Category Archives: Vintage Vignettes

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The Undeniable Appeal of Timeless Antique Lockets

Although the wearing of special tokens such as amulets and sentimental baubles is certainly an ancient practice, the popularity of lockets began to rise in the 17th century and reached its peak of popularity in the Victorian Era. A bauble worn close to the heart and containing an image or memento of a cherished loved one becomes an incredibly personal piece of jewelry.  We’re thrilled to offer both a treasure trove of stunning lockets at HeirloomFinds.com and a little insight into their history in this week’s blog.

Lockets often served as meaningful pieces of mourning jewelry. The Victorian Era’s low life expectancy and high mortality rate meant that baubles designed to honor a lost loved one’s life were in high demand and at the center of the period’s fashion scene. Queen Victoria initiated the decades-long trend when she went into mourning for her mother and husband in 1861, inspiring society to follow suit and adorn themselves in black clothing and jewelry replete with memorial significance at the loss of a family member.

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Antique lockets are filled with sentimental significance.

This is not to say that all lockets of the age were used strictly for mourning. Family members and sweethearts alike would exchange lockets as a sentimental sign of devotion. The wearer of a gifted locket would enjoy a special link to the piece itself, as well as its contents and the person from whom it was given. So heart-warming!

The growth of the middle class and the lowering of production costs gave a wider range of people of varying social statuses access to jewelry, both mourning and otherwise. Previously, affluent members of society could commission portraits of loved ones to be worn in lockets of gold and silver. The development of photography and introduction of base metals made lockets more affordable for the lower classes. Well-off individuals could still have specially designed, bespoke lockets made for them. The lower classes could choose from pieces already available and personalize their interiors with photos, woven hair or other tokens.

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Although this might look like a regular gentleman’s pocket watch, it’s actually a remarkably meaningful locket.

In the United States, lockets were especially popular during the Civil War. Soldiers leaving for battle could have their portrait taken for a loved one to wear in a pendant or brooch. They could also carry tokens of their families and sweethearts with them in cleverly secretive lockets of their own. For example, one piece we have discovered at first glance appears to be a pocket watch, but opens to reveal the portraits of an older man and woman  presumably an officer’s parents. One portrait can be removed from the case and reversed to reveal a young lady’s photograph. How deceptively darling!

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This WWII Era bracelet combines a modern expansion band with a locket that’s full of Victorian vibes.

The use of lockets decreased around the First World War, but came back in vogue during WWII as soldiers were leaving their sweethearts behind on the home front. The pieces of this more recent era have an air of Victorian sentimentality, but often boast their own flairs of modern design and construction.

But what is the appeal of antique and vintage lockets today? For one, their beautiful artistry is timelessly appealing. And who can deny the attraction of concealing a secret while at the same time wearing it around your neck? The aspect we find most appealing, however, is how it offers an analog escape from the digital world. Of course you can keep all the images you like of family, friends and partners on your electronic devices, but a locket creates a special space to hold a tangible token of a person you care deeply about. A locket is real, always accessible and will never run out of battery power.

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One watch chain would be used to style multiple lockets, watches and pendants in its lifetime.

One final note about the vintage and antique lockets we offer on Heirloom Finds: Many of our locket pendants come with new gold-filled cable chains to create immediately wearable necklaces. You don’t often find lockets of yesteryear on chains, however. Instead, an individual would usually obtain one or more lockets separately and then style them one at a time on a single watch chain. This particular practice of displaying wearable keepsakes lasted up until the 1930′s.

The important questions to ask now are, how will you wear your lockets and what secret treasures will they contain?

by Sarah Clark

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Let’s Focus on Brooches

If throwback fashion is kind of your thing, you’re in luck this season. Vintage vibes have overtaken the runway! We here at Heirloom Finds have been noticing that brooches have become especially prominent in this year’s fall fashion trends. If you’re looking for ways to rock these retro baubles while making a cutting-edge statement, we have some tips you’ll be dying to try!

Black Blazer

This vintage Bakelite brooch adds a perfect pop of color to a black blazer.

Perhaps the most commonplace location for attaching a brooch is on a blazer. However, that doesn’t mean the look needs to be boring. Opt for something large, bright and eye-catching to enliven an otherwise demure lapel and attract compliments on your unique fashion sense.

