A guide to buying authentic British antique and vintage charms.
The Uk lead the way in three dimensional charms. Our vintage and antique charms are beautifully detailed and are well crafted.
There are thousands of different designs available both Uk and iternational related, both 3 dimensional and flat. The most sought after being moving or opening charms.
Charms were very popular from nineteen fiffty to the late nineteen seventys. Durring this time some of the larger manufacturers employed artists to create and carve original miniature models out of wax. These were made into moulds to create wonderful charms.
The predominant charm makers durring the nineteen fifty to late nineteen sevinties period were Nuvo, Chim and Toby. Toby charms are some of the rarest as fewer were made. Sadly none of these makers no longer make charms.
There have also been quite a few other smaller makers over this period of time but these makers although high quality they did not often mark their work. Some are Uk assay office hallmarked which enables you to date them accurately.
The Victorians and Edwardians were very fond of charms and some very beautiful examples can still be found although they are getting rarer. Often Victorian or Edwardian charms are either puffed construction, gem set or are solid. It is very rare to find a moving or opening charm from this period. The charms from this period were often attatched to delicate bracelets or attatched in threes to fob watch chains as a decourative addtition.
HOW TO SPOT AN AUTHENTIC BRITISH VINTAGE OR ANTIQUE CHARM.
Check the hallmark. If it is 925 hallmarked. It is not British. Authentic British charms are NEVER 925 hallmarked. This hallmark is used for charms that have been manufacturered outside the UK usually in Thailand. Also it will bo no older than the NINETEEN EIGHTIES, this was when the hallmark was created. However the USA and Scandinavian have been using the 925 hallmark since the 1930's.
Often authentic British antique and vintage charms are not hallmarked or they are marked sil or silver. They do not legally have to be marked unless they weigh more than 7.78 grams. European charms are often marked 800 silver ( a slightly lower grade silver).
Another way to spot if a charm is authentic is to see how dirty or tarnished it is. If the charm is bright and clean and very shiney it would point to the charm not actually a being real vintage charm. Do take into consideration if the charm has been cleaned. Here we do not clean our charms I leave them in their original state, sometimes though I find some one has already cleaned it.
When buying from ebay do READ the auction DESCRIPTION well, as there are some sellers who list their items as vintage in the title but the actual charm is really a new charm cast from an original mould or a copy. If you buy a new charm made from a vintage mould although not an authentic vintage charm you will find that the details are good and the item is fairly well made but often not as nice as an original vintage item. However if you are unlucky to purchase a charm cast by copying an vintage charm you will find that the details are not sharp and the edges are blurred.