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What You Should Know About Estate Jewellery


This is another term for pre-owned jewellery, not necessarily from someone’s estate. The term is used as many antique items are in fact left by someone in their will, and therefore its a useful or fancy term to use to describe older items of jewellery. In reality, it is the higher value items that are most commonly termed as ‘estate jewellery’, usually because there is a high degree of workmanship, skill and design, and the use of higher value precious stones.

ESTATE jewellery can fall into different eras. The Georgian period, 1714-1837 often have designs inspired by nature and are set with precious stones, although garnets, amethysts and other semi-precious stones are often used, especially with pearls. The actual value of stones may be low, but collect ability of a piece is that much higher. Victorian pieces become more common, from 1837 to 1900.

The early period being the ‘romantic’ era, being intricate and delicate, lockets and brooches being popular. However, after the death of Albert, there was an increase in popularity of mourning jewellery, commemorative and bright diamonds used in brooches. Stars and crescents being popular, and carved settings for rings.
This was followed by the Edwardian period, much more use of coloured gemstones, pretty pendants and a time of excess, and elaborate designs were very popular, but as with all fashions, Art Deco changed to more stylized, abstracts and geometrics.

So what is the value of estate jewellery?

This is often the case of rare and collectable pieces, but more so, large diamonds, with good colour and clarity, good quality gemstones, designer pieces especially if signed, and pieces cased showing that they have come from a top London jewellery store, or possibly Paris or New York. Tiffany pieces are always in

Tiffany pieces are always in vogue, and will fetch very high prices. If one owns an estate piece, they should always seek a full and honest appraisal, and be sure that for insurance a correct value is obtained, but beware as copies and fakes are always on sale, and buying from a reputable source can always be the best way to invest.

If you have estate jewellery that you would like to sell then why not get in touch with us here at Vintage Tom. We buy and sell antique and vintage jewellery.

May 13, 2018 — CG Hart