Antique vs. Vintage: Do you know the difference?

Unless you have an interest in vintage or antique items, you can be forgiven for confusing the two terms. Many people who don't know very much about antiques are guilty of using the two terms interchangeably, when they are in actual fact two very different things.

Over recent years vintage style clothing has become hip and fashionable. Many brand new clothes and jewellery items are being made to look like they are vintage and more people are going to charity shops and vintage clothes shops to try to nab themselves a stylish bargain. Old has become new again and people are becoming increasingly appreciative of genuine vintage and antique pieces of clothing and jewellery.

But do you know the difference between vintage and antique? And when does an item stop being vintage and become antique?


With so many new items being fashioned on older items its important to be extra observant and check that an item is genuinely old and not just in the style of.

The word vintage was originally used for describing the age of a bottle of wine, but the term soon became more widely used.

The exact definition of how old an item must be before it can be genuinely called vintage is still a little hazy. For the majority of experts an item must be at least 50 years old before it can be called vintage, but others argue that an item can be called vintage after just 20 years.


Although there is no rule written in stone, it is generally agreed that in order to be a genuine antique, an item must be at least 100 years old.

If an item has survived over 100 years to become an antique you will usually find that it has been skilfully crafted to a high level of workmanship. Antiques are not only beautiful and interesting, if theyre in good condition that can also be worth a lot of money.