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Antique Jewelry – Play Your Style

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

In recent years, the old v has come back to fashion trend. Antique jewelry means old-fashioned jewelry. To term it ‘antique’, the jewelry must be at least 70 years old. It could refer to jewels handed down from generation to generation, and it also includes jewelry with a historic value. They are treasured not just for the money value. Rather, they are relics from a memorable past.

There are different types of antique jewelry. The most common ones are estate antique jewelry, Victorian, Edwardian, Art deco and Art nouveau.

Estate antique jewelry pieces are recent pre-owned ones. These excel in workmanship. The pieces are generally low priced compared to new jewelry. This type of jewelry is commonly auctioned off. Some of the most popular pieces are engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants.

The elegance of the Victorian era is captured in antique Victorian jewelry. A unique type of Victorian jewelry was hair jewelry. Locks of hair were saved and later on turned into ornate hair jewelry such as watch chains, bracelets and rings. Hair jewelry served the purpose of being a very personal memento at the time of parting or death. Today antique hair jewelry is valued at hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the condition of the piece.

The period from 1920 to 1935 is referred to as the Art deco period. It produced dazzling pieces in bright colors and straight lines. Long earrings were a popular part of Art deco jewelry. The antique Art deco jewelry is studded with emeralds, sapphires and rubies. These are jewels fit for a queen. Needless to say they are exorbitant and rare.

Art nouveau jewelry was popular in the years between 1890 and 1919. Motifs used in this jewelry were inspired by nature. Butterflies, dragons, orchids, snakes and lilies were the popular motifs preferred. Widespread usage of precious and semi-precious gemstones, horn, copper shell, tortoise shell, ivory and shells was the norm.

The brief span from 1901 to 1915 is referred to as the Edwardian era. Edwardian jewelry had diamonds and pearls set in platinum, creating intricate filigree patterns.

Buying Antique Jewelry Guide

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Here are the basics on how to protect yourself when purchasing antique jewelry and what to look for in a good piece:

So, is it antique or vintage?

There’s actually a distinction between vintage pieces and antique pieces. Typically, a vintage piece of jewelry may be about 30 to 70 years old, while an antique piece could be hundreds or thousands of years old (in which case it should be in a museum).

What are the most popular antique jewelry pieces?

Most dealers offer a range of antique pieces, but collectors tend to prize pieces from the Victorian era and the Art Deco period of the early twentieth century. Jewelry from the Victorian period (1837-1901) tends to exude grace and history, while still exhibiting modern craftsmanship and quality. Pieces from earlier periods tend to be cruder and the stones of a lower grade, which is why jewelry collectors focus on the Victorian age.

Meanwhile, the antique jewelry from the Art Deco design era (1920-1930) attracts a lot of attention thanks to its unique shapes and overall style. Because of the industrial aesthetic, these pieces are distinct and highly valued amongst collectors.

What about modern “antiques?” What are they?

Because these styles are so popular, many jewelers are carrying pieces that look like antiques, but are actually made today. They’re not original Victorian brooches or Art Deco bracelets, but they’re made to look like it. These can be a great option for someone who wants the wearability and durability of a modern piece, but the look and style of an antique.

If I’m buying an antique, how can I be sure it’s real?

Always get every aspect of the piece in writing from the retailer, including the stone carats and quality. Then, have the piece appraised by an independent appraiser. If it doesn’t match the description given to you by the retailer, return the item for a full refund or ask to renegotiate the purchase price.

To prevent potential fraud or misrepresentation problems, always deal with reputable and respected dealers who offer a clear and easy-to-understand return policy.