Antique vs. Vintage – The Difference Between

The difference between antique and vintage

Antique and vintage both refer to something that is old. Some people have an avid interest in the past and collect specific items or just like to collect old things in general. Some collect paintings and sculptures, while others just like the appeal of items from the past and become antique collectors. Antiques do give us a glimpse into the past, especially in the tools and everyday items that our ancestors used. Even though they both mean the same thing, there is a difference in antique and vintage.

Antique

Antique refers to anything old, but it also refers to the rarity or beauty of an item from the past. Such items display an exceptional level of craftsmanship. Generally an antique is defined as an object that is over 100 years old, but there are exceptions. The word is often applied to objects that are younger than this depending on what they are. For example a car can be considered to be antique when it is 50 years old.  An electronic gadget can be an antique after only 20 or 30 years. One easy way to determine if an object is an antique is that if it is 75 years old, then it is antique.

Vintage

The word vintage comes from the wine making industry in which the vintage is the year in which the wine was made or bottled. It has been expanded to include items other than wine, so that nowadays there are vintage cars, vintage clothes and many others. When an object is said to be vintage, it refers to a particular year or era, but it doesn’t mean that it is antique. A cell phone from 2001 can be vintage, but not antique. In some cases, a vintage item for a specific year can mean that it was good in only that year, such as in wines. A vintage car, for example, would be sought after by those who collect cars.

Vintage vs. antique

Both vintage and antique give us an idea of what the world was like at a particular time. They are both valuable, especially if they are rare. An antique item can be classified as a vintage item, but the reverse is not true. The term “antique” is used to refer to a specific object, but the term “vintage” refers to a year. A good example could be the Volkswagon Beetle. Although the car from a specific year is considered to be vintage, it is not antique because this model of car is still being used.

Summary

  • Antique and vintage are both used to describe something that is old. They are generally collectibles and they are usually valuable.
  • They give us a glimpse into the past so that we have an idea of what kinds of lives out ancestors lived. They are prized for their aesthetic and historical values.
  • Saying that an object is antique refers to its age, but saying that an object is vintage refers to the year in which it was made.
  • An antique object can also be a vintage object, but a vintage object cannot be antique.
  • Antique objects are at least 75 years old, but vintage objects can be any age.