Nelson Coleman Jewelers

Estate Jewelry

What is Estate Jewelry?

Estate jewelry is highly sought after by jewelry enthusiasts, collectors and even those just looking for a unique piece to add to their wardrobe. But what is estate jewelry? Estate jewelry can be any jewelry that was previously owned. The term is also used to describe antique and vintage jewelry. Age, craftsmanship, material and construction each help determine the price of estate jewelry, which can range from very affordable to expensive. Generally, estate jewelry refers to high quality jewelry and features fine workmanship and high quality stones, often this jewelry is unique or even one-of-a-kind.

If you are shopping for an estate or vintage engagement ring you will find a large selection of one-of-a-kind rings. However, not all customers are comfortable buying a pre-owned engagement ring. If you are interested in a brand new ring that features highly sought after vintage details, consider an estate or vintage-inspired engagement ring. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, each one brand new. If you are interested in re-creating an estate or vintage piece, or want something truly one-of-a-kind you can read about custom designing jewelry here.

Estate jewelry is representative of trends of a given era. Each of these time periods has distinct characterizes which help identify the jewelry.

Georgian Jewelry (1714-1835)

The Georgian Period is defined by the reigns of four King Georges’ if England. Georgian jewelry is very rare and handmade from gold and silver. The designers were often inspired by nature; leaves, trees, flowers, and animals were common motifs.

Victorian Jewelry (1837-1901)

The Victorian period spanned Queen Victoria’s rule of England. Jewelry made during this time was heavily influenced by Queen Victoria’s fashionable tastes. In the Early Victorian Period popular pieces included amethysts, pearls and garnets set in gold. After the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria went into public morning, black jewelry in the form of black enamel and jet jewelry grew in importance.

Art Nouveau Jewelry (1895-1910)

The designs of the Art Nouveau period were flowing, romantic and naturalistic, often in the form of flowers, butterflies and sensual women with long flowing hair.

Edwardian Jewelry (1900-1915)

The Edwardian period encompassed the reign of King Edward VII. Edwardian jewelry involves beautifully complex engraving and delicate filigree. White stones such as diamonds and pearls were popular. Rubies and emeralds were often used in the elaborate designs.

Art Deco Jewelry (1920-1935)

Art Deco jewelry motifs are characterized by hard, crisp, geometric designs, bright color combinations of jade and onyx and coral and jet, and abstract patterns. In 1922 the opening of Tutankhamen’s Tomb in Egypt inspired an Egyptian revival. The early 1920’s interest in Cubism and Dadaism as a new art form greatly influenced the Art Deco Period.

Retro Jewelry (1940-1949)

Jewelry of the Retro Period was inspired by Hollywood. Retro jewelry is colorful, bold and elaborate. Common themes include large scrolls and bows. Rose and yellow gold were predominate and popular stones included aquamarine, amethyst, sapphire and especially ruby.

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