SA's Only Antiques, Collectables And Decorative Arts Magazine
Romancing the stone

romancing"Discovering Jewellery is like stepping into a fantasy world filled with thought provoking themes. In Ancient times, wise astrologers observed a connection between astronomy and earthly gemstones, and as a result they assigned these colourful and seemingly magical stones to the heavenly constellations. It is believed wearing a precious stone associated with the specific month you are born in, could enhance your fate or spiritual being. Today, birthstones remain tangible talismans that we all seek out as protectors, healers, karma and to just add some sparkle in our very ordinary lives."

Starting a Collection:
Designer, antique & vintage jewellery exist in various styles depending on the period in which they were made. Some are very light in design, extremely feminine, some much bigger and chunkier and others extremely colourful. Your own collection too will differ from anyone else’s based on your lifestyle, choices and of course how much you want to spend. Whatever you do – take these points into consideration when adding a new piece to your collection:

• Read up on the different styles of jewellery from various periods: e.g.: Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau etc. Once you have identified what style you like, you will be surprised at how many of the pieces you identify will come from the same period.

• Determine what the purposes will be for your collection. Will you wear the pieces? Perhaps just make up a collection and have it framed, adorning your bedroom wall or as in most cases, your collection will be passed onto generations and your legacy will live on in these pieces

• Buy books and magazines on jewellery and read up on value – that way when you are purchasing your items you will know whether you are underpaying or overpaying. Spread the net wide when it comes to acquiring pieces – visit estate sales, antique markets, auctions, flea markets, online and build a reputation with antique dealers and jewellery shops, who can either source pieces for you or design pieces to suit your custom needs.

• Inspect jewellery carefully when buying. Use a magnifying glass and look out for the tiny details such as missing stones, manufacturers emblems, engraving, hallmarks etc..

• Ask as much information from the dealer or jeweller to understand the material used, stones used, if stones are replaced, if there are stones missing, if they can be replaced - so you get to know and appreciate each and every piece.

romancing2• If you are buying pieces from a jeweller they will be able to provide you with an evaluation certificate or certificate of authenticity.

• Some people collect specific pieces such as brooches, animals, earrings or pendants – whatever your preference, let the piece “speak to you” before you purchase it.

• Lastly - don’t forget to insure your pieces and keep them stored in a safe place. If you have a large collection, inventory the pieces to ensure you don’t loose or misplace any pieces.

Store and Protect:
• Jewellery that contains precious gemstones should be stored individually, because even the hardest stones can chip. • Individual cloth pouches can be purchased from most jewellery stores and will prevent stones from accidentally scuffing one another in your jewellery box. • Pearls are delicate and prone to damage from pollution; they can also be stained by contact with your cosmetics, so make sure they are the last thing to put on before you go out. Wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth and don’t take them on holiday — pearls should never be exposed to chlorinated water or sunscreen, and can be damaged if exposed to too much heat.


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