Pink Blazer

A romantic vintage rose brooch makes such a sweet statement on a pink lapel.

If you’re not quite ready to go bold with your brooches, a more delicate alternative is to pair a romantic long-stemmed rose pin with a blush pink blazer. The resulting look is flirty, floral and feminine without being overly cloying.

Collar

This Sarah Coventry cameo brooch adds classic appeal to your workday wardrobe.

Does your workday wardrobe include several collared blouses? Every one of those tops offers an opportunity to style a vintage pin. Simply attach a classically gorgeous brooch below the top button and go! It’s best to opt for smaller, lightweight pieces in these instances.

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This 1960′s aurora borealis crystal brooch suits a purple striped blanket scarf perfectly!

Trying to keep off the crisp autumn chill? You can easily rock a brooch while staying bundled up! Pick out a cozy blanket scarf, wrap it around you and attach a brooch to hold it in place. We’re sort of obsessed with the look of sparkling crystals against soft woven textiles.

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This vintage wire wildflower brooch makes a striking statement on a fringed knit ruana.

The resurgence of the ruana this year provides yet another fantastic chance for rocking a brilliant brooch. Choose something bright, bold and metallic to fasten onto a fringed wrap. The ruana’s versatile nature is replete with potential with regard to pin placement.

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Take a turtleneck and add a fabulous floral brooch to achieve vintage fashion greatness.

If sweaters are more your scene, try fastening an eye-catching brooch onto a turtleneck collar. You couldn’t ask to look more fabulous while staying so warm! We prefer the appearance of a metallic flower pin against a darker knit for optimum autumn panache.

Denim Jacket

This super cute cluster of floral brooches expertly enlivens a basic denim jacket.

Don’t be afraid to wear more than one brooch at once! The clustered look is lovely when you have the right collection of pins. The possibilities here are limitless! A few flower pins, for example, turn a denim jacket into a backdrop for a lovely bouquet of beautiful blooms.

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This darling Coro cameo brooch makes the ideal companion for a black floppy hat.

Think brooches are only for wearing below the shoulders? Think again! Any pin styled on a chic chapeau can make an incredibly gorgeous and wholly original statement. A band on a black floppy felt hat is the perfect place for fastening the prettiest brooch you own. You can also experiment in glamming up beanies, cloches and trilbies as well to curate a look that’s uniquely you.

Ponytail

Wear a retro brooch in your hair to make an unparalleled vintage fashion statement.

If you have a hair tie, you have one more opportunity to show off a favorite brooch. A basic ponytail becomes something one-of-a-kind when you add a brooch to the back. Any hairstyle you choose, however, has creative potential for stunningly showcasing a pin.

These suggestions should have you well on your way to becoming a brooch styling expert. Enjoy finding your favorite way to wear these dazzlingly versatile accessories!

by Sarah Clark

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Layer on the Beads this Fall

We’ve been seriously crushing on the brilliantly bold look of layered beaded necklaces here at Heirloom Finds lately. Their potential for adding playful pops of color to any ensemble is highly appealing, while the chunky construction is perfect for making a fabulous statement when dainty chains simply will not do. What’s not to love?

If you’re feeling the attraction of this exciting trend, we have an extravagant array of beaded necklaces that are sure to tickle your fancy. Prefer to go retro? We’ve released a collection of vintage multi strand necklaces and sets that will fit a range of occasions. Searching for some inspiration for your fall fashion lineup? This style guide will have you rocking the beaded layered look in no time!

Fall Colors

We’re in love with how these layered necklaces evoke brisk autumn glamour.

If your cool weather cardigans need some extra shine, try tricking them out with crystal necklaces in earthy brown and orange colors that fit the fall season. The shimmer of pretty glass beads will sparkle up any outfit, while the caramel, chocolate and pumpkin hued palette will evoke changing leaves and tasty autumn treats. How scrumptious! For an added touch of drama, try including a strand of bold black beads with an entrancing opaque gleam.

Orange

You don’t have to stop loving boho just because summer’s ending.

Were you in love with summer’s bohemian trend as much as we were? You don’t have to let the festival stop! Simply layer bold beaded necklaces in brisk autumn shades for a hippie chic vibe that will last all fall. Avoid colorful prints and opt for an elegant black blouse if you prefer a more modern look while still letting that free spirit shine.

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Amethyst hues and late summer blooms. What more can you ask for?

