Estate jewellery refers to previously owned or used jewellery, whether the previous owner is alive or not. Often, estate jewellery comes from a deceased person's collection.

While the age of jewellery determines whether it is antique or vintage, estate jewellery can fall into either category. Antique jewellery is at least 100 years old, whereas vintage jewellery is from a specific era, such as Art Deco, Retro, Edwardian, or modern-day. Estate jewellery can belong to either category.

Art deco ring

Authenticating Estate Jewellery

Determining the authenticity of estate jewellery is challenging, particularly if you are not an expert in the field or a qualified gemmologist. Factors such as the quality of the materials, design, workmanship, and rarity can help authenticate estate jewellery. It is critical to ensure that the seller provides comprehensive information about the piece and guarantees its authenticity and price, regardless of the source.


Where To Buy Estate Jewellery

The market offers several places to buy unique estate jewellery, including major auction houses, reputable private dealers, well-known online sources, and estate jewellery specialists. However, it is essential to ensure that the seller provides detailed information about the piece and guarantees its authenticity and price, no matter the source.

While some people consider estate jewellery as an investment, experts advise buying a piece you love and that will give you pleasure. Profit from the sale of the piece, should you decide to sell it in the future, is an unforeseen bonus. Experts can determine a piece's maker by the style, quality, design, and specific stones utilized. A piece's price can be impacted if it is unsigned, but it can still hold significant value based on its gemmological worth and aesthetic allure.

Finding trustworthy sellers in the secondary market can be difficult, but checking online reviews, referrals from family and friends, and research can help. Although a famous name can affect a piece's value, it is not always essential since some stunning pieces are not signed. Experts can tell a piece's maker by the style, quality, design, and specific stones used. The price of a piece can be affected if it is unsigned, but it can still have enormous value based on its gemmological value and aesthetic appeal.

Pricing Estate Jewellery

Pricing estate jewellery is both an art and a science, taking into account several factors such as material quality, manufacture, design, workmanship, and condition. Experts compare these factors to similar pieces and their prices with competitors or the prices they have achieved at auctions. Reputable dealers also monitor sales at Sotheby's and Christie's to offer estate jewellery at fair prices.

Many people prefer buying estate jewellery online since it is more comfortable and less intimidating. Reputable online sources such as Charles Hart Jewellers provide as much information as possible, including detailed descriptions, gemmological details, carat weights, condition, manufacture dates, and GIA certification. They also offer clear and detailed photographs and, in some cases, videos of models wearing the pieces. A reputable online source will guarantee the piece, accept returns, and provide refunds if you are not satisfied.

certificate of authenticity

Wearing Estate Jewellery

Before wearing estate jewellery, it is essential to check the clasps and ensure that any gems are secure. Reputable dealers or auction houses have already cleaned and checked the jewellery, but professional cleaning is an option if needed. Estate jewellery is made to last and often improves over time.


In conclusion, estate jewellery is a unique and timeless investment that can provide pleasure and hold significant value. Authenticating estate jewellery can be challenging, but quality, design, workmanship, and rarity can help in determining its authenticity. Trustworthy sellers in the secondary market can be found through research, referrals, and online reviews. Do your own research or call in and see us at Charles Hart Jewellers for advice on your purchase. We stock many beautiful pieces of estate jewellery and all have been appraised and are authentic.

You May Also Like: Gold Identification Marks on Jewellery

May 10, 2023 — CG Hart