Charm bracelets from the Art Deco period are great collector's items, and fashionable pieces of jewellery even today. Made in the 20-year period before the Great Depression, Art Deco jewellery features precious metals and stones, like diamonds and rubies, in a unique and luxurious style that is timeless. These charm bracelets are extremely valuable today and many charm bracelet collectors search for Art Deco bracelets in good condition for this very reason.
Anyone starting out in this hobby should be informed about Art Deco charm bracelets before buying one, in order to save both time and money. Some things to consider include: the different aspects of Art Deco style, ways to buy vintage charm bracelets, charm bracelet materials, and how to find an Art Deco charm bracelet on eBay. By learning about the basics of vintage charm bracelets, one can embark on an exciting journey to hunt for Art Deco charm bracelets with confidence.
Art Deco Style
The Art Deco style from 1915 to 1935, preceded the 'retro' style of the 1940s, and came after the Art Nouveau and Edwardian periods of the early 1900s. The style was a reaction against the nature-inspired designs of the previous era, and reflected the new values of an industrialised world. There are five basic themes found in Art Deco jewellery.
The Art Deco style left behind the flowers and natural patterns of earlier periods, and instead used bold geometric patterns. Circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles were all used to depict subjects in a new way.
The archaeological discoveries made between 1915 and 1935 in Egypt, such as King Tut's tomb, inspired a new world consciousness. Not only Egyptian themes, but also other themes from world cultures like China and India became fashionable.
Embrace of Technology
Rapid technological changes in the early 1900s led to a cultural shift that is reflected in Art Deco jewellery. The style embraced technology and sought to incorporate elements of machinery in art, as opposed to the Edwardian period when nature was idealised.
Luxury and Glamour
Recovering from the first World War, people in the Art Deco period rebounded with faith in social progress. It was a time of luxury when the economy seemed to be booming. While Edwardian jewellery was also luxurious, it was understated and more quietly elegant. Art Deco was much bolder and more glamourous, as motion pictures created film stars who were emulated by the people.
Another defining characteristic of Art Deco jewellery is the use of new and exotic materials like bone and shell. Bakelite and other synthetic materials were also created, and lent themselves to mass production.
How to Buy a Vintage Charm Bracelet
Charm bracelets can be bought with or without charms. Each method has an appeal to a certain kind of collector. However, each method also has different caveats that a potential buyer should be aware of.
Buying the Charms and Bracelet Separately
For many people, the charm of charm bracelets, is the process of slowly putting together a collection of charms that perfectly represent one's life. These people enjoy hunting down old charms that reflect their likes and dislikes. For this purpose, they buy charm bracelets that are empty to begin with. One also has the satisfaction of putting together a bracelet that is personally meaningful.
Buying Charms and Bracelets Together
Other Art Deco charm bracelets are sold as a single item with a set of charms on the bracelet. The charms can be the original set of charms that were bought with the bracelet. If this is the case, expect to pay a premium price for the bracelet. Other charms may be a set put together by the seller. In this case, make sure to ask about each charm separately, and appraise the value of each one. Also, check to ensure that all of the charms are true vintage Art Deco charms.
Advantages of Buying a Completed Bracelet
The advantage of buying a complete bracelet, is that one does not have to spend any extra time or money putting together a wearable bracelet. The disadvantage is that not all the charms may be to one's liking. However, a set of original vintage Art Deco charms on the original bracelet is rare and could easily be a good investment for a collector.
Vintage Art Deco Bracelets and Reproductions
The Art Deco style made a reappearance during the 1980s. Around this time, many reproductions of Art Deco items were made. Many reproductions are so close in appearance to the real thing, that it would take an expert to differentiate between the two. Those who are interested in collecting vintage Art Deco jewellery, are well advised to do as much research as possible prior to buying vintage jewellery. Others may find it easier to have a piece of jewellery appraised by a professional. Any buyer should be aware that Art Deco reproductions are frequently found on the market and that many sellers may not know the difference.
Charm Bracelet Materials
Charm bracelets from the Art Deco period can be made of gold or silver. Precious gemstones such as rubies and diamonds are frequently a part of high-quality Art Deco charms category. Before buying either precious metals or stones, it is important to know a little about each of them.
Sterling silver charm bracelets should have hallmarks that says '925'. This indicates that the item is an alloy of 92.5 per cent silver, and 7.5 per cent other metals. No silver can be considered sterling silver without meeting the 92.5 per cent standard. A higher standard of 95 per cent silver and 5 per cent other metals also exists. However, this type of silver is likely to tarnish more than a 92.5 per cent alloy.
The purity of gold is measured in carats. However, many people may not know how to understand the carat rating of a gold bracelet. Moreover, terms like 'rose gold' and 'white gold', are extremely confusing and can lead to one paying more for a bracelet. For this reason, understanding gold terminology is important.
Carats and Gold Purity
The carat rating of any gold item is obtained by multiplying the percentage of gold in the item by a factor of 24. This means the percentage of gold in a bracelet can be found by dividing the carat rating by 24. For example, a 12-carat bracelet has only 12/24 or 50 per cent gold. The rest of the gold alloy is made up of other metals.
Rose gold has a high amount of copper in the alloy. The copper gives the gold a reddish tinge.
White gold has a high amount of a silver metal like nickel, silver, or palladium. Some people are allergic to nickel, making it a problematic ingredient in white gold.
How to Buy an Art Deco Charm Bracelet on eBay
eBay is a popular place to find Art Deco charm bracelets because of the wide selection of high-quality bracelets. Both true vintage bracelets, as well as reproductions, can be found on eBay, making it easy to find an Art Deco bracelet that fits your budget and reflect the style you like. To find an Art Deco charm bracelet on eBay, start on any eBay home page and enter the search term 'Art Deco charm bracelet' in the search box. Then use the search criteria provided to refine the search or simply browse through the listings. Within the correct subcategory, you can refine the search by additional criteria, such as the main gemstone or type of metal.
Locating Reputable Sellers on eBay
Doing your research beforehand and asking the seller any questions you might have is the best way to find true vintage bracelets. Be aware that many sellers may use term like 'vintage', or 'art deco', loosely to refer to bracelets that have a vintage style. To find a reputable seller, simply click on a seller's name to see his or her feedback history. eBay's public feedback score system makes it easy to find experienced and professional sellers.
Art Deco charm bracelets from the early 1900s are pieces of jewellery, associated with plenty of historic value at times. They reflect the cultural shift from nature-inspired themes of the 19th century, to the industrialised world of the 20th century. Art Deco jewellery features bold geometric designs, Egyptian and other world culture themes, and a creative use of materials like bone and shell. Charm bracelets from this period can be bought with charms or without.
Collectors who enjoy putting together a charm bracelet slowly often buy the bracelet without any charms, while those who buy Art Deco jewellery for simply aesthetic purposes may prefer the charm bracelet complete with charms. Charm bracelets from the Art Deco period can be made from silver, yellow gold, rose gold, of white gold, among other less common options. It is a good idea to understand how to check for metal purity when attempting to buy any precious metals. Buy learning about gold and silver alloys and how to search for Art Deco charm bracelets online, a would-be collector can start a new hobby and start the hunt for vintage jewellery.