Key rings, also called key chains, are decorative rings that hold collections of keys together in a stylish way. They usually feature large rings with some sort of large charm attached. Because the sole purpose is to hold keys, they were not used until the invention of modern locks with tumblers in the 1700s. Since that time, craftsmen have created many different kinds of keys and key rings, and some are actually collectors' items.
Vintage Car Key Rings
Since the introduction of motor vehicles, key ring manufacturers have made car key chains. For example, drivers of Ford vehicles might enjoy having a key ring with a vintage Ford symbol on it. Specific models are also available in some cases. Typically, the most valuable and highly sought vintage car key rings correlate to the popularity of the brands and the vehicles. For example, a Ford Mustang key ring would probably have a greater value than a Ford Crestline key ring.
Vintage Skeleton Key Rings
Skeleton keys were the first keys used with tumbler lock systems, and they are much more interesting than modern keys. They feature long stems and usually have intricate carvings on the handles. Many people collect them. Some sets of vintage skeleton keys come with their original key rings, and collectors can add their modern keys if the rings are not too large. Otherwise, they make great decorative pieces to hang on the wall.
Valuable Vintage Key Rings
Naturally, it is important to know if a vintage key ring is valuable before buying it. Many vintage items contain precious metals and gemstone embellishments. In order to find a genuine vintage key ring, shoppers must be able to tell the difference between real and fake precious materials. For example, antique gold came in 12k, 14k, and 18k. Only a jeweller can really identify genuine metals and gems, but a consumer can make a good educated guess by performing a few basic tests. For example, hold the stone up to the light and see if it produces a rainbow of colours or if it stays flat. Because all stones are different, it is also necessary to research the particular traits of a stone in order to determine if its markings are natural or machine created.