How Important is Vintage Designer Authentication?

The market for designer handbags has always been hot. Because of the high level of desirability of these bags, many people are buying like-new vintage designer bags instead. One of the biggest problems the collector is facing is the influx of counterfeit bags in the market. Unfortunately, many of these counterfeit bags are hard to differentiate from the real thing. Only someone who is an expert on each brand’s serial numbers, stampings, stitching, and construction can always spot the differences.

Many people are turning to online shopping to find their dream handbags. But unfortunately, counterfeits are difficult to differentiate through online shopping. Online resellers don’t necessarily know that they have counterfeit items on their hands. Many are amateur bag owners, or people who don’t know how to identify an authentic bag, meaning that they may think their bag is real, simply because they don’t know better. Additionally, there may be resellers online who knowingly sell counterfeit bags, and usually at a massive discount. When buying online, or in person, if the bag’s price seems too good to be true, it likely is!

Verifying a Vintage Designer Handbag

One of the easiest ways to mitigate these risks is simple: shop in person. But make sure that the store where you shop is knowledgeable about handbags. Many secondhand goods dealers are not experts on all designer handbag brands. They may inadvertently be selling counterfeits that they believe are real.

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in San Diego has been selling only genuine, authenticated vintage designer handbags for decades. Our in-house experts know exactly what details to look for and have access to authentication databases that most people don’t. All vintage handbags available in our showroom are guaranteed to be 100% authentic! Most bags are in like-new condition, so only you will know that you bought secondhand. Additionally, because you’re buying vintage, the bags cost much less than brand new.

Buying from local family-owned stores supports small businesses and allows you to be confident in your purchases. Removing the middleman, the shipping, and the counterfeit potential, is preferred over online shopping. And it’s easier to visit local businesses that offer authentication services.

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers has experts on staff who specialize in handbag and designer vintage authentication. By purchasing from our showroom, you’ll save money on your dream bags without worrying about counterfeits, price gouging, and shady selling practices.

Our selection of vintage handbags made by Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, and many more designers changes all the time. If you’re looking for a specific bag, our team will consult our worldwide connections to find it, so you don’t have to navigate the market.

Whenever you are in the market for a like-new vintage designer handbag, visit our showroom. We also accept your like-new designer handbags on consignment so you can get money for something that’s just sitting in your closet! Visit us Tuesday – Friday from 11am-6pm, or Saturday from 11am-5pm.

5 Gifts for the Special Man in Your Life

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! It’s time to share the joy of the season with loved ones and take part in your favorite holiday traditions. With only a few weeks left to find the best gifts, you may be feeling slightly stressed out. In addition to shopping for family and friends, you’re probably feeling the pressure to find something perfect for your special someone. But no need to sweat it, we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Christmas gifts for him that he’d be thrilled to find under the tree!

Men's Tissot in stainless steel with a black dial and brown leather strap.

New Men's Tissot Watch

Searching for a sleek gift to surprise your man? A Tissot watch like this one is the epitome of style with a black dial, stainless steel case, brown leather strap, and sleek silver markers, you can be sure that he’ll always be on time!

Vintage Louis Vuitton Laptop Bag

Before traveling home for the holidays, surprise your sweetheart with a Louis Vuitton laptop bag! The must-have travel accessory is lightweight and luxurious, so he can travel with style and ease. Constructed of brown leather, this piece of luggage has an ultra-masculine look and feel.

Yellow gold Tiffany & Co. square cufflinks set with ruby centers.

Vintage Tiffany & Co. Cufflinks

If your man enjoys luxurious accessories, these Tiffany & Co. cufflinks are a great add-on to any outfit. Cufflinks make the perfect gift that he can wear for a lifetime, and even pass on to his own children. Each time he wears them, he’ll be reminded of your thoughtful gift giving.

Vintage Gucci men's wallet with red and green stripes & "GG" monogram print.

