The Most Valuable Vintage Jewellery Brands

The Most Valuable Vintage Jewellery Brands

When it comes to luxury vintage jewellery, there are few names sparkle as brightly as Tiffany & Co, and Cartier. These renowned luxury brands have left an indelible mark on the world of history and fashion, and have produced pieces that continue to captivate jewellery collectors and enthusiasts alike.

In our journey through fashion history, we’ll delve into the mesmerising world of luxury vintage jewellery, exploring why pieces by designers like Tiffany & Co, Bvlgari, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are all highly sought-after collectables.

Bvlgari: The Elegance of Roman Heritage

Starting off with Bvlgari, often stylised as BVLGARI, is a brand synonymous with opulence and a rich Roman heritage. Founded in 1884 by Sotirios Voulgaris, a talented Greek silversmith, this brand has flourished into a global symbol of luxury. Bvlgari’s vintage jewellery is celebrated for several reasons:

Timeless Design

Bvlgari has an exceptional ability to blend classical Roman motifs with contemporary designs, resulting in pieces that are both classic and fashionable. Their Serpenti collection, inspired by the serpent motif from Roman mythology, is particularly iconic.

Exquisite Gemstones

Bvlgari is known for using some of the world’s most precious gemstones. The vibrancy of their coloured stones, particularly in pieces like the Trombino ring, is iconic in the vintage fashion world.

Celebrity Status

Movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn often adorned Bvlgari’s creations, cementing their status as timeless and glamorous.

Heritage and Craftsmanship

The brand’s commitment to preserving the legacy of Sotirios Voulgaris shines through in their meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Here’s a fine example of Bulgari vintage jewellery from our inventory:

The Most Valuable Vintage Jewellery Brands
Valuable Vintage Jewellery Brands

This stunning pair of 0.92 carat ruby and 0.65 carat sapphire, 0.64 carat diamond and 18 carat yellow gold earrings are vintage 1990s Bulgari. Each earring has a tapering shape and is embellished with two impressive four claw emerald cut rubies, flanking an emerald cut sapphire, in addition to four pavé set round cut diamonds.

Cartier: Pioneering Elegance and Innovation

Moving onto Cartier, founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, this brand has transcended generations, and its vintage jewellery remains highly coveted. Here’s just a few reasons why Cartier has stood the test of time:

Innovative Designs

Cartier has consistently pushed the boundaries of jewellery design. Their iconic “Love” bracelet, for example, is not only a piece of exquisite craftsmanship but also a symbol of enduring love.

Artistic Flourish

Cartier’s active collaboration with artists, the likes of Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dalí, has resulted in unique and imaginative jewellery pieces which remain highly collectible.

Royal Patronage

Cartier has been a brand of choice by royalty for generations. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, for instance, entrusted Cartier to craft some of their most celebrated pieces.

Craftsmanship and Quality

Cartier’s craftsmanship and great attention to details ensures that all their vintage pieces are as breathtaking today as they were when first created.

Here’s some stunning examples of Cartier vintage jewellery I found in our inventory:

Valuable Cartier Cufflinks
Vintage Cartier

This exceptional pair of 18 carat yellow gold cufflinks are vintage 1980s Cartier. These vintage Cartier cufflinks are of exceptional in its quality, gauge of gold and condition. But this is to be expected from such a renowned maker.

Vintage Cartier Brooch
Valuable Cartier Brooch

Next, we have this impressive vintage stained agate and 0.03 carat diamond, 18 carat yellow gold lovebird brooch, which are vintage 1990s Cartier. Again, this vintage Cartier piece is in exceptional condition and is set with stained agate panels and very high colour graded diamonds, displaying a fine white colour and brilliance.

Van Cleef & Arpels: A Symphony of Elegance

Van Cleef & Arpels, founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels, is a name synonymous with elegance and enchantment. Here’s why their vintage jewellery remains highly coveted:

Innovative Design

Van Cleef & Arpels is renowned for its innovative and imaginative designs. The Mystery Set technique, where gemstones appear to be seamlessly set without any visible prongs, is one of their iconic contributions to the world of jewellery.

Nature-Inspired Aesthetic

The brand’s use of nature as a recurring motif, from delicate flower brooches to butterfly-inspired pieces, brings a touch of ethereal beauty to their creations.

Timeless Elegance

Van Cleef & Arpels’ timeless pieces have adorned celebrities and royalty, including Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Duchess of Windsor, which added that elegance and luxury to their ensembles.