Don’t feel obligated to wear only earthy neutral colors for autumn. The Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2015 indicates that the season’s style landscape will be filled with bolder, more vibrant hues. Feel free to experiment accordingly! We’re especially thrilled that Amethyst Orchid is included in the Pantone Color Institute’s fall lineup, because we’re totally in awe of this curated set of vintage amethyst beaded necklaces.

We hope you’re ready to start building your own beaded necklace collection! Remember, the possibilities for styling beaded necklaces are limited only by your imagination. How are you going to rock the layered look this season?

by Sarah Clark

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How to Restore a Piece of Vintage Costume Jewelry – And Whether You Should

Perhaps you gasped at the title of this piece. After all, any serious vintage collector or fashionista knows you should leave vintage jewelry in its original state. Right?

In general, I agree with that rule and almost all of the vintage jewelry we offer at HeirloomFinds.com is in its original condition, just as we find it at estate sales and flea markets. We simply hand clean the surface and tighten jump rings and clasps as necessary.

However, as the buyer of all the vintage goodies that appear on the site, I will confess that there are occasions when nothing but a complete cleaning and restoration will save a tired piece of otherwise wonderful old jewelry.

I employ the 3 R’s when out shopping and sometimes actually buy less than perfect pieces. As I examine each piece of jewelry before buying, I ask myself where it falls on this scale:

  • Resell – Yay! This item is beautiful, stylish, wearable and ready to offer on the site.
  • Rubbish – Well, that one is obvious, right?
  • Restore – I use this categorization infrequently, but I want to discuss that here.

When should you attempt to restore a piece of vintage jewelry? On rare occasions, you may find a mistreated or neglected piece of vintage jewelry that is so striking in its design or use of materials, so evocative of an era or a designer that you are driven to find a way to restore it and find it a new home.

Before

Sometimes, restoring vintage jewelry is worth the effort.

I acquired the necklace pictured here in a box lot at a recent auction. It was so dingy at first that I really showed it no love. A second glance as I unpacked my treasures of the day revealed the true nature of this gem. Stunning pre-war style? Check! Quality materials? Check! All parts present, intact and working? Check!

This 1930’s Brass and Prystal Bakelite Drop Festoon Necklace was really showing its age in a bad way. The reverse of the book chain had green gunky tarnish and the Bakelite baubles were so dirty and oxidized that they appeared opaque.  However, it had great “bones”.

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This necklace was basically unwearable prior to restoration.

Given the choice of leaving the piece dirty (and basically unwearable) or restoring it to something very close to its original condition, I chose the latter. Please note that the techniques used in this restoration project will not work with all vintage pieces. They do work very well with brass and Bakelite.

Tools

Gathering the tools you need is an important first step in restoring old jewelry.

The required tools and materials are:

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Simichrome metal polish (truly the best for this task)
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothpicks
  • Soft cotton towel
  • Rubber gloves (your mani will thank you)

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Carefully remove the transparent Bakelite heptahedron (yep, it’s a word) drops from the brass bead drops using the needle nose pliers. Place the original jump rings aside, as you will need to reuse them.

    Be careful when removing the Bakelite beads. Don’t lose them!

  2. Soak those Prystal drops in water with a few drops of dishwater, then gently scrub them with a soft toothbrush and rinse.

    Soap

    Remove the beads and let them soak in soapy water.

  3. Hand polish the Bakelite beads with a dab of Simichrome. Perhaps you have heard of testing Bakelite with Simichrome, but did you know that is also removes the surface oxidation, grime and scratches, revealing beautiful colors and a smoother finish?

    Simichrome

    Simichrome removes grime to bring out the Bakelite beads’ gorgeous colors.

  4. Carefully hand polish the brass chains and bead drops with Simichrome. This step takes patience, care and elbow grease. For the most tarnished or dirty areas, I found the toothbrush to be a very effective tool. Cotton swabs and toothpicks were also useful in crevices. I then polished the entire piece with a soft cotton cloth. Don’t forget to polish the jump rings as well.

    Toothbrush

    Use a toothbrush to gentry scrub off excessive funk.

  5. Reattach the Bakelite drops using the needle nose pliers.

    Clean and Pretty

    Once the beads are back on, you can’t help but admire the brass and beads’ restored gleam!

