Estate jewelry is a category of pre-owned jewelry. This category of jewelry often includes rings, bracelets, brooches, pendants, lockets, hatpins, and timepieces. It is usually of high craftsmanship, unique, and often one of a kind. These pieces can be very valuable, and highly sought after. In short, the category of estate jewelry is reserved for very special pieces of pre-owned jewelry.
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Estate jewelry may also be antique jewelry, though it is not necessary for a piece to be antique to be considered an estate piece. Antique jewelry is often defined as those pieces that are over 100 years old. Not all antique jewelry is estate jewelry. Vintage is another separate, but overlapping category of jewelry.
When jewelry is appraised and determined to be estate quality, it will also be classified by an era. Each era has distinct characteristics.
Some time periods belong in multiple eras, with the jewelry being categorized by its style rather than age.
This jewelry is very rare, as most pieces have been lost or dismantled. Pieces are heavily inspired by nature.
Early Victorian (1837-1855)
Sometimes called “romantic jewelry”, pieces from this era are delicate and intricate. Lockets and brooches were popular items. Amethysts, pearls, and garnets were often used.
Jewelry from this period consists largely of mourning jewelry, with heavy, dark stones. Shells and mosaics were also featured in this period.
Late Victorian (1885-1900)
Diamonds, bright gemstones, and elaborate hat pins were all popular during this era.
Arts and Crafts (1894-1923)
This movement returned the focus of jewelry making to handcrafted items. Designs were often simple, using a variety of stones.
Art Nouveau (1895-1915)
Jewelry made in this era is considered “romantic”, with flowers and butterflies being popular designs.
Expensive gems are marks of a piece of this era. Diamonds, rubies, and emeralds were incorporated into intricate designs.
Art Deco (1915-1935)
Art Deco estate jewelry is some of the most popular and valuable. Designs are geometric and abstract, using a variety of colors.
Retro jewelry is Hollywood-inspired, using bright, bold, and colorful designs.
Contemporary (1960 onwards)
This jewelry is newer, not yet antique, and can have a variety of design inspirations.
Over time, properly cared for estate jewelry will increase in value. Many people love estate pieces because of the history they carry. Jewelry, both old and new, is one of America’s Super Pawns largest areas of product. Our selection is ever changing at each of our 3 locations and you’ll be sure to find the perfect piece!