Vintage or new?


Community member
May 17, 2015
Just a question for all the women on this forum and maybe even for the men, like myself.

Do you like buying vintage or new pearls. And why?

And if you receive them from your boyfriend or husband. Does it matter if it's new or vintage? And why?

I'm just curious.
It would depend on the quality and condition, and perhaps the sentimentality of the item.

Inheriting a nice strand. Yes.
Being bought a gorgeous, clean, in good condition, vintage strand. Yes.
Being bought a cheap, bad quality, vintage strand. No.

Good quality new strand. Yes.
Bad quality new strand. No.

Actually, I prefer to pick out my own jewelry. I think sharing the picking out means she's more likely to wear it. Don't go to through the agony of buying her something that isn't quite what she had in mind.

P.S. The vintage pearls I've inherited were of worse quality than the new pearls I've bought. However, my relatives were cheap.
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I personally have never bought any vintage jewelry because I am wary of quality. It is often hard to tell from photos online.

However, I do love nice antique/vintage jewelry -- I own jewelry that has been in my family for generations (no pearls, sorry), and I am in love with them. BUT I hardly wear them, partly because they tend to look very dressy, and partly because I am always in fear of breaking or losing them, and they have such sentimental value.
I like vintage akoya because the nacre is thicker than modern akoya (unless you buy hanadama with measured and certified akoya thickness).

I bought this lovely Art Deco vintage triple golden akoya necklace from "one of our very own" on PG. He had it restrung before selling it:


with orange.jpg

BTW, I choose all my own pearls -- not my husband. It's best that way. We learned early on when he chose the ring setting for my engagement ring, and then I changed it!
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I love vintage jewelry, and would be very happy gifted with good quality new or vintage. If carefully chosen, vintage can bring a better quality for the price. I am very leery of buying online though, as it's difficult and risky to chance what you're getting without seeing in person. My own husband's "no risk" trick is to sneak into the local shop where I browse vintage, find out what I put on layaway, pay it off and gleefully present as "his idea" for the next occasion :)))
I'd prefer to receive new pearls as a gift (aside from inheritance, of course) but wouldn't turn down a quality vintage piece. My husband knows better than to try to pick out jewelry for me, though...

The upside of vintage, for me, is that you can sometimes find good deals. I nabbed 16" of graduated akoyas of indeterminate age a while ago for about a week's worth of Starbucks. They needed restringing and a clasp, but that was well worth it. Oh, and I'd go positively gaga for one of those hundred year old seed pearl/mother of pearl pieces...
Given a choice I prefer new jewelry rather than vintage. I like modern settings and uncluttered lines. And cultured pearls tend not to age well.

My husband doesn't choose my jewelry for me (nor anything else, really). We don't buy each other gifts of value-- only fun things. The more valuable things, we choose for ourselves, or else shop together.
I think I prefer vintage, but haven't really found any items that qualify. My grandmother did own a jewelry store, so I do have some interesting pieces but sadly, her pearls were worn and yellowed from years of perfume. I saw them years ago and thought they were ugly. If there was only a way to make them pretty again...

As far as gifts, I tend to purchase my own gifts. I hinted today to my hubby that since my birthday was coming up, I was going to be shopping for some pearls and will buy them if I find a good deal. His response? "What? Your birthday isn't for another two months!" I just replied it was better that I get them during a sale, to save money! :)
I'd rather pick out my own jewelry. I'd appreciate the romantic gesture if my husband surprised me with jewelry but chances are good whatever jewelry someone else picked out wouldn't be my first choice, so I'd hope he didn't spend a lot.

I'd rather have new pearls, unless they were akoyas or just a special piece I happened to find. As BAS said, the older akoyas tended to have thicker nacre. However, the other types of pearls seem greatly improved over what was available a couple of decades ago and styles change as well.

Oh wait, I think I misunderstood the question. If my husband bought me pearls, it wouldn't make any difference to me if they were vintage or new. I would appreciate the thought the same, either way.

I don't read big meaning into gifts, though. But I know a couple of women who really, really do hahaha (not sure about men, can't recall any like that right now). There's a good book about all that called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, if anyone is interested and hasn't heard of it. Sorry for off-topic. :)
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I like looking at all pearls, vintage and new!

Buying... ummm

My vintage pearls (nearly all 'dead' now) were inherited, I'd buy more if I could get exactly what I was looking for and I've seen some lovelies here on P-G.

I love the new pearls I have bought too, they are so different to my vintage ones.

I prefer to touch and feel what I buy and would hesitate to buy vintage on line, I was very brave and bought some new akoyas on line thanks to P-G and love them!

As for the husband... I wouldn't mind vintage or new but I would mind if he chose the wrong thing!!
We are not big on presents and long ago decided that we would choose our own but we do go together to choose!

Hope this helps your curiosity!