  6. Marvel at the transformation. I confess that the necklace is not “like new.” No vintage Bakelite piece is ever truly in its original state, as the colors of the plastic change over the years. However, I love the way the Catalin Prystal and brass glow after the facelift.
After

A bit of cleaning has given new life to this fabulous vintage bauble.

As with any restoration project, remember to research the materials in your piece for the appropriate tools, chemical and techniques. Use care and clean/polish gently. Trust me, in the early days I had a few restoration fails that were heartbreaking, which led me to be more careful when studying materials and experimenting with other techniques.

by Jeanne Peters

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Festival Jewelry: Boho Baubles at their Finest

Attending a music festival is a chance to express your bohemian spirit in a vivacious environment charged with creative energy. Here at Heirloom Finds, we’re excited to offer a wide selection of new boho styles, from glamorous fringe pendant necklaces to seed bead bracelets to midi rings that will delight your inner indie fashionista. Combine any of these beauties with a flower crown, sunnies and your favorite cutoffs, and you’re already well on your way to becoming a fabulous festival fashion plate.

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To capture the bohemian spirit of the Southwest, you cannot go wrong with styling sterling and turquoise.

Finding new styles of hippie chic jewelry is of course nothing short of thrilling, but scoring vintage pieces to rock with your festival couture authentically connects you with an undeniably vibrant past. Luckily for you, we’ve rolled out an amazing collection of vintage Southwestern Native American jewelry that captures the region’s inspiring beauty and the retro vibe of 1970’s freewheeling fashion.

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Pile on eye-catching turquoise and coral necklaces, then add a sterling snake arm cuff!

Southwestern sterling silver mined from the earth combined with fiery red coral and turquoise stones the color of the sea and sky gives you an elemental edge you simply cannot find elsewhere. Imagine multiple retro sterling necklaces tucked beneath loose Janis Joplin hair. Visualize a mountain of turquoise bracelets stacked into an arm party every festival crowd member will envy. Fantastic, yes?

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Bring the festival to your digits with some vintage Southwestern sterling rings.

And the rings! Have you ever been in a Western style trading post and found yourself ogling the mélange of inlaid turquoise, coral, mother of pearl, abalone and jet found in the ring display cases? Maximize your hippie cred this festival season by stacking some or several vintage sterling rings on your digits. You won’t regret their dazzling effect!

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Boldly rock stacks of vintage sterling and turquoise rings and cuffs.

So, when packing your bags to leave for this year’s big musical gathering, don’t forget to include sunblock, lip balm, your best fringed boho threads and a lavish array of Southwestern jewelry. Your eclectic ensemble will shine with throwback pizzazz wherever you bohemian spirit takes you on this year’s festival adventures.

by Sarah Clark

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Styling Seventies Pendants

Vintage pendant necklaces: anything but humble, these versatile baubles are rife with styling options that will keep your look fresh and fabulously on-trend. Everything old becomes new again, and here at HeirloomFinds.com we’ve been keeping our eyes out for runway trends that undeniably borrow from classic throwback glamour. What we’ve found is that statement pendants are definitely the baubles to rock for Spring 2015. And so without further ado, we’re proud to show off our newly launched line of 1970’s pendant necklaces with stunning styling options.

Black turtleneck pendants

These vintage necklaces’ geometric pendants make them perfect for pairing with a black turtleneck sweater.

Although the flared slacks and popping psychedelic prints we’ve seen on the runway might make great companions for necklaces like these, you needn’t completely refurbish your wardrobe with updated takes on retro threads to achieve an amazing throwback look. Instead, simply sport one of these grand accessories solo over a timelessly stylish black turtleneck for a swinging look that will last all season long. Their warm metallic tones and geometric designs will stand out perfectly from a dark subtle background.

White t-shirt pendants

These necklace’s unique designs are perfect for styling over a chic white tee.

Would you prefer a comfier look that’s perfect for enjoying some warm springtime weather? Try styling a vintage pendant necklace with a slouchy white tee as an extraordinary update to your basic weekend casual. Simply slip one of these perky pendants’ chains to effortlessly and instantly become a groovy throwback fashionista!

Pottery Pendant

This floral pottery pendant adds instant boho appeal to a comfy V-neck.