Exquisite Craftsmanship

The brand’s commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail is evident in every piece. Van Cleef vintage jewellery is certainly a testament to the intersection of art and jewellery.

Here are some vintage Van Cleef & Arpels pieces I found in our vintage jewellery collection:

Van Cleef & Arpels Cufflinks
Valuable Van Cleef & Arpels

This pair of French 0.60 carat blue sapphire and 18 carat yellow gold cufflinks are vintage 1960s Van Cleef and Arpels. These rather impressive Van Cleef and Arpels cufflinks are exceptional quality set with impressive cabochon sapphires, displaying not only fine colour but also brilliance and presence.

Van Cleef & Arpels Ring
Van Cleef & Arpels Jewellery

This stunning 0.69 carat sapphire and 0.55 carat diamond, 18 carat yellow gold dress ring is also vintage 1960s Van Cleef and Arpels. This vintage Van Cleef piece features an organic twist design and is embellished with five impressive four-claw yellow gold set round faceted blue sapphires and five four-claw white gold set round cut diamonds. Wow!

The 18ct yellow gold ring is accented with channelled ridge decoration spanning the anterior surface, replicating the splayed details of a feather.

Read more on Van Cleef & Arpels history here

Tiffany & Co: Iconic American Elegance

Vintage Tiffany & Co Jewellery

“It’s like Tiffany’s” she said. “It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets” – Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961.

Tiffany & Co, founded in New York in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young, and known for its iconic feature in the cinematic classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, this luxury brand is enduring symbol of American elegance as well as its iconic jewellery. Here’s why vintage Tiffany & Co remains highly sought after to this day:

The Tiffany Setting

Charles Tiffany introduced the six-claw diamond engagement ring setting which revolutionised the jewellery industry and remains iconic to this very day. With millions of weds-to-be now opting for a six-claw engagement ring.

The Tiffany Setting
The Tiffany Claw Setting
The Tiffany 6 Claw Setting

Blue Box Magic

The distinctive Tiffany Blue Box is a symbol of luxury and anticipation. You cannot mistake one of these little blue boxes for anything else! And opening one of these to find a piece of Tiffany jewellery is an experience within itself.

Legacy of Design

Tiffany & Co’s design legacy includes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. The brand is known for producing pieces which capture the true artistic spirit of such eras.

Cultural Impact

The brand’s influence on popular culture, from the adored classic film star in Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to countless romantic gestures, Tiffany & Co jewellery is a symbol of timeless romance and sophistication.

Tiffany & Co Necklace
Vintage Tiffany & Co

This vintage 1950s Tiffany & Co features an exceptional 14ct yellow gold rounded snake chain accented with an array of seven heart designs which graduating in size.

And although this beauty has now found its new home, there’s no denying it’s a stunning vintage piece by Tiffany & Co.

However, if you love this look, view the complete range of heart shaped jewellery at AC Silver to give your vintage heart something it desires.

Valuable Tiffany & Co Cufflinks
Tiffany & Co Vintage Cufflinks

Having said this, we do have this fine pair of antique seed pearl, mother of pearl, and 14 carat yellow gold cufflink by Tiffany & Co. Dated back to the 1920s, these cufflinks are hallmarked to the reverse of each link with the Tiffany & Co retailer’s mark (Tiffany et Co London).

Such original Tiffany examples, in such high quality and condition, are becoming increasingly difficult to locate. They certainly have my heart!

Is Buying Vintage Worth It?

Of course, we’re a little biased, but we definitely think so.

With vintage jewellery, its undoubtable that get more for your money than you do when purchasing brand new jewellery. Carat for carat, vintage gets you a whole lot more than what purchasing brand new jewels does.

And it goes without saying really that these preloved pieces are far more unique than most of the new jewellery on the market today, as well as being well-made (often by hand) vintage jewellery just has a charm and allure to it which modern jewellery just simply cannot match.

What makes luxury vintage jewellery from these brands so irresistible is the blend of art, history, and craftsmanship. Each piece tells a story, carries a rich legacy, and exudes a sense of timelessness. Owning a vintage piece from either of these brands is akin to holding a piece of history in your hand.

While there are countless jewellery brands and designers, luxury jewellery fashion houses like Cartier and Van Cleef have carved a special niche for themselves. Their ability to consistently create jewellery that is not just beautiful, but culturally and historically significant, is what sets them apart.

So, whether you’re an avid collector or simply appreciate the finer things in life, consider adding branded vintage jewellery to your collection. It’s not just a piece of jewellery; it’s a piece of history, an expression of art, and a symbol of elegance.

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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