As you look for vintage glasses online, you are likely to come across a few different terms used to describe their condition such as “new old stock” and “deadstock.” You may also wonder what more familiar terms like “excellent,” “good,” and “fair” mean when it comes to classes.
Although there will be some variations between sellers, this outlines approximately what you can expect from the quality of your vintage glasses. It is also important to understand when you want a pair of glasses that are attractive and sturdy enough for everyday wear and when you want to make sure you are paying a fair price.
Vintage Eyeglass Conditions
Quality guidelines are general categories for vintage clothing and accessories like eyeglasses. Those in standard usage include:
- New Old Stock – Also called “NOS” or “deadstock,” these glasses have never been worn. They may have been leftover pairs from opticians that were never sold, or be a second pair that the owner never wore.
- Excellent – Many wire and even plastic frame vintage glasses used high quality materials that have survived in nearly like new condition until today. This is particularly true when the glasses were only worn rarely or for a short time.
- Good – Glasses that were regularly worn may show some signs of wear, discoloration, or have some scratching on the frames. This usually does not affect their wearability, but instead shows off their history.
- Fair – Some vintage glasses are no longer wearable, but they can still be fascinating to look at and collect. These glasses may be bent, missing hardware, or have cracked frames.
New old stock glasses will not necessarily be in the same perfect condition as a pair of modern glasses you might buy today. Many of these vintage glasses are over 50 years old. Even if they sat untouched in a box all that time, the plastic frames may still have shrunk, warped, or changed color because of age or storage conditions.
Some deadstock vintage glasses may not have been sold because they have a small flaw. Usually, this is something that would have been a problem for a buyer at the time, but might be worth it today to get the right pair of antique glasses. A small flaw can also add character.
If you are buying vintage eyeglasses online, you should also pay attention to any description of the individual item. This can often be more revealing than a general condition since it will often describe specific problems.
Buying vintage glasses in good condition also requires purchasing from a trusted seller. Eyeglasses Warehouse is the leading online retailer of vintage glasses. Each of our glasses frames is carefully selected before our team cleans and restores them to the best possible condition to make them ready for you to wear.