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What is the difference between Antique, Vintage, and Collectible items?

The joys of aging. An item’s value is based on many factors, and age is definitely one of them. Terms like “vintage” and “antique” do more than just make old stuff sound fancy. When used correctly, words like these can quickly and easily communicate an item’s history and context. Understanding this kind of terminology means that you can speak confidently about the items that interest you.



Objects that are considered "antique" were crafted at least 100 years ago. The century rule allows a new batch of items to become antique each year. You might think of 1930’s fashion pieces as relics, but they aren’t antiques yet. Learn to identify each era or period to spot authentic antiques.

Antiques are rare and costly because they’re far removed from their place in history. You can find antiques at antique shops, shows or malls, and sometimes flea markets, auctions, and estate sales.


"Vintage" is a term originally used to mark the year or "vintage" of wine. Throughout the years, the word has been adopted by the jewelry world and is now applied to items around 25 years old that are making their way back into modern fashion.

While some "vintage" or collectible items look as though they could fall within the antiques category, it is best to seek an expert opinion and appraisal to confirm the true date of production and determine which side of the line the items fall.


"Collectible" is used loosely to describe an object that is fewer than 100 years old, and is also in demand, and therefore of value. At times, buyers confuse a collectible for that of an antique, as the latter may have been produced close to the cutoff in being considered a part of the antique family.


Invest in items that you find valuable and worthwhile. Whether you’re a collector or a caretaker of family heirlooms, figure out the difference and significance of aging items to inform your buying and selling.

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