Vintage Diamond Necklace Buying Guide

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Vintage Diamond Necklace Buying Guide

Vintage typically refers to pieces that are over 25 years of age. Sometimes referred to as estate jewellery, authentic vintage jewellery refers to pieces that have been previously owned. Vintage diamond necklaces comes in all shapes and sizes, and can be purchased at vintage shops, second-hand stores, and online at eBay. Sometimes the best vintage necklaces come from an individual seller’s own historic jewellery collection. Although often more expensive than other gems, diamonds are extremely durable and timeless, as indicated by the amount of vintage diamond necklaces available and sold. Vintage diamond necklaces can come from all over the world, and provide a special flare in exchange for the everyday diamond necklace.

Regardless of its vintage status, a diamond necklace is still a diamond necklace, which is usually a relatively large investment. As a result, potential buyers should familiarise themselves with what is meant by vintage, the four C’s of diamond grading, as well as the periods of time that vintage diamond necklaces were crafted and created.

Vintage vs. Vintage-Inspired

Right away, there is one thing that a consumer should clearly understand. That is, there is a difference between vintage jewellery and vintage-inspired jewellery. Vintage-inspired jewellery is jewellery that embodies a classic look, but is in fact a brand new piece. Vintage jewellery refers to pieces that have been previously owned, typically aging over 25 years. Sometimes vintage and vintage-inspired are used interchangeably by various designers. As a result it is easy for a consumer to purchase a piece that they think is estate jewellery, when in fact it is actually vintage-inspired. It is important to do the right research into the seller’s reputation and origin of an item, such as a vintage diamond necklace, to ensure that a buyer is in fact getting an authentic vintage piece.

The Four C’s of Diamond Grading

Whether vintage or not, there are a few things to consider about before purchasing a diamond necklace. These considerations are well-known as the four C’s of diamond grading including: cut, clarity, colour and carat.


The cut of a diamond refers to the diamond’s reflective qualities. The angles and finishes of the diamond determines how the gem is going to reflect light, or in other words, how brilliant the diamond is going to be. There are a number of different diamond cuts to best utilise a particular diamond’s unique properties. The cut of a diamond consists of symmetrical arrangement of facets, that in turn modify the shape and face of a particular gemstone. The original cut of a diamond is often determined based on the original shape of the gemstone, location of any internal flaws, preservation of weight, and popularity of certain shapes in the market.


The clarity of a diamond refers to the existence and visual appearances of internal characteristics of a diamond, referred to as inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions and blemishes are any foreign material that is present within the gemstone, as well as cracks, and or other imperfections that make the diamond appear white or cloudy on a certain area of the stone. While most inclusions and blemishes do not affect the clarity of a diamond overall, a consumer should beware of diamonds with any large areas of discolouration as these can cause fracture, as well as affect the diamond’s ability to transmit light.


Diamonds can range in colour from colourless to yellow. When looking for a classic diamond, the actual clearness of the diamond can tell a buyer a lot about the quality of the jewel. A chemically and structurally perfect diamond has absolutely no hue. The colour of a diamond varies as a result of chemical impurities or structural defects within the crystal lattice of the diamond. Some consumers prefer clear or classic diamonds, while others prefer coloured diamonds. There is no right or wrong coloured diamond, as colour depends on an individual’s preference.


Carat is a measurement that is used to weigh diamonds. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. In a piece with more than one diamond, such as a vintage diamond necklace, the weight is often be described as total carat weight (TCW). Diamonds range from a fraction of a carat to several carats. The price of the piece increases as the total carat weight increases.

Periods of Vintage Diamond Necklaces

Vintage diamond necklaces can hail from a range of different periods of time. The historic period that a vintage diamond necklace originates from, can tell alot about the characteristics and style of a specific necklace.

Georgian Era

The Georgian Era covers the period spanning from 1714 to 1837. Most jewellery out of this period is relatively rare and essentially handmade. Vintage diamond necklaces from this time period typically include diamonds and other precious stones, intertwined with nature-themed element designs, such as birds and trees. Additionally, diamonds are also used in necklaces featuring end-of-life themes, such as pieces with skull and coffin designs. Rose cut diamonds are a popular cut for this time period. A Georgian Era vintage diamond necklace is a relatively rare find for a consumer.

Early Victorian Era

The Early Victorian Era, 1837 to 1855, also features nature-inspired pieces. Coloured diamonds became popular around this time and are often incorporated into a gold necklace. Vintage diamond necklaces of this period were generally reserved for formal evening wear during the mid-1800s.

