About Vintage Pearls
Why Choose Vintage Pearls?
When shopping for jewelry one of the most important questions is "Should I purchase a new or vintage piece"? Our philosophy has always been nothing is made like it used to be. There are many differences from craftsmanship to quality and concern for the environment. Experience the benefits of going vintage!
Vintage jewelry is often handmade with techniques and skill you don't see anymore. Modern designs are often mass produced, or if they are hand created hold a substantial price tag to reflect the effort. It is difficult to find the quality of jewelry that was once commonplace decades ago. Details such as hand engraving or milgrain which were once standard are now rare. Patterns and details are often cast as it has become too expensive to spend time perfecting each piece of jewelry. Materials have changed and low quality is now the standard. As a GIA Graduate Gemologist and avid collector I only own a few pieces of new fashion jewelry. Most of my personal collection is vintage and antique, you just can't top that quality!
Pollution & Global Warming
Today with the increase in pollution and rise in global ocean temperatures pearls are not the same as they once were. Vintage pearls were grown slowly in cooler water which allows them to form thicker layers of nacre and a higher luster. Larger akoya pearls can take up to two years to grow to maturity. These pearls were often harvested in winter and subjected to minimal treatments. Vintage akoya pears were also exclusively grown in Japan to the highest standards. Now they are grown in China an other parts of the world where standards do not matter, just quantity. By reselling and repurposing vintage pearls we are also helping recycle jewelry. We are not contributing to additional production to mine new gold and silver, or deplete the ocean of its resources. It is always more environmentally conscious to reuse rather than start from scratch.
While some spectacular pearls are still grown in Japan today they are exceptionally expensive reflecting the difficultly and care needed to grow them. Vintage pearls are often much more reasonably priced due to being second hand. Many high quality pieces were also set in sterling silver. After WWII gold was not allowed to be exported from Japan so silver was commonly used. This was a popular gift for the soldiers returning home to bring their loved ones. This trend led to the popularity of pearl strands in the 1950's! Purchasing one of these vintage strands is a fantastic budget-friendly way to own top quality pearls at a fraction of what they would cost new today!