Vintage Gucci Wallet

Is your stylish stud a sucker for designer gifts? Then he’ll love to unwrap this vintage Gucci wallet for Christmas! Boasting Gucci’s iconic red and greens stitched stripes, a gold stitched bee, and “GG” monogram pattern, this wallet oozes style and sophistication. Whether he’s rocking his best business suit, or sweatpants and a tee, this is one accessory he can carry with confidence!

Men's Rolex Submariner "Hulk" in stainless steel with a matching green dial & bezel.

Pre-Owned Rolex Submariner "Hulk"

Looking to splurge on your man this holiday season? Spoil him with a gift he’ll never expect like this pre-owned Rolex Submariner with a unique green bezel and dial. This pricey timepiece is well worth the money, and the watch of choice for many world travelers. With a durable stainless steel construction, Oyster bracelet, and green bezel and dial, this watch has earned its superhero inspired name, the “Hulk.”

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Find these Christmas gifts and many more for the special someone in your life today at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers! We have a vast selection including vintage designer jewelry & handbags, new watches, pre-owned watches, engagement rings, vintage jewelry, lab-grown diamond jewelry, Hearts On Fire, and more.

3 Vintage Designer Handbags You Have to Have

Orange and Red Chanel Handbags

Every woman knows the difference a quality handbag can make. From the normal wear and tear of daily use, to treating handbags like our own portable junk drawer. Our bags definitely take quite the beating. Often, handbags are chosen based on their appearance – and that’s totally fine! We all need at least one bag we truly love that easily fits with any outfit or occasion. But have you ever considered the long-term benefits of purchasing designer handbags?

Now you might be thinking that a price of upwards of thousands of dollars is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a purse. Trust me, it’s not an uncommon point of view, however, we’re here to change your mind and help you realize why investing in a luxury handbag is worth your hard-earned money.

As we just mentioned, it’s important to purchase a style of handbag that you truly adore. But you should also consider the quality of the material used, the size of the bag, and the resale value in case you ever find yourself looking to sell or upgrade.

Considered the “holy trinity” of luxury handbags, Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton are the top three brands to purchase for investment purposes.

Chanel Classic Flap Bag

If you’re a fan of luxury handbags then you’ve probably heard of the Chanel 2.55 bag, the brand’s most successful and iconic handbag. Well, if you adore the 2.55, you’re sure to love its more contemporary sister, the Chanel Classic Flap Bag. The Classic Flap is very similar to the 2.55 with just a few modern upgrades. The clasp features interlocking C’s, and the strap includes interwoven chain and leather. The bag is available in four different sizes – small, medium-large, jumbo, and maxi – to allow you to decide what best meets your needs. It’s also available in a variety of different colors, allowing you to choose a subtle black or a pop of color for your arm candy.

Another popular investment-worthy Chanel handbag is the Chanel Boy Bag. Introduced in 2011, the Boy Bag has already become as popular and valuable as the Classic Flaps. The resale value of both bags retains or increases depending on leather, hardware, and demand. These babies have consistently remained in high demand, so you should expect to recoup more than 50% of the retail price.

Hermes Kelly Bag

Investing in a Hermes handbag is a very smart decision because of their rareness. Hermes only produces limited quantities of each handbag, creating an exceptional level of scarcity and exclusivity. So what does this mean for you? Whether you purchase the renowned Birkin bag or the refined Kelly bag, you should expect to see more than 90% of the retail value as resale prices only continue to increase.

Now, let’s talk style. Both the Birkin and the Kelly bag have a very chic look about them. Hermes only uses the best of the best when it comes to leather and hardware – you’ll be able to see and feel the quality of your bag even after you’ve owned it for a few years. They are also the ultimate status symbol. If you’re looking for a bag that shows the world you know fashion and you know it well, Hermes will always come in clutch!

Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM Tote

Louis Vuitton is one the most popular designer brand names out there. And with the quality of their product, there is no reason to wonder why. They fully test all their handbags for durability before putting them on the market, so you know the Neverfull will last you a lifetime. It’s also one of their most successful handbags, which increases its already-high demand.

