Vintage (costume) jewelry is a fun and cheap way to experiment with the fashion and glamour of past eras. Expect most of the pieces to be plastic, though this doesn’t mean they’re cheaply made. For example, plastics like bakelite are highly collectable, and rare pieces can cost a pretty penny.
If you find a piece you love but it’s missing a stone, don’t worry. First, make sure the seller is aware of the damage and charges you accordingly; then head to your local jeweler. “Often the stones are crystal or cut glass, which a jeweler has on hand. They can simply glue a new stone back in,” Courreges says.
And if you’re worried about the jewels staying in place, here’s a trick Courreges uses to inspect her own vintage pieces. “I take a sewing needle, stick it in the glue around the stone, and try to pop out any of the rhinestones. If they don’t pop out, it’s good to wear.”