Blinded by Vintage Bling at J.A. Jewelers

May 8, 2023

At the first vintage jewelry trunk show hosted by J.A. Jewelers in Farmington, a gemologist explained what terms like vintage, retro, and antique mean in the world of fine jewelry. The collection included items from the Victorian era to modern vintage pieces from the 1980s and ‘90s. Prices ranged from a couple hundred dollars to $30,000. If you missed this event, don’t worry! It will return next year as an annual staple of J.A. Jewelers’ events. By Donna K. Hewett. This story is sponsored by Three Rivers Brewery and Northern Edge Casino

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The word vintage is almost everywhere these days. But in terms of jewelry, the meaning applies to a very specific age. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Blue Rivers Brewery, and Northern Edge Casino. I'm Hayley Opsal. At a vintage jewelry trunk show held at J.A. Jewelers in Farmington, a gemologist from Raleigh, North Carolina, explained the difference between antique and vintage.

So specifically for antique jewelry, those items need to be over 100 years old. We do have things in our cases that are that old, but we also specialize in newer items in the vintage category, and those are usually between 20 and 99 years old, but are culturally significant.

Estate jewelry simply means that it is secondhand. The word retro in the jewelry world refers to bold, chunky styles with brightly colored, less costly stones from the recent past. Victorian jewelry is from the mid to late 1800s.

I've got some larger chunkier pieces here. This is Victorian and this is Victorian. This is a more modern piece, and this is a retro piece, and Victorian.

When appraising jewelry, Pendry says she first looks at items for their eye appeal. Then she takes a measure of all its components; gold weight, diamond weight, gemstones and aggregates them to get a total value. Sometimes a percentage is added on top for rarity along with fine rings, necklaces and bracelets valued from a couple hundred to $30,000. Pendry includes smaller more individualized pieces in her collection.

So these are our collection of vintage and antique charms. We come across a lot of charm bracelets that have been curated by their original owners that are very specific to that person, and they're as a whole, very hard to sell. But when you take the charms off and we can sell them individually to people so they can kind of curate their own charm bracelet for themselves or maybe a family member, but they're really fun. Old charms are, you know, very detailed. A lot of 'em have movement, enamel work and just things that you don't see every day.

The Vintage Trunk Show will be back again next spring. In the meantime, if you're looking for something unusual, old or new, John Kenny, Owner of J.A. Jewelers, has the resources to help you find it.

It was a great success. I do anticipate we'll make it an annual event and probably try to keep it around the same time every year just so as folks become, you know, acclimated with that and are aware of it they know kind of what to look forward to. I would say that those, there are resources at our disposal at at the moment where we can get things in for somebody. So as we build those networks, you know, if somebody comes in with a specific request, we can always reach out and try to find something for them.

J.A. Jewelers and Company was established in 2006. It's located at 2909 East 20th Street in Farmington. Learn more about this and other stories at Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Haley Opsal.


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