It wasn’t always like this. People used to value artisanal products. Handmade products were respected. The costume jewellery of yesterday has become a byword for quality compared to the mass-produced products of today. Faux amber and bakelite has become valuable. The good news is that many people do not know that value of vintage jewellery.

If you want a chunky bead necklace to make a statement or an original beaded necklace to help you can stand out from the crowd then your choices are limited. The high-street chain or shopping centre is unlikely to help. That’s something we are trying to combat.

Help Finding Affordable Beads

We’ve received emails from people saying they love our necklaces but can’t afford our antique venetian glass beads or gemstone bead necklaces. Times are hard and we understand. We want to help. In due course we plan to introduce a range of jewellery using cheaper beads. But for now we want to stick to real quality. So we thought we’d write a guide:

Fake amber beads

Bead Hunting at a Fraction of the Cost.

Go to any high street chain and you will easily find a large bead necklace using imitation jade beads, art deco necklaces and faux precious stones. But who wants imitation? What if you value authenticity and quality? What if you have a limited budget? Or want a real jade bead necklace or silver bead necklace? If you’ve time on your hands there is another way.

Charity shops, flea-markets and Ebay can be great places to find that stone bead or that coral necklace. The one you’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.

If you’re patient you might find an authentic turquoise bead necklace. Or a venetian glass bead necklace at a fraction of its real value. A word of warning. You will have to sharpen your research skills, put on some comfortable walking shoes and take your time. No pain no gain! People these days are savvy, so finding a bargain isn’t as easy as it used to be.

You Will need to know your stuff

If you want to find a vintage glass bead necklace or gemstone necklace you will need to know what to look for. You will need to know what real turquoise looks like and understand how sterling silver tarnishes with age.

Fake coral beads

Thankfully the internet is a great place to do your research. There’s nothing you can’t learn from the net if you have time. Learn how spot the tell-tale signs of fire opal or a coral beaded necklace. If its a tribal beaded collar necklace you’re after take time to review museum and auction sites. After a while you will know what to look for. Once you’ve gemmed up on your area of interest it’s time to start your search.

Scour Ebay for misspelled or incorrect product descriptions. For example someone who knows what they are selling will label a necklace as “murano glass bead necklace”. They’ll be asking its real market value because they know their stuff. You might just recognise a turquoise necklace from its image when its labelled as blue glass. In contrast, you might just find a bargain when someone else labels the same item as a “floral glass bead necklace.”

Seeking the authentic in the age of “fake”.

You don’t always have to be the victim of badly labeled products. It’s true that many have bought a necklace labelled “silver tone” thinking they were buying sterling silver. Not long ago we saw a long beaded necklace in a charity shop labelled “black bead necklace long”. In fact it was a string of onyx beads. Take a look at our range of beaded necklaces. Think about our our black and white lamp bead necklace. If someone didn’t know what it was they might just call it a “black and white bead necklace”. Knowledge is power. Can you tell the difference between natural turquoise and dyed howlite?

So whether its an African beaded necklace you’re after, or a chunky necklace of natural coral beads, the trick is to brush up on your knowledge. Not everyone knows what an opal bead necklace looks like. Sometimes similar items made from different materials can be hard to distinguish.

Fake turquoise beadsEven the Victorians liked to pass off a blue glass necklace as blue turquoise. Blue glass beads might be common but vintage turquoise is not. So give it a bit of sleuthing, a lot of patience and more than a little leg work. It won’t be long before you find that opal necklace or bead collar bargain you’ve always wanted. Oh, and be prepared to do some traipsing around charity shops. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with.

Car boot sales are another place to pick up great items of vintage jewellery. Don’t make a bee-line for the well organised stalls at the front of the field. Those guys are likely to be traders. They will know their products and the value of what they are selling. Look instead for families looking to clear out their junk. Take time to rummage through trinket boxes and cardboard boxes. You will need to know what you’re looking for but if you do you’ll be sure to come up trumps.

Happy hunting! Please do get in touch if you think we can help. We like to help identify beads. Drop us an email.

And while you’re out bargain hunting we will work hard to introduce new and exciting necklaces for you. Who knows, we might even slip up from time to time and undervalue a treasure!