Vicenzaoro September 2021: The New Season of Vintage Jewelery, between Déco and the 80s

Claudia Carletti, expert of jewelry history and founder of High Jewellery Dream webzine, speaks about the revival of vintage jewels


Vintage, antique, period or estate? Explaining the terminology with which yesterday’s jewelry is catalogued and its appeal for today’s clientele, the conversation “Antique, period or vintage jewelry” between Claudia Carletti, founder and manager of High Jewellery Dream webzine and huge vintage jewelry enthusiast, and Federica Frosini, editor of VO+ Jewellery magazine, a precious moment on the third day of Vicenzaoro September 2021, the show organized by IEG. Jewelry is “period” when it dates back to a determined historical period given by some of its specific characteristics. It is vintage if it is between 40 and 50 years old, “ancient” if it is over a 100. The term “estate” however, indicates items belonging to a private collection, whether they are vintage, period or contemporary. Extremely useful clarifications in a historical moment when jewelry of the past is making a comeback on new digital platforms, at 4.0 auctions and among new generation collectors who see historical jewelry as an effective safe haven asset - one only has to think of iconic pieces like the Trinity by Cartier or Van Cleef ’s Alhambra necklace. A return that is also linked to the trend of this current highly uncertain moment in which people tend to look to the past and celebrate the happy memories that a jewel represents. «You have to go step by step,» says Carletti. «Each term has its own specificities and recognizability according to certain characteristics, sizes, shapes, like, for example, deco jewelry, also known as “white jewelry” because it is usually platinum, with a geometric cut and always features a blaze of diamonds.» And if vintage jewelry is reclaiming its space in the Olympus of jewelry, the question arises as to whether contemporary jewelry should be fearful of a new competitor. «I don’t think it’s right to talk of competitor, » Carletti adds. «People want a comfort zone, they are looking for certainty and safety and they are finding them in the past, regardless of the fact that an item can be fascinating because it belonged to a queen of a famous actress.»

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