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Vintage Necklaces, Pendants & Lockets

Antique & Vintage Pendant Necklaces

Antique and vintage pendant necklaces are wonderful pieces of jewellery. But what separates the two? We class antique pendants and necklaces as those that are 100 years or older. Sometimes there are hallmarks on the piece, other times age is an educated guess. Vintage pendant necklaces are those between 20 and 99 years old. Again there may be hallmarks, which are more common on younger pieces, or we may have to look at construction techniques and stone cuts to conclude the necklace's age. We love antique necklaces as they are often hugely symbolic and reflective of the social climate of the time. A great deal of information can be gleaned from the metal and gemstones used in antique pendants, along with their design. All of the vintage pendants and necklaces in our collection are delivered worldwide, free of charge and can be returned within 30 days.

Victorian Lockets & Pendants

Pendants were worn on gold chains, on strings of pearls or on velvet ribbons during the Victorian era. Archaeological finds around the world inspired jewellery design and ancient Etruscan themed pieces with corded wire and granulation became fashionable. Large lockets were a Victorian favourite and these were often gem-set, enamelled or engraved with monograms and other patterns. Mourning lockets were often decorated with enamel, onyx and pearls. Fringed necklaces, delicate thin gold wire necklaces, dog collars and sautoirs all became popular towards the end of the Victorian era, as Princess Alexandra (below) became a style icon and the Victorian began to shift towards the Edwardian. By the end of the Victorian period, small brooches that often doubled as pendants gained popularity, usually gem-set with pearls, diamonds and other stones.

Edwardian Pendant Necklaces

Dog collars remained an important features of a ladies' jewellery collection until the First World War, as did even wider pearl chokers. In addition, twisted ropes of tiny seed pearls were knotted at the bottom and worn as sautoirs. Around 1900 the lavalliere necklace appeared - this was a very simple chain necklace supporting a pear shaped pendant or drop pearl. A variation was the Edna May pendant which consisted of a simple collet set stone or cluster, suspended from a smaller stone by a simple link. The negligee pendant necklace was also a characteristic jewellery design of the Edwardian era, and consisted of two gem-set drops, usually of unequal length. Pendants of the early 1900s featured ribbons, bows, garlands of flowers, geometrical motifs and millegrain-set diamonds, while less expensive pendants were set with seed pearls, amethysts, turquoise and peridot.

Art Deco Pendant Necklaces & Pearls

The sautoir remained an important necklace and suited the flapper dresses that were fashionable in the 1920s. Deco sautoir necklaces were set with many different materials: diamonds, pearls, coral, semi-precious and hardstones. When it came to Art Deco pendants, elongated designs which swung with the body to the rhythm of 1920s dances were the height of fashion. Geometric patterns with diamonds and coloured stones were set in straight lines, chevrons, circles and zigzags along with Chinese, Indian and Egyptian motifs.

Vintage Pendants & Necklaces

Bold necklaces made of gold and set with colourful gems became popular during the mid-century to the 1970s, inspired by the glamorous neckwear of female protagonists in hollywood movies. And it is from this era that many gold plated pieces can can be found, set with pastes and other semi-precious stones, meaning show stopping jewellery was available across the price points and throughout society. In our opinion, retro and mid-century jewellery is some of the most beautiful ever made, and we love to source these fabulous vintage necklaces. While today the trend is very much for dainty jewellery and personalised pieces, the demand for quality antique and vintage pendants and necklace is high, with Victorian puffy heart pendants particularly popular, in addition to platinum Belle Epoque neck wear, opal pendant necklaces, delicate lavaliers and Victorian star and moon pendants, which also double as brooches and are often set with pearls and other colourful gemstones.