Brimfield has been on my list of must-sees since I began obsessing over antique jewelry. The show has historical significance as being the place to go to treasure hunt! The sisters of MaeJean Vintage did a road trip to scope out some jewels for their shop, and it looks like they stumbled upon some amazing finds! Let’s see what they have to say:
If you are an antique / vintage lover, you absolutely must make a trip to Brimfield, Massachusetts! The colossal antique show boasts over 5,000 dealers and is held three times a year. According to most seasoned pros, the May show is the largest and often has the best weather. The show is held along Route 20, with fields full of antique dealers on both sides of the road. Brimfield is packed with overwhelming amounts of antique jewelry, furniture, décor, fashion, art, and collectibles. In addition to the drool-worthy old treasures, the streets are lined with trucks offering delicious fair style comfort food.
The amount of antique jewelry we saw at the show was truly remarkable; displays with hundreds of antique camoes, ring trays filled with Art Deco filigree rings, countless sparkling old European and mine cut diamond pieces, mounds of vintage lockets, tables piled with statement vintage costume jewelry, thousands of pieces of Southwestern turquoise jewelry, enough rare jewels to feel like you are in a museum, and gemstone pieces in every imaginable color!
If you are on the hunt for jewelry, you can expect to see pieces ranging in price from a dollar up to thousands of dollars. We found everything from retro costume jewelry to rare 19th century museum quality pieces. Some of the dealers offered absolutely astonishing collections. We came across countless large showcases packed with rare and unusual pieces. We enjoyed looking at their jewelry, but we got the best deals from vendors that had less decorative displays. Some dealers even offer silver and gold-filled jewelry by the ounce!
– Book your hotel 6 months to a year in advance. The lodging fills up very quickly- check out nearby towns such a Sturbridge.
– Wear your walking shoes and be prepared for any kind of weather. We spent an entire day antiquing during a rainstorm! Don’t forget your sunscreen, and be prepared to use port-a-potties.
– Don’t be discouraged by price tags. We found many dealers would go down 50% or more and were often willing to work on prices even more when we bought several items from them.
– Inspect each item closely before purchasing. Most dealers were honest, knowledgeable, and great to work with but we did experience a few people disclosing incorrect information. (i.e.- claiming items were gold or contained genuine diamonds when they didn’t.)
– Be prepared to pay for parking as well as entrance fees on some fields’ opening days. We found the best parking in residential locations (people actually will rent their yards out for parking, often charging $5 a day)
– If you have time, make sure to check out the local antique malls / co-ops. We found some of our best deals here!
– Bring cash for your purchases. Many dealers do accept checks (and some even credit cards), but you will get better deals if you have cash. If you are a dealer, don’t forget your sales tax number!
– If you plan on making it to all of the fields, consider booking your trip for at least 3-4 days. We spent four full days, morning to evening, in the fields (and still did not see everything!).
– Make a plan of what fields you want to visit on which days. Many fields open up on Tuesday (some dealers even sell on Monday, even though technically they are not supposed to). Be sure to print out a map of the show which can be found at www.brimfieldshow.org .
– Have fun! You will see so many unique and interesting pieces, along with meeting friendly, helpful, unique, and knowledgeable dealers. We met a metal-head, harmonica playing truck driver from Italy who wore a chunky vintage ring on every single finger. Your trip will be unforgettable for sure!