Mid-Victorian Era

The Mid-Victorian Era coincides with the death of Queen Victoria of England’s late husband. Spanning from 1856 to 1880, many of these pieces reflect the solemn spirit of the Queen at this time. As a result, vintage diamond necklaces feature dark coloured diamonds, such as blue, green, or dark pink. Additionally. jewellery pieces start to become increasingly more creative.

Late Victorian Era

Between 1885 and 1900, diamond necklaces became much more feminine. Some diamond necklaces embody a crescent or start symbol. This period is also known as the Aesthetic Period because of the attention to detail and visual-appeal of diamond necklaces, and other jewellery of this time. Up until the Late Victorian Era, the typical diamond cut was a modification of the modern round brilliant cut, including the rose cut and the old mine cut.

Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement, 1894-1923, was a rebellious response to the Industrial Movement. As a result, diamond necklaces are often made with the same intricacy and craftsmanship of earlier periods, such as the Georgian Era. Necklaces of this period often feature uncut, coloured diamonds in a simple pattern.

Edwardian Period

1901, or the beginning of the Edwardian Period, marked the death of Queen Victoria and the crowning of her son King Edward. Until roughly 1915, diamonds became extremely popular and diamond necklaces often feature other expensive gems, such as rubies and emeralds woven into intricate designs.

Art Nouveau Period

Coinciding with the Edwardian Period, from 1895 to 1915, a different movement happened that features jewellery with natural designs, often embodying flowers, trees and sensual women. Small diamonds are often incorporated into these elaborate designs. Although this period officially ended with the close of World War I, contemporary designers continue to use this style in their jewellery designs, including vintage-inspired diamond necklaces.

Art Deco Period

The Art Deco period spans the years from 1915 to 1935. Jewellery from the Art Deco Period is inspired by art of the American Indian, ancient Egypt, as well as Greek and Roman architecture. Diamond necklaces from this period are characterised by geometric designs, and combinations of colour and abstract patterns. Diamonds of this period typically have a step cut, which accentuates the diamond’s lustre and clarity. Vintage diamond necklaces hailing from the Art Deco period, are one of the most highly sought after periods of jewellery.

Retro Period

From 1940 to 1960, the Retro Period refers to Old Hollywood style. Diamond necklaces from this period include bold and elaborate styles with large diamonds, both classic and coloured. The popular princess cut of today was introduced at the end of this period in 1960.

Modern Period

The Modern Period spans from the 1960s to roughly the 1980s. Unlike the Retro Period, the size of the diamonds are scaled down and the popular princess cut takes centre stage. Further, designs became much more delicate and simple, and the classic clear diamond is the gemstone of choice.

How to Buy a Vintage Diamond Necklace on eBay

Vintage diamond necklaces hail from a variety of different time-periods with many different looks and styles. There are many options of vintage diamond necklaces available for purchase. eBay has a large variety of vintage diamond necklaces to choose from that are both beautiful and affordable. To search through eBay’s extensive list of vintage diamond necklaces, simply navigate to the eBay website portal. Once on the site, type vintage diamond necklace into the keyword search. A list of all the vintage diamond necklaces eBay has to offer is then be populated for you.

A vintage diamond necklace can be a relatively large investment. That being said, be sure to pay attention to the seller feedback listed with each item’s seller. Sellers with 98 per cent positive feedback ratings can work toward becoming qualified as a Top-Rated seller. Buying from Top Rated sellers, or sellers with high positive feedback ratings, can help ensure that you are purchasing a quality vintage diamond necklace from a reputable seller on eBay.


Diamonds have found their place in jewellery for centuries. Because diamonds are made from the most durable material on earth, jewellery made with these exquisite gemstones can last lifetimes. This makes vintage diamond necklaces a very popular diamond purchase. When looking for a vintage diamond necklace a consumer should first educate themselves on the origin and history of the piece, to ensure that the item is in fact, vintage. Buyers should be aware of modern diamond necklace designs that advertise as vintage, but are actually vintage-inspired.

Once a seller has been verified, a buyer can narrow down their search by selecting what time period they prefer their vintage diamond necklace to represent.Vintage diamond necklaces from different eras have their own unique characteristics. Additionally, an educated buyer should understand the four C’s of diamond grading including, cut, clarity, colour, and carat. Understanding diamond grading and the history of a vintage diamond necklace often go together, as certain cuts, clarity, colour, and clarity are often era-specific.With these tools, a consumer can found the perfect vintage diamond necklace.

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