Tips for Buying Vintage Jewellery on eBay

Buying Vintage Jewellery on eBay

Whether you’re new to the field of mens vintage jewellery or an experienced collector, you’ll find eBay to be one of the best resources to build your collection.

It can also be the worst.

The fact is, at any given time there are between 45,000 and 75,000 pieces of “vintage” jewellery typically listed on eBay…and that’s not even counting all the individual items listed in “lots”.

That said, eBay is where you will find most items of mens vintage jewellery.

The definition of “vintage” can be rather loose too.

In simple terms:

  • an item over 20 years old is “vintage”
  • an item over 100 years old is “antique”

Anything newer can be described as contemporary.

The most commonly collected and desirable dates of manufacture among vintage jewelry collectors as a group, by far, are those between 1940 and 1970.

The 1940s are when jewellery makers started to bring “fun” into their designs.

Following are some things it took me a while to learn…the good and the bad. And note that these tips apply to other selling platforms too, not just eBay.


  1. Beware of fuzzy or partial photographs!
    Never buy an item displayed in a fuzzy or partial photograph. A reputable seller will not only provide clear pictures, but more than one view, particularly front and back when appropriate. No matter how glorious you think that glittering piece might be if you could only see it clearly…when you receive it, you’re likely to be very disappointed.
  2. Check the returns policy.
    Avoid sellers with no clear return policy. There’s a reason they don’t allow returns: it’s usually because they expect them. And it could be a sign that it will be difficult if you have a problem.
  3. Check feedback from other customers.
    Always check feedback prior to bidding. In a collecting field as open to misinterpretation, misrepresentation and possible forgery as vintage jewellery, it pays to deal with sellers who have rightly earned a stellar reputation.


  • Visual clues about age
    • Copyright symbols appear on jewellery made from about 1955 on, not before.
    • Unless it has been kept in its original felt-lined box,  authentic vintage/antique cufflinks, tie clasps, etc. should show signs of wear.
  • Search Effectively
    • Don’t confine yourself to signed pieces.
    • Although glorious and lovely,  designer pieces are not the only desirable items out there. Some of my favorite treasures are unsigned by someone wonderful.
    • Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Victorian are styles as well as Eras.
      Something might be “art deco style” but not “art deco age”.
    • Be comfortable that you’re not buying a modern reproduction of a period style. Signs of wear are a good indication of age.
  • Make sure you bid!
    • Don’t be afraid to buy monogrammed pieces. If the initials aren’t yours, just say it belonged to your Grandpa. No one will know.
    • If you see something you like, and you’re comfortable with the seller… then bid.
    • You don’t want to be the person emailing the next day, asking if we have another piece like the one we just sold. I wish with all my heart that we would, but we won’t.
    • There’s a finite supply of wonderful mens vintage jewellery out there, and any seller with more than one unusual, identical vintage piece is either extremely fortunate, or selling reproduction jewellery.

Enjoy the journey!

Collecting Mens Vintage Jewellery is the coolest hobby in the world!

You can wear your vintage cufflinks, tie clasps, etc. to work every day and dazzle at the office.

You can build your outfit around a fabulous piece of vintage jewellery that is uniquely “you”, and it feels wonderful!

Enjoy your journey collecting Mens Vintage Jewellery – an exciting and rewarding journey.


Tips for Buying Mens Vintage Jewellery


See also:
Wizard Cuff Holder 1889
The Ancient Art of Japanese Damascene
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