The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product and year to year. But, some time-tested definitions of antique deserve consideration:
- An item which is at least 50 to 100 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Motor vehicles, tools and other items subject to vigorous use in contrast, may be considered antiques in the U.S. if older than 25 years, and some electronic gadgets of more recent vintage may be considered antiques
- antique (noun) - Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity.
This definition allow people to make a distinction between genuine antique pieces, vintage items or collectible objects.
Collectable or collectible is typically a manufactured item designed for people to collect. In this respect, they are distinguishable from other subjects of collections, which may also include natural objects (e.g.,butterflies) and objects manufactured for purposes other than collecting (e.g., stamps). Some objects designed for other purposes, such as toys, become so popular among collectors that they are later marketed specifically to that audience. The high price for certain older Star Wars Action Figures is a good example of this phenomenon since the figures were originally intended to be purchased as toys rather than collectibles.
The earliest collectibles were included as incentives with other products, such as cigarette cards in packs of cigarettes. Popular items developed a secondary market and sometimes became the subject of "collectible crazes". Eventually many collectible items came to be sold separately, instead of being used as marketing tools to increase the appeal of other products.
To encourage collecting, manufacturers often create an entire series of a given collectible, with each item differentiated in some fashion. Examples include Sports Cards depicting individual players, or different designs of Beanie Babies. Enthusiasts will often try to assemble a complete set of the available variations.
The early versions of a product, manufactured in smaller quantities before its popularity as a collectible developed, sometimes command exorbitant premiums on the secondary market. In a mature market, collectibles rarely prove to be a spectacular investment.Vintage
This is the most varied of all definitions, some say it refers to a year (eg. Wine), or a Vintage 1920 Ford. Also is referred to as anything under fifty years, but less than 20 years. So in common use, the undated term describes something that is old enough to be in fashion again. Thus since 1970s styles are in fashion again (God knows why), they are "vintage". 1980s styles haven't yet been resuscitated; all they are is "out of date."
Hope this helps everyone understand the meanings and differences of labels in listing.