Graduation season has begun. Many colleges and universities have reinstated in-person commencement ceremonies this year — outdoors with social distancing, of course. Regardless of the venue or restrictions, the joys of graduation remain as parents and family celebrate their student’s accomplishments.

Here are our suggestions for the Top 5 vintage graduation presents that show you care.

1.  Antique frames for the diploma or cap-and-gown picture. Why go for a standard, boring frame? You still have time to visit flea markets, antiques stores or shop online for that unique frame to preserve the student’s accomplishment.

victorian carved wood with gold inset picture frame

Eastlake picture frame, carved wood with gold liner, Victorian, $215Photo: Nest Egg Auctions


2.  Vintage graduation charms for a charm bracelet. Charm bracelets, popular in the 1950s and ’60s, are the ultimate nostalgic and vintage jewelry. The tiny charms commemorate everything from trips and graduations to big moments like the birth of a child. Help your graduate start a new tradition by buying a vintage charm online, in antiques stores or at auction.

vintage 14k gold graduation cap pendant charm jewelry

Graduation charm, mortarboard cap with tassel, 14K gold, $198Photo: Greenwich Auction


3. Sunglasses. Start searching for that hidden treasure of old Ray-Bans, Oakley’s or other name-brand sunglasses as the graduate heads out to a new job, or just a trip to the beach. They are always cool.

ray ban sunglasses

Vintage Ray-Ban Aviator Classic sunglasses, Bausch & Lomb, unused in original Ray-Ban case, $144.  Photo: Cowboy Joe’s Antiques


4. Vintage college or travel posters. These are perfect for decorating that very first “adult” apartment.

george ade's just out of college framed advertising poster

Original theater poster for “Just Out of College,” written by George Ade, 1912, $550Photo: Omaha Auction Center


5. Fun, vintage key chains. Of course, it’s your choice whether to add a car key to an antique or unusual key chain. Or maybe for a key to that first apartment?

gucci keychain in box

Vintage Gucci key chain, gold tone metal with rope twist edge and red enamel logo, original box, $115.  Photo: Christiana Auction Gallery



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