The name of this bag truly says it all. With all the room you have to pack in your necessities, it’s almost like it never ends. This is the perfect bag for day-to-day use, and it can easily transition into an overnight bag since there is so much space. Another bonus? This gorgeous tote typically retains 85% of its resale value. And if it’s a limited-edition bag, the resale value can double! The initial expense might make you hesitant, but the payoff in the future is worth the investment.

If you’re in the market for a designer purse, head over to Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Not only will you find some of the most popular vintage handbags from Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton, but there are so many other options to choose from! All handbags in our showroom are vintage, meaning shopping is more affordable for you and sustainable for the environment. Find authentic brand name vintage handbags for less than full retail price…it’s luxury handbag heaven!

And don’t forget – we’re always looking for new inventory to fill our store. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, consign your designer clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories to Leo’s and you’ll receive cash or store credit the minute it sells!

Father’s Day Gifts at Leo Hamel’s

Pre-owned men's Rolex, sterling silver cufflinks, sterling silver gemstone ring, and yellow gold open link chain on marble background.

Father’s Day is right around the corner! If you’ve slacked on getting your Dad the best gift to show your love and appreciation, hurry to Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers! Whether you’re shopping for your Dad, Grandpa, brother, or anyone else, you’re sure to find something special for all the important men in your life. Below are our top choices for 2023 Father’s Day gift ideas but be sure to stop by our San Diego jewelry store to see the wide assortment of other items we have to offer!

Every man deserves a classy watch, especially the man that raised you. After all the love and support he’s given you, it’s only right to show how much you appreciate him with such a grand gesture. And if your Dad doesn’t already own a luxury watch, it will make this Father’s Day gift much more special.

So, what’s your father’s style like? If he’s more modern, opt for a contemporary watch with a classic appeal. If he’s more old school, aim for something vintage and timeless.

Does your Dad already have a nice collection of watches? Then why not get him a Father’s Day gift that will always come in handy? Maybe you’ve never even thought about where your Dad stores all of his watches, but we’re betting it’s not the safest place. This Father’s Day, get Dad a Wolf watch case so he never has to worry about damaging his watches when they aren’t being worn.

Is your Dad an automatic watch lover? Go one step further and get him a Wolf watch winder that will keep all of his watches running while they’re not being worn! He’ll totally appreciate not having to reset the date and time on his watches every time he wants to wear one, trust us.

Cufflinks always make an exceptional Father’s Day gift. Whether your Dad wears suits often or not, he’ll always think of you whenever he puts them on. And cufflinks are just so classy! Depending on his style and favorite hobbies, we have a wide variety of unique and designer cufflinks.

You’d be surprised how many big-name designer brands have entire lines of designs tailored to men. Big names like John Hardy, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Gucci and more all have unisex and men’s lines of interesting and unique designs. A vintage designer bracelet, ring or accessory can be a highly personal gift and show that you pay attention to his individual style more than he might realize.

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th, and although we are CLOSED on Father’s Day, we are OPEN on Saturday June 17th from 11am to 5pm for your shopping needs. Free gift wrap included with every purchase! Please visit our showroom sooner rather than later to get your shopping done before time runs out! If you know what you want, or even more so if you don’t, give us a call at 619-299-1500, or visit us so our skilled team can help you find the perfect gift for any Dad this year!

Make the Most of Your Outfit with Accessories

Vintage Chanel sunglasses, Louis Vuitton scarf, and jewelry clutch on pink velvet background.

Accessories provide interest to your outfit. Without them, you run the risk of getting bored with your wardrobe, and your outfits looking bland since they’re always the same. They extend the life of your clothes and familiar ensembles. With a change of accessories, an outfit you were so familiar with can have a new lease on life and a new place in your wardrobe.

They create interesting details where clothes are simple or plain. They add personality to your look and give you an opportunity to express your unique personal style. Accessories also add versatility. With a change in accessories, you can wear the same ensemble over and over, but it looks and feels different with different accessories.

