Dating victirian hardware
This is especially important when the jewelry has no hallmarks or maker’s marks.NOTE: This is the final article in my four-part series on how to identify and date vintage jewelry.Foldover clasps were used on both bracelets and necklaces.These could be either narrow or wide, depending on the width of the pieces.The S-hook clasp is a variation on the hook, with a rounded, S shape.Barrel clasps were quite popular, and are still used today, so it’s important to note the age of the clasp.Vintage jewelry hardware refers to the various types of clasps, pins, earring backs, rings, and other elements used to create jewelry.These are also called “findings.” Techniques and elements have evolved over time, so knowing the types of hardware used during various eras will help you to properly date your vintage and antique jewelry.
The earliest type of brooch clasp is a simple hook, also known as the C-clasp, since the hook is shaped like the letter “C.” It was used well into the 1930s.
Hinged, or “leverback” ear wires have been in use since the 1880s, and are still quite popular today.
Up until the 1890s all earrings were made for pierced ears.
The hook and box clasp (also called “fish hook” clasp) was commonly used on pearl necklaces or necklaces with gemstone beads.
Often oval shaped, the long hook was inserted and locked into place.