This post is part of a series where I interview my favorite Esty vintage jewelry sellers.
Jessica from G&G Jewellry and Coins was kind enough to answer some questions for us! In case you don't know, G&G Jewellry and Coins is one of my featured Etsy shops for buying vintage jewelry. So let's get to the interview!
How did you get started selling vintage jewelry?
This is a loaded question for G&G Jewellery and Coins. G&G started out 45 years ago as mainly a coin store that eventually evolved into a jewellery store. For the past 35 years we have been selling coins and jewellery as well as purchasing customers estates or old gold and silver.
We have been selling new and vintage jewellery in the store for years but in 2014 after working here for 15 years I realized that we had a lot of vintage and antique items that were being over looked by local customers. I decided to research online venues to find the best way to share our vintage and antique treasures with a larger audience. Vintage/ antique items are so much fun to share with everyone. It does not matter how unique a piece can be there is something for everyone!
What is your favorite aspect of selling vintage jewelry?
I love researching the items. Some have hallmarks inside or certain cut diamonds that allows me to really dig deep into the history of the item and others we go by the look. I work with a very knowledgeable goldsmith and gemologist so they are always helpful to assist in finding more about each piece. I always say that if each jewellery piece could talk imagine the stories it could tell us.
Another favorite aspect about selling vintage jewellery is when customers send me pictures of them wearing the item that they purchased from my shop. It is nice to see that the jewellery we sell makes some else happy!
Where do you source most of your jewelry?
Customers sell us their estates or old items so we have jewellery here from over the years that I always enjoy going through to find the next perfect piece to list on our Etsy site.
What are your best-sellers?
My best-sellers are charms because we have so many unique charms as well as Edwardian or Victorian pieces. That era for jewellery design was so prominent and stunning. The style makes them look like they have such a story to tell.
Do you have any advice for people looking to buy vintage jewelry for the first time?
Know the difference between a vintage looking item and an actual vintage item. The seller should list if it’s a look or an actual aged piece but some might not. Do not be afraid to ask for markings and more pictures and ask questions.
Also beware of wear or the condition of the piece. For example over time the claws on the setting of a diamond will wear down and need rebuilding (just like the tires on your car) so be sure to ask the condition or wear if it is not mentioned. This includes links of a chain, links on a bracelet, claws on a ring, bale or rings on a pendant or charm.
What is your favorite stone cut?
I love the old European cut. It dates back to the 1800s which is the time frame that includes my favorite eras for jewellery, the Victorian and Edwardian era. I love the look of it and how its 58 facets catch the light. I also love cabochon stones. I love the smooth classic look that they give.
What are some of your personal favorites that you own?
Our shop has so many awesome pieces that it is very hard to choose the ones that are favorites. I love the classic pieces as shown below; sapphire and diamonds or amethyst and pearls, cameos.
As mentioned in my previous answer the old European diamonds stand out the most to me. You can see their beauty in the diamond and white gold ring shown in the picture below. Coral set in yellow gold is always a stunning look as well and you can find some very pretty coral pieces in my store.
Do you have any advice for couples looking at buying a vintage ring for an engagement ring?
Buying an engagement ring can be a very exciting time for a couple. Just like buying a new style of ring, it is important to educate yourself about the what the 4 C’s are, Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut so that you can have an idea of what you are looking for and looking at when viewing diamonds.
Cut is important when purchasing a vintage diamond because some cuts are more sought after than others depending on the age of the stone that you are looking for. Also it is important to know the condition that the piece is in. Most people want to wear their engagement ring everyday so they should be sure that the claws on the setting purchased are secure and not worn out to ensure that you do not lose a diamond soon after purchasing.
Also be sure to ask about the wear of the diamond. Although diamonds are strong they can still show some wear after many years, for example, we see diamonds in beautiful condition with a very small chip in the top or sides of the stone. Many times it does not take away from the beauty of the diamond but it can allow for some discount in the price if it has not already been included.
These are just a few things that any buyer should look for when buying jewellery in general but the importance of an engagement ring is special and should be shopped for with extra care and longevity in mind.
What is the biggest mistake people make when buying vintage jewelry?
The biggest mistake that you can make when buying vintage jewellery is to procrastinate when making a purchase. Vintage items are one of a kind and once you like a piece be sure to act on it as soon as you can! Many times a customer will come in to our store (in store or online), fall in love with an item, come back to purchase the next day and it is sold.
With that being said you also do not want to rush into a purchase without asking all of the appropriate questions to be sure that the item is what you are looking for and in an acceptable condition.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Jessica! I loved hearing your answers and I am sure my readers think the same 🙂 I am drooling over this cameo....oh it's lovely.
Remember to share this post with your vintage-loving friends, and let us know in the comments below what you are drooling over at G&G!