Wednesday, January 13

Spotting The Perfect $1.25 Necklace: Antiquing Pro Tips

There's something about a piece of jewelry from the early fifties. The plastic beads, the history, the style. It's all just a little perfect. In fact, the same can be said about every piece of antique jewelry. It's all just a little perfect. Why?

Because, not only is it (usually) very affordable, one of my favorite necklaces I found at a vintage shop for $1.25, but because it comes with a past. That's why we all like antiques isn’t it? Because they come with a past. A story. A history. An element of glamour and romance that can only come from imaginations.
Take my necklace for example. Each time I wear it I wonder, did someone my age wear it to her typing job? Did she wear it to school? A date? It has blue beads, so did she style like I do, with a blue dress? It's the unanswered questions of jewelry such as this blue necklace that have me hunting garage sales, thrift stores and vintage shops. Not in hopes of finding something with semi-precious or precious stones, but in finding something affordable that I can actually wear and enjoy.

While I always prefer to wear a piece from my Grandmother's collection, I find the thrill of the hunt is just as exciting. These are the Pro Tips I've figured out in my various trips. You never know what you're going to find!
Always be open-minded. See a pair of clip earrings you love but one is missing a stone? A hot glue gun and some hair clips from a craft store will take that clip earring to hair accessory in about five minutes. The same goes for pins. Pins were a very big thing in the 40s and 50s, but aren't such a hit now. They do, however, make great hair clips/add ons to headbands. I've also been known to clip earrings and pins to necklaces with solid color beads to add a charm look.

Don’t buy something just because it's cheap. Yes, I too love when the price tag says a nickel. But if the piece isn't something you love love love at the shop, even if it is a nickel, you aren't going to love it at home. This seems obvious, but it is something to always keep in mind—it also helps cut down on an overflow of projects. I still have a bunch of nickel necklaces I bought that I was going to restring into something else. They've been collecting dust for three five months.

Don't go shopping on Saturdays if you can avoid it. Saturdays are just crazy. That's when everybody and their mother’s brother goes out "looking for deals." The best time is Monday afternoons. The shops have had time to process items that have come in over the weekend and the store will be a little thinner on some of the overall crap, allowing you to see better, from the weekend rush.

Buddy system! Bring a buddy to look with you. It's more fun having someone to laugh with about crazy items, you never know what you'll find (I once found a single jewel encrusted tiger earring.) This is also a great activity you can do with little girls. Since the jewelry won't be (usually) that expensive, when they find something they love you can "splurge" and get it for them. Additionally, they have a good eye for sparkles, and could end up unearthing something you love.

Anyone else love the vintage look? Any tips you want to add?

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