Whether passed down through generations or scored at an antique shop, vintage jewellery has a special place in our wardrobes. The combination of timeless design, exceptional quality and the nostalgia factor makes these highly-sought-after pieces worth the chase. The demand for second-hand jewellery is also driving a wave of sustainable consumption in a sea of fast fashion.

100 WAYS


Photo courtesy of 100 Ways


All that glitters is gold for Vancouver-based 100 Ways. Charlie Pollock got into selling jewellery by doing the exact opposite: buying it. The shop originally began in 2008 to buy old gold jewellery, when Pollock realized that some pieces were simply too extraordinary to melt down. A curated selection of its best finds is sold online, and true to its name, it lists 100 new items every Friday. “We see thousands of pieces of jewellery every week, and every week there are pieces we’ve never seen before,” says Pollock. The shop’s mission is simple: Rescue them and give them a new home. Since it works directly with people selling their jewellery, 100 Ways is able to build a varied selection of pieces at fair prices. Highlights of the collection include antique art-deco pieces and vintage gemstone cuts as well as bespoke jewellery made with recycled gold and diamonds. But no matter which one catches the eye, it’s ultimately the history that adds the lustre. “I gifted a bracelet to my wife that had been inscribed with ‘From Tom to Rose with love,’” says Pollock. “I loved knowing it had been given to another partner in the past and we could continue its story.”



Photo courtesy of NoahNoahNoah


Noah Lehava’s foray into collecting began while she was working as a magazine editor in Toronto. In her pursuit, she developed so many connections that friends started to ask her to help them find jewellery. This prompted her to launch her Instagram shop; it took off and she decided to commit to building her creative outlet full time. “I get to spend my days searching for rare pieces—a total dream,” says Lehava. Now, you can find her curation of retro chunky gold from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s at Holt Renfrew. Her favourite part of the job? The hunt for unique pieces with a bit of quirk. While she tries to round out her offerings with staple pieces, like chains and chubby bands—“the LBD and white T-shirt of a jewellery collection”—it’s the more obscure jewels that catch her eye. She only buys pieces that she’d wear herself—think heavy gold and diamond rings, layers of rope chain and juicy gemstones. For Lehava, vintage jewellery is a product of true craftsmanship. “A lot of those skill sets and artistic techniques have sadly dwindled,” she says. “I love that you can find a piece that you’ve never seen before because there was only one of its kind ever made.”

St. Eloi


Photo courtesy of St.Eloi


Toronto-based gemologist Carly Braden fell in love with antique jewellery while she was in school learning the ins and outs of fabrication and design. She would leaf through auction catalogues and browse blogs, sketching out ideas for contemporary collections based on historical motifs and themes. Later, she realized that her true passion was selling authentic pieces rather than contemporary reproductions, and she began her shop in 2017. Her collection emphasizes well-crafted staples rather than fleeting trends. “I try to balance sourcing options at affordable prices with ensuring that they’re still beautifully built pieces,” says Braden. Along with an array of Victorian era jewels, her inventory—which, by the way, spans more than 150 years—always includes a vintage British 22-karat-gold band. Braden credits her education with providing the tools she needed to become a trustworthy and knowledgeable seller. “To me, an ideal piece is something whose design is meant to showcase the emotional power imbued in these sentimental treasures,” she says. “The nicks, scratches and patina show it was loved and worn and cherished over the years.”