We’re so excited about the prevalence of fashion inspired by 1970’s styles on the runway today. It allows us delve into our treasure troves of vintage jewelry and couture to resurrect retro looks and add our own brand of fresh contemporary flair! According to Harper’s Bazaar, “The pendant necklace is coming out swinging for Spring ’15—taking over the statement market and changing the game for updating your basics.” So whether you love the tailored look of old estate jewelry or adore unique artifacts with a bohemian vibe, 1970’s pendant necklaces are positively ideal for achieving an on-trend look spiced up with vintage glam.

by Sarah Clark

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Warm Your Heart this Winter with Vintage Brass Brooches

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This brass Art Nouveau swan brooch is part of a collection that’s sure to steal your heart.

One of our favorite things about Valentine’s Day – besides the great opportunities for wearing fabulous jewelry, of course – is the sweet iconography that has come to be associated with this especially romantic holiday. Vintage valentine cards with their imagery of lavish floral arrangements, cute flying cherubs and scenes of old fashioned courtship are just so heartwarmingly sentimental, you can’t help falling in love with their unique throwback charm.

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This lovely brass pin is all about old fashioned sentimentality.

Our newly released collection of vintage brooches was manufactured in Italy in the 1980’s using original antique dies dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, with some designs boasting heavy influences from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. Some are fantastically on-trend for iconic Valentine’s Day fashion, while other reproductions are perfect for year-round vintage glam.  Their warm golden tones are perfect for brightening up your wardrobe on dreary wintry days, and the images they depict are sure to pique your fancy.

Pegasus Brooch

This Pegasus brooch has a romantic vibe that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Cherubs, Kittens and Pegasus, Oh My!

Of course, no Valentine’s Day is complete without images of cupids and cherubs everywhere in sight. A glance backward in time shows that the same was true in the Victorian era. Cherubs dancing! Cherubs in flight! Cherubs grasping big red hearts! Our brass brooch collection stays true to the theme. Add in a Pegasus pin, and you’re all set for a darling Greco-Roman display of romantic winged characters.

Cherub Brooch

This vintage cherub pin perfectly captures the feel of Victorian valentines.

Vintage Valentine’s Day artifacts also boast a heavy focus on cats. Much like today’s internet fascination with furry felines, Victorian valentines of yesteryear showcase a wide array of all sorts of kitties. You’ll find soft-looking kittens in big bows looking oh-so cute, anthropomorphic cats standing up on their hind legs doing human activities and even particularly sophisticated ones dressed up in period costumes. If you’re taken with these comely creatures and need a Victorian valentine kitty in your life, look no further than this fabulous brass brooch!

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This Victorian kitty cat brooch is both cute and sassy.

Romantic Bohemian Beauties

One does not have to look exclusively at old fashioned valentines to get a sense of romance dating from the mid-twentieth and early nineteenth centuries. Examine works from the Pre-Raphaelite and Art Nouveau movements to find paintings of lovely long-haired ladies surrounded by flowers, often depicted in idyllic settings or framed by botanical graphic borders. This sort of imagery is highly romantic, and perfectly on-trend for this year’s revival of bohemian fashion. You don’t necessarily need to emulate the exact looks of these women by crafting DIY flower crowns or wearing dresses ranging from exceedingly elaborate to scandalously loose. Instead, fasten one of our reproduction vintage brass portrait brooches onto your coat or purse, put on a boho beaded fringe necklace or bangle stack and you’ll be well on your way to a hippie chic look that’s great for Valentine’s Day glamour or year-round panache.

Sunflower Girl Brooch

This gorgeous Art Nouveau brooch is replete with bohemian glam.

Creatures to Warm Your Heart

There is certainly a lot more to the Valentine’s holiday than retro cards and art history tableaux. Do you like elephants? Is your sweetheart a fan of birds? When gifting yourself or a loved one this Valentine’s Day, you have to be sure to find something charming that will be cherished for years to come. Taking your pick of our iconic animal brass brooches means that you’re selecting a sort of love token with staying power. Our Victorian elephant bauble is nothing short of fabulous, and a shining Art Nouveau bird pin makes a stunning avian addition to any vintage fashionista’s jewelry collection.

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The detailing on this iconic elephant brooch is exceptionally extraordinary.

This Valentine’s Day, warm your heart and your wardrobe with stunning vintage brass brooches with beautifully romantic iconic themes. They’ll enliven your mood through the last leg of winter, and will easily become favorite baubles for wearing all year.

by Sarah Clark

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Why Buy Vintage Jewelry?

