Antique jewellery has been celebrating a great revival for some time now and this applies to rings as well as studs and earrings. The often splendid or very playful designs can also be found in many modern pieces of jewellery. 

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What is the difference between antique, retro and vintage?

Antique earrings are said to be really old, i.e. originals of their time. The decisive factor here is not the style, but the date of origin. The exact definition is not entirely clear. Usually, we speak of antique when the age is at least 100 years, although exceptions to this rule are permitted for somewhat younger epochs such as Art Deco.

Retro earrings are earrings or stud earrings that take up designs or elements from past, older styles or are inspired by them. These are modern pieces of old-style jewellery that combine antique designs with modern processing techniques. The result is particularly beautiful with diamond earrings, as modern cuts make the gemstones shine and sparkle even better than the old cuts.
Earrings with curved shape from BAUNAT  - Diamond earrings in curved design
Vintage earrings, according to the most widespread definition, date from the period between about 1920-1930 and into the 1980s. They are therefore also original pieces from this period. There are some overlaps with the term antique.

When talking about ear studs or earrings in vintage and antique style, what is actually meant is retro, new jewellery in an old design.

Which types of antique earrings and stud earrings are particularly popular?

Each style period has its own individual highlights, but clearly the most popular are the very playful designs of Art Nouveau with flowers, tendrils and leaves and the diverse forms of Art Deco. Both styles originate from the first half of the 20th century and are characterised above all by new approaches that break with the traditional designs of previous eras. Old, but still cutting-edge today.

Do you like eye-catching earrings? Then you should take a look at earrings from the Victorian period in England, which often consist of several elements in different shapes such as spheres or cones. For earrings that resemble a brooch, with gemstones in a cabochon cut in the centre, the Biedermeier period offers interesting choices.

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What are the characteristics of antique ear jewellery?

Antique earrings and stud earrings differ from modern jewellery primarily in the cut of the gemstones they contain and the alloy of the precious metal used.

The biggest problem with antique earrings is often that the exact composition of the alloy of the precious metal is unknown. Metals that are used rather cautiously or not at all today, such as nickel, were often used on a larger scale in the past. Contamination with heavy metals such as cadmium cannot be completely ruled out. Especially with old jewellery, undesirable skin reactions or allergies can therefore occur more often than with retro or vintage earrings. A new piece of jewellery in the old design is therefore the safer choice.
Earrings with curved shape from BAUNAT  - Diamond earrings in curved design
In addition: the cutting techniques for gemstones and diamonds have evolved over the last hundred years, and while old cuts are beautiful, they do not achieve the precision and brilliance of a modern cut.

Whether you opt for antique originals with history, vintage earrings or prefer new ear jewellery in retro design is a question of your own taste. No matter which choice you make, old styles have lost none of their beauty and fascination even today.
Are you interested in diamond stud earrings? Do you have any questions or would you like professional advice on your choice? The team of experts at BAUNAT is always at your disposal, get in touch.
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