I’m always checking out modern high street costume jewellery, and to be honest I’m often not particularly impressed; a lot of it looks cheap, feels cheap, is cheap, and has little imagination to the design.
There are exceptions of course. ‘Next’ have some lovely, good quality jewellery, as does BHS. But for me, one of the best is Marks and Spencer – even if you don’t like the clothes, the jewellery is well worth checking out.
Being a vintage jewellery lover, I spend a lot of my time rummaging through boxes of used jewellery from auctions and second hand shops. And you can always tell an M and S piece straight away, due to the high quality of design and workmanship. M and S rhinestones and pastes are nearly always made from heavy glass and securely prong set, which for me is one of the most important things a good jewellery design should have. Plastic rhinestones look so cheap, and don’t last. Glass rhinestones sparkle beautifully and will last for many years, and prong settings mean the stones won’t fall out.
I often wonder what will be the vintage jewellery collectables of the future. Marks and Spencer jewellery certainly ticks all the right boxes. Who knows? I wish I had a crystal ball!