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Dating silver jewellery

When buying vintage and antique jewelry how do you determine the age of the piece?Dating jewelry is done through multiple methods – looking at stylistic clues, at techniques of construction, at hallmarks, and at patent numbers.

Some jewels have cryptic or magical inscriptions, believed to protect the wearer.Royalty and the nobility wore gold, silver and precious gems.Lower ranks of society wore base metals, such as copper or pewter.Over time, metalworking techniques became more sophisticated and decoration more intricate.Gold, a rare and highly valued material, was buried with the dead so as to accompany its owner into the afterlife.Any white metal used in jewelry prior to 1915 will be either silver (most common), silver plate, platinum (which is and was expensive, used only in the finest jewelry, and wasn’t used until the 1870’s), steel, pot metal, or aluminum.

1918 – Made in Czechoslovakia: The country known as Czechoslovakia did not exist prior to the end of World War I in 1918.

So, anything signed “Czechoslovakia” is post-1918 (and pre-1993 when Czechoslovakia’s dissolution occurred).

I’ve seen many items marked Czechoslovakia described as “Victorian” which is impossible since, as mentioned above, Queen Victoria died in 1901 nearly a generation prior to the birth of Czechoslovakia.

So, if you have a piece of Mexican jewelry with this style of hallmark it is relatively new, post 1979.

Remember, the simple clues listed above will only tell you the oldest that a piece of jewelry can be; however, it could be newer.

On the other side of the timeline, a lot of contemporary jewelry is being produced trying to deceptively pass itself off as early 20th Century Czech jewelry.