There are many misconceptions out there about estate jewelry. Often times people confuse it with antiques or vintage jewelry. Or they say it’s bad karma to where estate pieces. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight. Our goal is to help you understand exactly what estate jewelry is, where it originated from, and how you can make the most of it by investing.
What is Estate Jewelry?
Estate jewelry is jewelry that has been previously owned. Sort of like when there is an estate sale and someone is selling someone else’s things. It’s the same concept. But the really unique thing about estate jewelry is that most of its irreplaceable. Most estate pieces encompass jewelry that is on the higher end of the spectrum and features fine workmanship with high-quality stones. And much of the time these pieces are one of a kind.
People often confuse the terms antique, vintage, and estate when it comes to jewelry. Though these terms are all are used to help date rather older pieces of jewelry, they can be quite different. So the question is what’s the difference between the three terms? What is to be considered vintage jewelry. What is to be considered antique jewelry? And what is to be considered estate jewelry? These are some of the more common questions that we get asked.
Below is a brief breakdown of what each term means:
Typically speaking antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is 100 years or older. Antique pieces are often family heirlooms or pieces discovered to be very old. That being said, just because something is “antique style” doesn’t mean it’s an antique. That simply means that it’s replicating an antique style without being an actual antique piece of jewelry.
Estate pieces are any piece of jewelry that has been used. Second-hand pieces if you will. These are the kind of rare pieces you long to find lying around in your local thrift store. Estate jewelry is making a huge comeback in the world of jewelry and it has collectors anxious to get their hands on the next best thing.
Vintage jewelry is both antique and estate jewelry. These are pieces that are around 20 to 30 years old and maybe even older. Your grandmother’s engagement ring from 1976? That ring would be considered to be. That hippie necklace from 1979? That would be considered vintage too.
The History of Estate Jewelry
The history of jewelry is a beautiful thing. So is the history of art. This is where the two collide and go hand in hand. History shows that Estate jewelry can be traced all the way back to the early and late Victorian ages. From Art Deco to Retro ages and modern times, estate jewelry has always been a thing of the present.
One of the main reason the history of an estate piece is important is that it helps to identify the piece accurately. Each time period on the table below has its own distinct characteristics which help us to distinguish the estate pieces and properly categorize them. Below are several periods of time when estate jewelry made its impact on the world leading up to the pieces we collect today here in the United States.
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The Early Victorian era was between 1837-1855. This is when jewelry became nature-inspired, meaning that it was very delicate. It was beautiful, but delicate nonetheless. This was also the time when lockets and brooches became popular along with colored gemstones combining art with fashion.
Early Victorian Era
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Estate jewelry from the Edwardian period consisted of high-quality elaborate designs. Most of the pieces include expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds, and even rubies. These pieces were created during the time Edward became King after Queen Victoria passed.
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From 1714 – 1837 the Georgian era rocked their naturally inspired designed similar to the ones that were later rocked in Early Victorian Era. History repeats itself, didn’t you know? The estate jewelry from this time period is unique and hard to come by. It’s typically handmade and very delicate.
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In 1885 jewelry started to become more aesthetic. This is otherwise known as the Late Victorian Era for estate jewelry. Every Jeweler was using diamonds and bright gemstones to create uniquely designed crescents like stars. And hat pins also became very popular during this period.
Late Victorian Era
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Ah. the good ol’ retro age. This 1960’s age was inspired by Hollywood and it’s jewelry pieces that are bright, bold, elaborate, and colorful. They are loud and vibrant. The pieces are also large and many were worn at once.
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The popularity of investing in estate jewelry is growing at a fast rate. And since the inventory is often fixed with a short supply, consumers are looking for these for one-of-a-kind pieces more than ever. According to Russell Zelenetz a partner at Stephen Russell jewelers, “Old jewelry is undervalued as an art.” Zelenetz also went on to say that the demand for estate jewelry is, “very strong.”
Whether this is your first time investing in a piece of estate jewelry or you’re wanting to educate yourself more on the process, you’ve come to the right place. Learning to navigate the estate jewelry market can sometimes be a bit challenging. And in order to get the best out of your investment, you need to understand exactly what you’re doing.
When you begin shopping for an investment piece of estate jewelry the first thing you want to consider is your personal style. Yes, this is an investment. And yes this is something you plan to resell in the future but you still want to get the most out of it. Find a piece that will stand out and show your unique personality.
After you’ve found a piece that you love, a piece that you can show off from time to time, you need to consider the resale value of it. When doing this there are three things you to take into consideration. You want to look for classic pieces that will still be trending for years to come. You should be mindful of where you’re purchasing the pieces to ensure credibility. And how much money you have to invest. In other words is the piece you want affordable?
Other things to look for
Purchasing or investing in jewelry of any kind, whether it be estate jewelry or jewelry from your favorite brand should be inspected to ensure it’s original. Because this type of jewelry is in such high-demand there are replicas out there. We would hate to see someone get taken advantage of because a retailer was able to manipulate them. Always do your homework, especially when investing – in anything!
Always be cautious when investing in estate jewelry. Aside from the steps you should take above there a few other key things you should look for including:
- Dents or deep scratches
- Missing stones
- The history behind the piece
- Have there been any replacements or repairs?
- Is there a certification for it?
- Does the seller have a good reputation?
Why Should I Invest in Estate Jewelry?
There are many different benefits to reap when it comes to investing in estate jewelry. Investing in a piece of estate jewelry means that you’re collecting a little part of history and preserving it for future generations to enjoy. It gives you the opportunity to invest in your own personal style and find out exactly what that means to you. And it allows you to be more environmentally-friendly when you purchase pre-owned products.
Jewelry is a way for us to express ourselves and our personal style. Even more so it’s a way for us to communicate with our future generations. Whether a piece gets passed down from generation to generation or bought and sold at a local retailer. This is why estate pieces are so popular, they allow you to do both. And the best part of it all is that most estate pieces are handmade right here in the United States. That means you don’t have to worry about them saying “made in China,” on the inside.
Estate pieces are non-traditional pieces of jewelry that allow you to set yourself apart from the rest. If you would like help looking for the perfect piece go here to . If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to . We’re here to help you get most out of your investment.
As you can see although there are misconceptions about estate jewelry, it is a very popular and unique investment to make. Think about it like this, estate pieces are simply statement pieces. And these pieces almost guarantee that you’ll get a return on them for more than what you paid for them to begin with.
Remember that when it comes to picking out estate jewelry that there are no rules or restrictions. But it is important to be cautious of fakes and consult with a credible retailer before completing your purchase. Not everyone can stumble upon the most expensive piece at an area-wide estate sale for $5. If that is you, we commend you heavily. But please note that this is rare.
If you’re truly considering investing in a piece of estate jewelry contact Diamonds By Raymond Lee today. Our team is 100% devoted to providing you with the best customer service possible. This is to assure you that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.
Do you have a piece of jewelry you’d like to get rid of? and get the most for your money today!
Not sure where to begin when it comes to picking out the best statement estate piece? Learn more about and in our education center. And if you need any further information try chatting online, or even emailing one of our customer service advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Areas we Serve
Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Broward, Miami-Dade.