5 Types of Accessories

Shoes: Unlike other accessories, you’ll most likely need to wear shoes every day. Although it’s important to have a few neutral footwear options in your capsule collection, statement footwear can elevate your look. Look for shoes that are fun and comfortable – or else you’ll never wear them. However, splurging on designer stiletto heels that you can wear for a couple of hours to a cocktail party is never wrong.

Jewelry: Whether your jewelry box currently contains one fine watch or a host of bangles, statement necklaces, chandelier earrings, and chokers, you probably turn to jewelry when you’re looking to add a little sparkle to your look. If you’re new to jewelry, you might start with a subtle piece of jewelry like diamond studs, hoop earrings, or a pendant necklace – classic pieces that will work with almost anything.

Hair Accessories: Hair accessories offer an easy way to show off your personal style. Look at your current hair accessories and see if there’s room for an upgrade. Can you swap a plain hair tie for a silk scrunchie? A plain clip for a colorful one?

Handbags: Different bags – from totes to clutches – are appropriate for different occasions. If you have handbags in varied styles and colors, you’ll always have a unique accessory. Designer handbags from Gucci, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel upgrade any outfit’s style quotient. And buying vintage mint condition bags can make high-end more affordable.

Belts: Belts aren’t just for function; they’re for fashion, too. Whether you choose a narrow or wide belt, a simple belt or one with embellishments, defining your waistline with a belt is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look more polished.

5 Tips for Choosing Accessories

Choose a signature accessory. If you feel overwhelmed by accessory options, choose just one statement piece that makes you feel great and that you can wear with multiple outfits. When you’re ready to add more accessories, create balance by choosing one piece to dominate your look in terms of size or color, then layer on more subtle accessories.

Think about colors and patterns. Accessories are a great way to add a pop of color to a simple outfit. Bright colors and animal prints can be difficult to work into your wardrobe, but vibrant, fun accessories like shoes, a belt, or a scarf can elevate your look.

Use accessories to transform an outfit. Accessories are an easy way to take an outfit from the office to dinner with friends. A classic little black dress looks work-appropriate when paired with a blazer and flats. Ditch the blazer, swap the flats for stilettos, and add a pair of diamond earrings or a bright gemstone cocktail ring, and you’re ready for a night out. Have a few go-to accessories in mind for those moments when you’re not able to make a full outfit change.

Look for accessories that express your personality. Love bees? Gucci bee earrings will be an attention-grabbing addition. Is your dog everything to you? Look for a cute diamond dog bone pendant by Tiffany & Co. Serious about the sea? Seashell earrings or a starfish ring from Denny Wong is a must.

You can’t go wrong with jewelry by famous designers. Explore different designers to find one that vibes with your style and collect a few of their pieces, such as Tiffany & Co. or David Yurman. Or diversify and get pieces from several designers whose jewelry you admire, from the likes of Cartier, Chanel, John Hardy, and Chopard.

How to Successfully Accessorize

Add More: Consider adding some additional accessory pizazz to your everyday outfit, or step up the accessories you do wear a couple notches. Sure, some warn of over-accessorizing, but there’s far more of the opposite – not enough accessorizing. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of bland outfits. Stacking gold bangles or gemstone rings, and layering necklaces of different lengths and patterns can step up your game.

Habitually Accessorize: Adding accessories isn’t something to be done just for special occasions – accessorizing is for every day. When you get the hang of it, adding an accessory or two will feel like a natural way to complete an outfit. And that’s exactly it – no outfit is truly complete without accessories. No matter what your day holds, consider wearing at least one accessory item, even if you think you’ll just be sitting at home. Accessories add flavor and zest to a casual ensemble, and you often don’t need more than one to upstyle an outfit.

The Key to Accessorizing: The key to successful accessorizing, other than making it a habit, is to find and wear accessories in your style. And there is a style for everyone. Successful accessorizing is wearing only those accessories in the style you love and works for you.

There’s no better place to find one-of-a-kind accessories than Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers! Shop an extraordinary collection of vintage designer handbags and wallets as well as our new, vintage, and designer jewelry, all at a price you’ll love. You deserve to have your own unique style, and you’ll find the perfect accessories here at Leo’s!

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