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Why You Shouldn’t Get Vintage Jewelry for Your Family

JewelMany of us go out of our way to find that perfect gift to give to the ones we love and care about the most. Unique collectible items can be found at boutiques, estate sales and thrift shops. They offer a wide variety of one of a kind vintage and antique jewelry, including items such as costume jewelry or fine silver and gold. According to Houston Gold Exchange, a company that has a large selection of loose diamonds for sale, vintage jewelry is the term used to describe an older piece that has been created in a different era. The term vintage is not as clearly defined in its meaning however. It implies that a piece of jewelry is over 50 years old, whereas estate jewelry implies that it’s been pre-owned. Vintage, estate and antique jewelry is normally associated with fine pieces of jewelry, unlike costume jewelry, which is typically not pure silver or gold. Often, the terms vintage, antique, estate and costume jewelry are used interchangeably.

Health Risks Associated With Vintage Jewelry

According to the Minnesota Department of health there are various household items, such as toys, dishes, hardware, furniture, and jewelry that are mead with lead. Lead can be transmitted in to the body from the breakdown of these items. Such ingestion can lead to lead poisoning.

The Effects of Lead Poisoning

Unfortunately, there are no real symptoms that indicate whether an individual has elevated levels of lead in their blood. According to Houston Gold Exchange (, only a blood test can detect if lead is present in the body or not. However, some of the effects of lead poisoning consist of a variety of areas, such as muscle and joint pain, high blood pressure, a shortened attention span, kidney damage, and memory problems such as the reduced ability to concentrate and delays in proper mental development. Other effects of lead poisoning consist of fertility problems and harm being caused to fetuses that are being developed.

How to Determine if Your Vintage Items Contains Lead

It may not always be readily apparent as to whether or not vintage jewelry actually contains lead. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, it’s far better to assume that all vintage jewelry contains lead to help avoid problems in the future.

Precautions to Take

As a precaution, there are things that you can do to further prevent possible lead poisoning, such as washing your hands after handling or working with vintage items. Avoid sanding or scraping items that may contain lead and, to control dust and debris, use water while handling vintage items. You may also consider sealing finished vintage jewelry to prevent the breakdown of the item. As an extra measure, and for experienced collectors, an x-ray machine may be advisable for further testing.

Before Selecting Your Final Gift…

As much as we enjoy giving the perfect gifts to our loved ones, you may want to consider thinking twice before giving your family member or that special someone a piece of vintage jewelry. Lead poisoning is a serious health risk, so before selecting your final gift, you may consider other choices that are available for family members or for the one you love.

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