The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Hermes Jewelry

Looking to buy authentic vintage Hermes jewelry? Here’s all that you need to know!

By Diane Small

Hermes is a name synonymous with luxury, quality, and style. Although the brand is best known for its iconic leather handbags, their exquisite jewelry is noteworthy as well. Royalty, celebrities, and socialites worldwide cherish their Hermès jewelry, and vintage pieces are increasingly commanding attention.

We think that’s a great thing, because the most sustainable way to shop anything is, of course, pre-loved. And since purchasing certain vintage Hermes bags has been proven to be a better investment than most stocks, who’s to say the same won’t be true for their vintage jewelry pieces, too?

But before you buy any pre-loved designer items, you need to know what to look for. How to tell it’s authentic. How to know which pieces are most sought after, and most valuable.

Here below, our ultimate guide to vintage Hermes jewelry will explain it all.

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The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Hermes Jewelry

The Craftsmanship and Legacy of Hermès Jewelry

The mighty Hermes fashion house began in 1837, making custom saddles, harnesses, and tack for the French aristocracy. From this equestrian foundation and a commitment to excellence, the family business grew to provide luxury fashion and fine jewelry design for its clientele. 

The brand’s evolution into jewelry was an exciting change, but Hermes remained faithful to its heritage by introducing pieces that were both modern and timeless.

For example, they played with their heritage in their first ever bracelet, the Filet de Selle. The leather strap and silver bit were clearly a nod to the maison’s origins as providers of saddles. 

Hermès designers continue to discover and celebrate unexpected beauty in purely functional items. 

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The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Hermes Jewelry

Why Buy Vintage Hermes Jewelry

Hermes jewelry is renowned for its vibrant energy and understated elegance. It balances classical tradition with contemporary design. Every piece carries an element of whimsy, resulting in a fresh, joyful appeal that is both distinctive and versatile. Clean lines, geometric shapes, and high-quality materials like gold, silver, and precious stones define each piece. 

Vintage Hermès jewelry always looks chic, and makes for excellent heirloom pieces. Younger collectors can marry their love of fashion with sustainability by embracing the beauty of vintage jewelry. 

An equestrian motif appears throughout vintage and contemporary Hermès jewelry. This is an homage to the design house’s storied history as the premier saddler to French nobility. The subtle inclusion of miniature stirrups, chains, horse bits, and tack details conveys a sense of playful sophistication. It is both a nod to the aristocracy, and a refusal to take itself too seriously. This combination has proven irresistible to women around the world.

But as stylish as these accessories are, there’s another advantage to buying them. Namely, a growing demand on the resale market. This can make buying vintage Hermes jewelry a highly profitable investment. 

The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Hermes Jewelry

The Best Pre-loved Hermes Jewelry To Invest In

When investing in vintage Hermès jewelry, first look for the styles and designs that speak to you. Indulge in what you love that resonates with your personality and style, and you’ll select pieces you’ll treasure and enjoy wearing for a lifetime.

But if you’re hoping to maximize resale value, look for unique, rare pieces.

For example, Hermes has invited extraordinary designers, such as Pierre Hardy and visual artist Jean Cocteau, to infuse Hermes jewelry with their personal flair. 

Some were bold, extravagant displays, like Hardy’s playful Haute Bijouterie collection, the Enchaînements Libres collection, and Cocteau’s Mistigri Brooch. Other pieces, like Cocteau’s “Eye of Cleopatra” magnifying glass or the elegant Collier de Chien bracelet, are more subtle, though with plenty of character.

These unique, original pieces will always grow in value for their artistry, history and rarity.

Modern Classics

There are some vintage Hermes jewelry pieces that have become highly popular with influencers and celebrities alike. For example, the Collier de Chien bracelet.

This style was originally released in 1923 as a custom dog collar for a client’s bulldog! But it became an instant sensation when it was re-released as a women’s belt in 1927, then again as a bracelet in 1949. Today, it is one of the most sought after vintage Hermes accessories. It features Medor pyramid studs in smooth gold, or encrusted with diamonds. Today, it’s more associated with punk than with bulldogs, though!

The Chaine d’Ancre bracelet by Robert Dumans, is another popular design. Dumans was inspired by ship anchor chains for his creation, and it is still one of Hermes’ most popular styles. The Chaine d’Ancre jewelry ranges from simple to highly ornate, and some even channel punk inspiration in the reinterpretation of the anchor motif. 

Many women also look for the elegant Kelly line. This features the iconic twist clasp, lock,  straps, and other details from the legendary Kelly bag. Many sparkle with diamonds, and all have clean lines and a modern flair.

In short, the most sought after vintage Hermes jewelry items are:
  • Collier de Chien Bracelet
  • Enamel and Clic Clac H Bracelet
  • Chaine d’Ancre Bracelet or Ring
  • Kelly Lock Bracelet
  • Chaîne d’Ancre Enchaînée Ring
  • Galop Hermès Ring
  • Hermès Clipper Watch
  • Filet de selle Bracelet
  • Stirrup and Spur Clip Brooch
  • Au Galop Bangle

How to Spot Genuine Vintage Hermes Jewelry

As with Hermes bags,when investing in vintage Hermes jewelry, authenticity is critical. While the jewelry is not counterfeited nearly as much as the handbags, it remains an issue savvy buyers must navigate.

Keep the following in mind when considering an Hermès jewelry purchase:
  • All Hermes jewelry uses the finest quality materials, including gold, silver, titanium, leather, and gemstones.
  • Hermes bracelets and bangles have a natural oval shape. Counterfeits are round.
  • The Collier de Chien bracelets all use animal leather. The stitching is always meticulously perfect and evenly spaced.
  • All hardware is firmly attached to leather straps or cuffs.
  • All O rings are perfectly round and smooth, with no seams.
  • The ‘Hermès’ stamp always has a grave accent ( ` ) over the second ‘e’ in the name. (Note: we didn’t put the accent in ‘Hermes’ in this article because we have had some complaints from readers that accents produce an error on their screens).
  • Every piece of authentic Hermès jewelry bears a date stamp. Between 1946 and 2015, a single letter denoted the year of manufacture. Specifically: 1946-1970: Shows a single capital letter. 1971-1996: Shows a single capital letter inside a circle. 1997-2015: Shows single capital letter inside a square
  • Additionally, enamel jewelry made before 2010 will have “Made in Austria” printed inside.

If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an Hermes piece, you can always bring it to a Hermes outlet to have one of their staff verify it.


Vintage Hermès jewelry is not just an investment in unparalleled craftsmanship and timeless design. It’s a statement of sophisticated taste and an appreciation for luxury with a story behind it. As you curate your collection, remember that each piece carries the heritage of a brand that has defined luxury for over a century. Be sure to authenticate your investment, and of course, enjoy it for decades to come!

Diane Small

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