Vintage, Antique, or Collectible? Learning the Difference


There are many different ways to decorate your Liv Northgate apartment here in Gilbert, AZ, including going with a vintage theme in one room or the whole apartment. But just what is vintage, or antique, or retro, for that matter? What about collectibles? Today our blog post is focused on learning some basics about these terms. Next time we’ll share some places you can shop to find the perfect piece to add to your apartment decor or give as a gift.


Some Definitions

  • Antiques are items that are at least 100 years old. (For cars it’s 25 years old.)

  • Vintage refers to items that are at least 20 years old.

  • Collectibles are popular items that people like to collect. They may or may not be vintage or antique, but they often are.

  • Retro is something (particularly clothes) that looks out of style for the current time period.

  • Provenance is the written history or proof of a piece’s authenticity, and it is most often found with more expensive items. It is a paper trail for an antique and may include purchase receipts, marketing materials, documents from auctions houses, and even photographs of the piece that establish or prove its history.


On Value

A general concept in the antique community regarding value is summed up with this adage: A piece is worth as much as you’re willing to pay for it. This concept encompasses the idea that following your heart when it comes to shopping for antiques is okay — just be sure to balance the desires of your heart with your budget.



When it comes to antiques, always get a receipt, even for a cash purchase. The receipt should include the age of the item, the material it’s made from, any damage or restoration, its value, and the price you paid. Be sure to find out the return policy of the shop or vendor in case you need to return an item, and if the item is a gift, find out if a gift receipt is available.


Next time, we’ll share some places you can find antiques, vintage and retro items, and collectibles in the Gilbert, AZ area. Thanks for reading today’s post! We hope you found it informative.

Liv Northgate Blog, Gilbert, AZ  Learn the difference between antiques, vintage items, retro items, and collectibles in our blog post today!