Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"What Makes A Bead Vintage?"

Vintage Swarovski Trunk Show

100's of styles and colors
You never know what wonderful treasure
you will find!

THIS Friday & Saturday
July 30 & 31!
10:00 - 6:00 both days

We've been asked the question: "What makes a bead vintage?"
There are many definitions out there. Here are a few to pick from:
Wikipedia (anybody's guess) - 25 yrs or older (whatever that is - articles pulled from all over the internet) - a bead which is no lon ger manufactured but is not old enough to be antique. Popular opinion contends that anything at least 25 years old is considered vintage. If an item is at least 100 years old it's antique.
Carl Blackburn's Jewelry Glossary (whoever that is) - A classic, characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal.

Eve's Addiction (I thought she had trouble w/ apples, but maybe that's just me) - vintage jewelry is usually 50 or more years old, and it likely has been worn.
Lisa's definition (Lisa Busch that is - for the "what it's worth department") - When referring to Czech or German Beads in the trade vintage is generally understood to be Pre-WWII. Prior to WWII much of the heavy crystal beads were coming out of Bohemia (now Czech Republic) and the glass bead capital of the world was in Germany. After the German defeat in WWII those bead factories and warehouses closed forever and the beads sat and gathered dust until beads became popular again and some savvy people bought up those warehouses of beads to sell to us. When referring to Swarovski, many beaders have generally adopted the definition that it applies to any bead that is no longer being made by Swarovski and therefore cannot be purchased on the current market. Many of these also fit the 25 year definition as well - though not all.
And this is from Janet Wolery of Contemporary Glassworks who is graciously hosting our Vintage Swarovski Trunk Show this weekend: "Actually made prior to 1964. There was a packaging change then and this is an easy way to know. That particular size, cut and color could still be made today but if it was actually made prior to that date, I call it vintage. Most of the other Swarovski dealers are the same. Some are starting to call vintage through about 1980 when the next packaging change took place and UPC codes were put on the packages. The pre-1964 crystal has a slightly higher lead content which makes it more special, some was hand cut which makes it more special, and the AB coatings were less brassy and showed more color spectrum which makes it more special. And the vintage Swarovski is getting very hard to find."
So, there you have it. Not everyone agrees, so this either cleared up the mystery or made it worse. Glad to be able to help with that.

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