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Vintage Authentication & Quality Standards

Vintage Chanel Black Caviar Leather Camera Bag

 Hi I’m Jillian!

With over a decade of experience buying and selling vintage, I’m an expert in vintage authentication and quality control. I grew up going antiquing with my dad and over the years, he’s taught me about the industry.

I frequently travel around the country to large antique fairs to source costume and fine jewelry along with home decor accents. Many of the luxury designer pieces in my collection come from Japan as culturally, they are meticulous about caring for their items. During my time growing my previous vintage company, Sweet & Spark, I built trusted relationships directly with vintage vendors around the world and we communicate regularly via What’s App.

Also, sometimes I handpick pieces for my collection from estate sales, marketplaces like eBay and Etsy and I also have a handful of items on consignment from my customers. If you’re interested in partnering in this capacity, please email me with photos of your items!

I stand behind the quality and authenticity of every item I sell. In a sea of vintage, there’s a wide range of quality standards to sort through so I focus solely on excellent to mint condition. When things don’t pass my standards, I return them. The vintage character of each piece is in line with my knowledge of the items age, style and value.

I want you to enjoy every piece to the fullest that you find from me!

Vintage Designer Jewelry & Accessories

Authenticating vintage designer bags, belts, jewelry and scarves starts with knowledge of each designer’s quality, markings, branding and styles over the decades, things I’ve learned with time and research. This knowledge has turned into an expertise after reviewing thousands of pieces over the past decade. I specialize in 1980s-early 2000s Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. You’ll notice I carry a mix of both timeless and statement pieces that are relevant for today’s wear! 

Vintage Chanel in particular is the easiest to authenticate because each piece is clearly marked with the season and date that it’s from. Also all Chanel jewelry and handbag hardware was 24kt gold plated in the 1980s and 90s so it can be tested with a gold kit. All Chanel bags have a serial code stamped inside and were also originally issued with an authentication card that looks like a credit card. Often these cards get misplaced over their long lifetimes so the most important thing is that a bag has its serial code number. Not having the authentication card, original box or dust bag will not affect the value of the bag. When authenticating Chanel, I also confirm all signature markings on the hardware as well as, the leather quality and craftsmanship standards, like the amount of stitches used on a signature quilted design.

Louis Vuitton also includes serial codes in their bags which allows me to date them precisely. If a bag comes to me with it’s original box, bag or authentication card, I always will include it in your order. Otherwise each item will come with a JB dust bag for safe keeping. I always recommend you storing your bags full of bubble wrap in a safe place where the shape will not be compromised. And if it’s a vintage Chanel bag, you’ll want to tuck the straps inside for safe keeping. 

In terms of quality, I make sure finishes aren’t tarnished, handbags and belts still have their shape with minimal wear around the corners and scarves do not have any holes or markings that take away from their beauty. If you ever have a question or would like more photos of a piece, please email me!

Vintage Designer Accessories

Vintage Costume Jewelry

My love for vintage started with costume jewelry from the 1950s-90s by American made jewelry designers like Monet, Trifari, Anne Klein and Napier. Costume jewelry refers to anything that isn’t solid gold and real gemstones. Most of these pieces are under $200 in my collection. Back in the day they used to triple plate the finishes of jewelry so even today, they do not tarnish easily! From what I know, most of the base metals are brass and because there’s many layers of finish in each piece, most people with allergies can tolerate vintage. The high quality of vintage is truly inspiring compared to many of today’s mass production standards!

Most of the costume pieces in my collection are signed by these original designers and often times these are the styles that you see today’s designers drawing their inspiration from. The quality is noticeably better with a substantial weight and saturated finish. I focus on curating jewelry box staples like chains, hoops and bangles that you will have for many years to come! Aside from timeless styles, I like to mix in pieces that feel modern or on trend with today’s trends such as colored beads, heart motifs and statement earrings.

Vintage Fine Jewelry

Fine vintage jewelry refers to solid metals like gold and sterling silver. There’s something extra special about collecting vintage pieces that represent meaningful milestones or events in your life. My solid gold rings hold the most sentimental value to me and are pieces I know I will have forever. I recently wrote about them in a story here.

Fine jewelry pieces have real gemstones vs. glass or acrylic like costume pieces have. If a piece is fine jewelry, it is marked with purity of the metal such as gold is marked with 14kt, 18kt, etc. I also test each item with a gold kit to make sure it’s authentic. Solid metals have their own value which is based on weight so you will often see the gram weight of fine jewelry mentioned in product descriptions. Although, value in fine vintage jewelry is subjective because most of the pieces aren’t signed by original designers unless they are luxury designers like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, etc. I focus on special pieces that are hard to come by and have a nod to being vintage.

Many of the fine pieces in my collection are every day delicate layering chains and pendants. My ring collection is where I have a bit more fun with popular vintage styles like thick cigar bands, cocktail rings, modern shapes, signet rings, and other popular vintage motifs and styles like zodiac signs, hearts, flowers and rainbow gem stones.