Vintage Earrings and Tags

These vintage clip on earrings have gorgeous retro flair.

Objects carry a meaning, with each owner infusing their own energy into every item. That’s the power of vintage jewelry. With a vintage piece, you’ll be the only one wearing that specific look. People notice. It becomes your It Girl signature, a way to stand out. It’s about sensibility as much as style.

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Layering on luxe vintage necklaces adds classic style to a modern trend.

We seek out vintage finds with current trends in mind; nothing goes up on our site unless we think it’s relevant today. Vintage jewelry worn in a contemporary context ties together past and present, a history that adds emotional depth to your everyday wardrobe and dovetails with the repetition and evolution of up-to-the-minute fashion cycles (Vogue says that for 2015, it’s the 1970s).

VIntage Turquoise Bracelets

This Southwestern style vintage baubles are fabulous for crafting a boho look.

Our vintage offerings bring you a huge variety that spans decades. Styles range from romantic Victorian-revival cameos to pin-up era Bakelite brooches to tailored, long pendants from the Nixon years to Native American sterling and turquoise from the Age of Aquarius that perfectly accent today’s boho looks. Whether you want a classic gold bangle that adds just a touch of difference or a bold rhinestone bib that shouts Hollywood vixen, there is something in our vintage collection for you.

Bakelite Rose Brooch

Make every day Throwback Thursday with pretty baubles like this vintage Bakelite brooch.

Not only does vintage jewelry come with a rich backstory — you get craftsmanship and staying power for only a fraction of what a new designer piece of fashion jewelry might cost. We pull together notable pieces with an eye for top condition and a deep knowledge of the era’s history. We know when a find truly is a find, because we’re familiar with the materials, techniques and history of the manufacturer.

Vintage Cupid Necklace

The ages haven’t tarnished these lovely accessories’ romantic feel.

That’s because Heirloom Finds was built on our love for antiques and collectibles. For years, our co-founders Kim and Jeanne have scoured estate sales and auctions, looking for notable pieces and fun finds. The very basis for our fashion jewelry business began with vintage jewelry. It’s in our blood — Jeanne’s parents were antique dealers, and Kim’s idea of a relaxing weekend still includes hitting up flea markets.

Vintage Fan Necklace

Expect to craft looks that are as exquisite as they are unique when you buy vintage jewelry.

And the best part is that we do the legwork for you. When you order vintage jewelry from Heirloom Finds, you know it’s the finest example of its kind, because we buy for condition and relevance. Our fast, free delivery means a distinctive vintage piece is only a few clicks away. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone you love, vintage jewelry offers a romance and power all its own.

by Sara Bir

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How to Style Brooches

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Dazzling combinations of brooches and accessories give vintage baubles a whole new life.

When we start to pull out our favorite hats, scarves, and jackets in the fall, it’s time to dig into something else, too: brooches. Whether dainty or big and glittery, brooches aren’t just artifacts that grace the lapels of grandmothers’ blazers. This season, we’ve spotted statement brooches all over, from runways to spreads in our favorite glossies.

While a brooch gracing a collar at the base of your neck will never lose its classic appeal, it’s smart and fun to embrace this essential jewelry piece’s versatility. Anywhere you can pin it, you can wear it.

  • Spruce up a basic knit toboggan.
Hat Brooch

Glitz up your favorite chapeau with a pretty brooch fastened above the brim.

  • Make an even bigger statement in an asymmetrical gown with a brooch right at the top of your shoulder. Or pin a matching pair of rosettes at the base of each strap on a sleeveless dress.
  • Glam up a plain gray sweatshirt, boyfriend sweater or denim jacket with a cluster of statement brooches. Grouping together multiple, complimentary brooches brings an edgy new flavor to contemporary or timeless brooches.
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Pin several brooches onto your denim jacket, and add crystal clip-on earrings to the buttonholes for maximum appeal.

  • Pin a brooch at the front of a sash belt, or to the side of a drop-waist dress.
  • Add a brooch to the closure of a cardigan or the center of a collar on a  sweater.
Sweater brooch

Sport a gorgeous brooch at the center of your sweater for an alternative look that’s absolutely stunning.

