As far as household designer names go, it’s safe to say that Chanel sits somewhere close to the top. Though the brand is revered for its quilted handbags and storied ready-to-wear pieces, its jewelry is just as iconic, especially if you buy it secondhand. But before you go searching around the web for pieces to add to your closet, the key is knowing where to shop for vintage Chanel jewelry. In other words, which retailers will offer the best selection, competitive pricing, and can ensure authenticity, helping to weed out any fakes or well-crafted dupes.
Along with the rise of Instagram’s marketplace came a surge in virtual boutiques dedicated to solely selling vintage designer jewelry. Shops located all over the world are offering up their own assortment of pieces from powerhouse brands, which, even to the trained eye, can be a little overwhelming to process. If you’re not sure where to start, Charmia Elam, founder of vintage luxury e-boutique Mauve, suggests doing your research and then finding retailers that offer a disclaimer to ensure they’re legit. “On Mauve, we provide a statement that guarantees authenticity,” she explains to NYLON. “Look for a clause [online] or confirm with a seller that the item is an original. With vintage becoming ‘trendier,’ replicas have infiltrated the market so beware of dupes.”
Elam also notes that verbiage matter and points out that there are a lot of vintage sellers that are upcycling items, such as taking designer-item elements, like a button or bag embellishment and turning them into a pendant or earrings. As innovative and cool of a concept it may be, as Elam points out, it has its differences. “Repurposed [items] are also really huge; be familiar with this term because this is not considered a fully authentic Chanel piece,” she says.
For most retailers, including Elam’s Mauve, these authentic finds are almost always a guaranteed hit among their customers. As the retail (and in turn, secondhand) prices of Chanel bags continue to increase, the luxury brand’s jewelry offerings remain a feasible gateway for most shoppers to get their hands on something, anything, with the iconic fashion house’s name or logo on it.
If you ask the Atlanta-based savant, going the vintage route reigns supreme when it comes to Chanel, specifically due to its sheer exclusivity. She also offers a few tips and tricks that will help you properly identify the item’s era based on specific elements alone. “When sourcing, I look for fine details of the product,” Elam says of her general process, “[Pieces from the] 1970s onward are more consistently marked.” That may include the stamp, copyright, and any other registered symbols as instant signifiers. This comes especially handy when trying to prevent overpaying and pinpoint the overall value of the newest addition to your jewelry box.
For a well-curated list of shopping destinations to begin your search for the vintage Chanel jewelry find, continue ahead. We’ve cherry-picked a selection of retailers both big and small that are as reputable, reliable, and just low-key enough to ensure the offering isn’t picked over.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Garment Modern + Vintage
With almost 20K followers on Instagram and a wide selection of both newer and older jewelry finds, you’d be hard-pressed to find a boutique with an aesthetic quite like Garment Modern + Vintage. The cult shop sells everything from ready-to-wear to shoes, and its selection of jewelry falls right in line with its sophisticated, but not at all snobby, approach to vintage fashion. Based in Austin, Texas, it offers that big city inventory list but has more hidden gems than your local hometown boutique — and the competitive price tags to match.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: A Current Affair
If you live in a major city or keep up with the latest and greatest when it comes to fashion, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of A Current Affair’s traveling vintage trade show. With hundreds of boutiques (including Garment Modern + Vintage, listed above) coming together in one location twice, or more, a year to bring customers the best they have to offer, the retail destination rose to popularity quickly. While it's known for its pristine period pieces, A Current Affair has become one of the only places where you can shop such an expansive selection of archival fashion in one place.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Yuri’s Market
A celebrity favorite, Yuri’s Market has become the vintage destination for A-list names, including rapper Coi Leray and Kylie Jenner’s BFF Stassi Karanikolaou. So it makes sense that the Black-owned marketplace would be one of your go-to shops for all things vintage Chanel, as well. As an added bonus, founder Yuri Carter specializes in authentication, offering services to those who may need a more trained eye to ensure the validity of a vintage or secondhand find.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Mauve
Known for attracting what founder Elam likes to call “true fashion mavericks,” the Atlanta-based boutique has a small but mighty collection of items from designer brands, including Vivienne Westwood, Dior, and, of course Chanel. “Chanel is such an iconic brand, which I feel will always be a classic must-have for every closet,” she tells NYLON via email about her loyal customers. “We like to provide access to rare, eye-turning gems for those who shop with us.”
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Petunia Peacock Vintage
The uncovered gem of the bunch, Petunia Peacock Vintage, a boutique dedicated entirely to Chanel, has a close-knit but dedicated following of jewelry lovers looking to get their hands on some of Karl Lagerfeld’s most iconic jewelry designs. This is the place you go to when you’re looking for something of a particular era because it’s almost guaranteed that founder Lori Frances will be able to find it for you.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Farfetch
While you may know the luxury online retailer for its hot-off-the-runway buys and exclusive capsules, its selection of secondhand fashion is just as good. Placed under the “pre-owned” tab, the organized product page is a well-curated offering of secondhand and archival pieces from some of fashion’s most prestigious brands. This includes a quaint collection of vintage Chanel jewelry pieces that you can count on to be the best of the best. Each item is fairly priced and authenticated to ensure you don’t end up with a dud.
Where To Buy Vintage Chanel Jewelry: Tradesy
In a sea of secondhand luxury competitors, if you ask Tradesy founder and CEO Tracy DiNunzio what sets the e-commerce site apart from the bunch, her answer is simple: its expansive offering. “What makes Tradesy unique for buyers is our live marketplace of authenticated luxury fashion with millions of listings to shop every single day at up to 90 percent off of retail,” DiNunzio explains to NYLON. “Our inventory is constantly evolving and you’ll always find something new every time you visit.” Whether you want something a little more current or are on the hunt for a true vintage piece from the last few decades, Tradesy has you covered.