How to mix new and vintage jewelry

Adding some vintage jewelry to your collection can no doubt offer you a lot of expanded style opportunities. Still, sporting only antique jewels can sometimes look dated.

Mixing antique baubles with new ones from fine jewelers makes for a truly eye-catching look. However, there's an art to combining jewels from different eras. To get a cohesive, chic effect with your jewelry combinations, consider these tips:

Look for quality
When you're shopping for antique accessories, it's crucial to take a look at the condition they're in. While it's natural for these pieces to show some delicate wear and tear, a missing or cracked stone can make even your newest baubles look cheap. Take the time to examine the setting and the gems to make sure there aren't any major flaws.

Make the metals agree
More and more people are mixing metals when it comes to their jewelry, but this doesn't work as well when you're combining vintage and contemporary pieces. While wearing all new baubles with different metals can result in an eccentric and intriguing effect, you'll need to stick to the same metal when sporting some from different eras. By donning all silver, gold or rosegold pieces, you'll look more put-together.

Save one for the spotlight
Whenever you're rocking a variety of jewelry that's both vintage and new, you'll need to select one item that's the star of the show. You might decide that you want an antique garnet-studded gold statement necklace to be the main attraction. In that case, complement the piece with simple gold metallic studs or a fashion-forward cuff in the same hue. Or, if you choose jaw-dropping vintage silver chandeliers, you might pair them with a sleek stack of rings in the same metal.

Add a surprising twist
The best way to mix baubles from different time periods is to provide a whole new spin on the stylish qualities of each. For example, your grandmother's pearl earrings from the '50s have a timeless elegance. While matching them with a pearl necklace and bracelet would result in a conservative look, you can give those same earrings an unexpectedly edgy effect by pairing them with a chunky gold chain-link necklace that's accented with a few smaller pearls, or by layering on a few leather wrap bracelets.

Stick to the same era
If you're daring enough to don more than one vintage piece with your modern jewelry, it's best to make sure they're all from the same time period to ensure a cohesive look. So if you're sporting a flapper-worthy long string of pearls, consider a cocktail ring with a '20s art deco design. Or combine a '70s amber pendant necklace with a stack of gold bangles and wooden beads for an updated bohemian vibe.

Play it safe with a watch
An antique watch is a perfect way to try out this trend. As long as the timepiece isn't overly ornate with colorful stones or glitzy details, it will likely pair well with any contemporary baubles your heart desires. Just remember that the metal should tie into whatever jewels you're rocking, and also keep in mind the one-statement-piece-at-a-time rule. If your watch is an especially bold shape or striking size, keep the rest of your baubles simple and understated.

Have fun
Most importantly, play around with different looks by mixing and matching different pieces – you might be surprised by what jewels complement one another! Many modern jewelers are drawing inspiration from vintage designs, making it much easier to achieve a consistent look that blends the best of both old and new trends seamlessly.