to wear it to accompany the modern outfit they are wearing.

mens vintage ring

Why do men buy vintage jewellery?

Apart from the fact that they simply enjoy the experience of choosing and buying these trinkets, there are several other reasons why they want to add these pieces to their jewellery collection. These include:

  • It’s a piece of history – being vintage, you actually own a part of another person’s past. It might have been handed down from one generation to the next, or it could have belonged to a famous person. Also, the materials and techniques used to create that piece, are probably not used in the manufacture of jewellery anymore.
  • Excellent quality – vintage jewellery was made at a time when mass-production was unknown, and craftsmen took pride in their work and always produced items of exceptionally high quality. You would be hard-pressed to find a piece of modern-day jewellery that matches the quality of the craftsmanship of vintage jewellery. The excellent condition of vintage jewellery, and the fact that it has lasted for so many years even though it was worn before, is definitely an indication of unmatched quality!
  • Trendy and stylish – vintage pieces is extremely popular among celebrities because it is always in fashion. Actors and actresses are regularly seen showing off their vintage jewellery as they parade along the red carpet, their sole purpose being to make a huge fashion statement. They know that it is highly unlikely that anyone else will be wearing the same jewellery that they are wearing!
  • More affordable – vintage jewellery is normally less expensive than similar contemporary pieces, so it’s a fantastic way to buy an exquisite piece of jewellery at a particularly good price. The prices of exclusive, signed vintage pieces, however, can be significantly higher.
  • Eco-friendly – by buying vintage jewellery, you are doing your bit to protect the environment. This is because less mining and a much smaller amount of the earth’s resources was used in its manufacture, so air pollution was at a minimum. Also, metals and stones in their natural forms were used frequently in the manufacture of vintage jewellery, which made each itemeven more unique.

Jewellery pieces acceptable for the modern man

Wearing jewellery is a way of expressing yourself; a way to make yourself look unique, be a step ahead of the rest of the males of today. Following are 6 pieces that the modern man should consider adding to his collection.

Rings – although the rings that men have worn through the centuries have primarily been associated with family or marriage, there is no reason why today’s man can’t be experimental with the jewellery he wears. For instance, signet rings are back in fashion, and unlike before, they are not only worn by gangsters and toffs. Today, a vintage signet ring can be worn instead of a plain wedding band, especially if they it is engraved with a name or family crest. If it is made of the same metal, it can be worn on another finger on the same hand as a wedding band, on a different finger.

Necklaces – many men prefer to not wear a necklace, especially if it is on the dainty side or extremely chunky. However, a vintage medium-weight chain, from which a small pendant is hanging, will look good with any outfit and create interesting conversation.

Bracelets – men’s vintage bracelets come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Some are perfect for wearing with jeans and a T-shirt, while others, made from metals like gold and silver, as well as precious stones such as rubies, onyx, mother-of-pearl, and even diamonds, are perfect to wear to formal occasions. 

Tie clips and cuff links – if you work in a business or corporate environment, then you no doubt wear a suit and tie every day of the week. A vintage tie clip – either plain or with an engraved pattern, will not only look super-smart, but will do a great job too, of keeping your tie in place! Vintage tie clips can be bought separately or in sets. Imagine how smooth you would look, if you wore matching tie clips and cufflinks to work every day!

Watches – a watch is something that most men wear and have done since they were first invented. Some men are fortunate enough to have inherited a watch that has been handed down from generation to generation. If you are interested in buying and owning a vintage watch, then there are a few things you should consider before spending your hard-earned money. For instance:

full hunter pocket watch

  • Condition – the watch you buy should be in the best possible condition. It might even be necessary to buy one that is less the amount you budgeted for, rather than a brand-name, expensive time piece that might stop working soon after you have paid for it!
  • Investigate the seller – make sure that the seller you are considering buying the watch from is genuine and honest, by reading other people’s online reviews.
  • Find out as much as possible about the watch you want to buy – some watches have historical details specific to that model, like dial materials and unique hand styles. Doing plenty of research is the only way that you will be able to find out if these have been changed at any point, since the watch was manufactured.
  • Steer clear of watches that need repairs – having a vintage watch repaired can be extremely expensive, especially where the dial is concerned. It is possible that the movements can be repaired, but a damaged or stained dial will most likely be irreparable.
  • Ask questions! – this is even more important when you’re buying a watch from a specialist auction house, where watches are more often than not sold “as is.” Even though faults should be disclosed by the seller, ask questions and read all information provided, that might reveal them.
  • Expect papers and boxes – even though they help to support the value of a watch, especially if it is being purchased as an investment, they do not come with all vintage timepieces. For example, one that was manufactured about 50 years ago, will probably not have papers and a box, but this by no means, is an indication that it’s a bad deal. However, if the watch you are buying does have a box, then make sure that it is the original box, or at least a box from the same time in the history of the brand.

Things to consider when buying vintage jewellery

As exciting as it is to be buying a piece of vintage jewellery, there are certain things that you simply must do, to make sure that you spend your money wisely. If you aren’t too clued up about the ins and outs of jewellery, then speak to a friend or family member regarding a trustworthy jeweller, who will willingly answer all your questions openly and honestly.

When you do speak to a jeweller about buying vintage jewellery, focus on asking questions that he/she has expertise in; all the technical things that you know nothing about.

Have a clear idea of what you want

It’s pointless walking into a jewellery shop and tell the salesperson that you’re looking for a nice piece of men’s vintage jewellery. Do that, and you will immediately be led to the most expensive items they have to offer. Rather think things over carefully and approach the jeweller with a basic idea of what you want, then take it from there.

Even if you don’t know what the technical terms are, the things you must decide on beforehand are:

  • Colour – must the piece be plain silver or gold, or do you want a piece that includes a coloured stone? If so, then what colour stone? These things will help the jeweller to understand which of his/her range of vintage jewellery to show you.
  • Metal – if you want a particular metal rather than colour, then it is important that you mention this to the jeweller. This is because not all gold-coloured jewellery is gold, and the same goes for some jewellery that is the colour of silver. It helps a lot to narrow down the choices.
  • Jewellery sizes – don’t worry that you aren’t familiar with technical terms. If the ring you want must be large and chunky then say so. If you are looking for a thin chain, then tell the jeweller. Giving a good description of the piece you want to buy is much better than worrying about the technical terms. It’s up to you to explain to the jeweller what you want. It’s up to him/her to match something that they have to offer, with your description.
  • Cost – even if you don’t want to mention price immediately, remember what your limit is and don’t veer from it. If the jeweller offers you a piece that’s above your budget, then say so and mention another amount. Some jewellers will negotiate the price of a piece, while others will rather show you similar items in your price range.

Buying men’s vintage jewellery could possibly be one of the best investments you make in your lifetime. Not only will you be the owner of unique pieces of jewellery of exquisite quality and craftsmanship, but you will have items in your collection that are timeless, with a value that will increase over the years.

September 24, 2020 — Lawrence Pryor