Estate jewelry is often in high-demand, especially for collector, enthusiasts or those who are in the market for a different or retro style.
But, if you don’t happen to know a lot about estate jewelry, it’s hard to know what pieces are worth investing in.
What is estate jewelry?
Technically, estate jewelry is something that was owned before, and is often used in reference to vintage jewelry or antique jewelry.
In most cases, estate jewelry refers to pieces that are higher quality, have professional workmanship and higher quality stones. Many times, the pieces are completely unique.
Of course, craftsmanship, materials, age and other factors can help determine how much a piece of estate jewelry is worth.
If you are in the market for estate jewelry or a vintage engagement ring, we can help you find one that will suit your taste and needs.
Types of estate jewelry
Estate jewelry is often classified representative of trends of a given era. Each of these time periods has distinct characteristics, which help identify the jewelry.
The Georgian Period encompasses the years that four King Georges’ reigned in England (1714 to 1835). The handmade Georgian jewelry is created from silver and gold. Common inspirations and motifs include trees, flowers, leaves or animals.
The Victorian period (1837-1901) spanned the rule of Queen Victoria of England. Victorian antique jewelry was often made to reflect the fashion tastes of Queen Victoria. These influences were crafted in gold and used garnets, amethysts and pearls.
Later Victorian jewelry was created from black enamel and jet. This is believed to be due to Queen Victoria’s mourning of Prince Albert..
Art Nouveau Jewelry
The Art Nouveau period (1895-1910) was more free and had more natural influences, in terms of creativity. Often, you’ll find flowing designs, or natural or romantic scenes. Many times these entailed the use of images of women with long hair, flower forms or butterflies.
The Edwardian period ranges from the years 1900-1915 (the reign of King Edward VII). Edwardian jewelry often has incredibly intricate engraving and filigree. (This is one reason why Edwardian wedding rings are so popular!)
Other materials used during the Edwardian jewelry include diamonds, pearls, rubies and emeralds. Often, these were set in intricate design and settings.
Art Deco Jewelry
Art Deco jewelry (1920-1935) were often decorated with geometric designs. They also contain bright color combinations, including the use of onyx, jade, jet and coral, and often set in wild patterns.
For many, art deco engagement rings are highly sought after. Many times you’ll see these inspired by the Egyptian revival (1922), or by Cubism and Dadaism from the 1920’s.
Retro jewelry (created between 1940-1949) was full of inspiration from Hollywood. These pieces are colorful, intricate and bold. And, often included components of rose or yellow gold, sapphire, ruby, aquamarine and amethyst.