  • For an unusual keepsake wedding bouquet, check out these brooch bouquet arrangements that swap live flowers for crystal or enameled brooches.
  • Lend sparkle to a clutch or handbag with a simple or elaborate brooch.
Purse

Pin a multicolored crystal burst brooch onto your bag for glamour on the go.

  • Keep a scarf in place with a brooch fixed at the knot.
  • For grab-and-go fashion, pair a brooch with all of your favorite fall and winter coats and jackets, and keep them pinned on all season.
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Glitzy baubles and a fabulous color scheme make this arrangement a real success.

  • Lend your Annie Hall-style menswear a feminine tough with a strategically placed, elegant brooch.
  • Add a retro brooch to the lapel on a cardigan. Mix in a graphic tee for added flair.
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This 1940′s swallow pin combines perfectly with a comfy cardigan and a graphic tee.

Iconic animal brooches laden with crystals harken back to 1930s and ‘40s style icons like Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. Looking for something especially distinctive? We also have vintage brooches galore.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously wore brooches as a “diplomatic accessory.” She told Smithsonian magazine in 2010, “I was the only woman on the Security Council, and I decided to get some more costume jewelry. On good days, I wore flowers and butterflies and balloons, and on bad days, all kinds of bugs and carnivorous animals. I saw it as an additional way of expressing what I was saying, a visual way to deliver a message.” Why not take a cue from one of the most powerful women in American history? Enjoy yourself when you rock your brooches your way, every day.

by Sara Bir

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Ready, Steady, Go! Make the 60s Mod Look Work for You

Heirloom Finds Mad for Mod 60s Vintage Jewelry

Mod is not just a style. It’s a scene, a sound, and a spirit. Short for “modernist,” the concept was popularized in the mid-1960s by British fashionistas and teen rockers. A youth culture emerged in the post-WWII years, and those teens had access to pocket-money for clothes, records, and clubbing. A highly stylized, cutting-edge visual language set them apart from the sappy sentimentality of their parents’ generation. Mods craved the hip, smart, and streamlined.

Like punks and hippies, the mod subculture has endured with an instantly recognizable look that’s remained strikingly unchanged since its inception. What typifies the mod look? Think of the model Twiggy, the most well-known icon of mid-60s fashion. Bold, geometric forms. Primary colors and black-and-white motifs. Structured tailoring and fitted jackets. Mini-dresses and go-go boots. Vinyl belts, coats, and footwear in unexpected colors. White lipstick and prolific black mascara. Vital urban energy. The mod look is inextricably associated with 1960s swinging London and designer Mary Quant, who made the miniskirt mainstream. Italian scooters like Vespas and Lambrettas, with their gleaming chrome trim and smooth, highly contemporary design.

Accessories make the mod look accessible. Mod jewelry is fun and outrageous while retaining an arty sophistication. Sleek plastics like acrylic are mod signatures, so indulging in a colorful assortment of statement mod jewelry won’t break the bank. The mini-dresses designers are trotting out this fall are a natural to pair with mod bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. But since the Mod look is timeless, you know you’ll always have an occasion to punch up a simple ensemble of fitted trousers and a blouse, or a minimalist shift with tights.

Heirloom Finds Vintage Mod 60s Colorful Bangle Set

Here’s our 1960′s Vintage Mod Squad Colored Plastic Bangle Bracelet Set

You can’t discuss the mod style without discussing music, which has always been part and parcel of the mod scene. Kids in the early mod days gravitated toward the American R&B records: Motown and 1960s American soul are as important to the mod scene as rock bands like The Who and The Small Faces. During the mod revival of the late 1970s, ska and reggae groups joined those ranks. Like punk, mod songs are often short, direct, and rallying. There are great mod bands now, and a far-flung but thriving global mod scene that connects through festivals and podcasts. Everything mod retains a distinct British sensibility—perhaps part of the attraction for Anglophiles outside of the U.K.

Mod purists might poo-poo a casual adaptation of the mod look, but who cares? Dabbling in mod is a kick because it’s fun to look so stylish. Whether you consider a Vespa an obscure indulgence or a fashion necessity, our mod jewelry makes it easy to rise above your station and look fantastic while doing it.

Heirloom Finds Vintage 60s Mod Abstract Pendant Necklace

Here’s our Vintage 1960′S Groovy Copper Modern Design Pendant Oval Link Necklace.

By Sara Bir

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