What is Estate Jewelry?
Estate Jewelry are pieces that were previously owned. Antique Jewelry is typically at least 100 years old and typically made of either yellow gold or platinum. Vintage Jewelry is typically at least one generation old.
Some of our pieces come from trusts, but most our fine pre-owned jewelry come from family members through their inheritence or just original owners that no longer want or need them.
Georgian Era (1714 - 1837) - opulent and regal flair pieces, almost exclusively worn by the wealthy. During the early part of the era known as Rococo were ornate and playful styles. Gemstones of choice were Diamonds with the most prevalent cuts are rose and old mine. Early pieces used a closed back seeting, mounting gemstones in a way that enclosed their entire bottom half or entire pavillion. This helped reflect light and accented the gemstone's coloring (foil was sometimes used underneath the stone. Emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other colored gemstones during the mid 1700's. Georgian Era pieces are rare, never mass produced.
Victorian Period (1837-1901) - fine jewelry became more broadly accessible for the middle class in Europe and the United States, luxurious enough to fit kings and queens. Victorian styles mirrored Queen Victoria's realm with her exquiste taste guiding public preferences. 1837-1861 was considered her Romantic Period, expressing confidence, serenity and romance. Hearts, bows, flowers and birds were common patterns as well as enameled serpents and snakes. After the death of her husband Prince Albert, jewelry became more melancholy. Black jewelry was made of fossilized coal as well as black onyx and black enamel.Jewelers adopted designs inspired by ancient and Renaissance art. 1880 emerged a return of whimsicsl, buoyant designs such as Stars, Dragons, Griffins and Crescent Moons. There were also notable Japanese influences.
Art Nouveau Era (1890-1910) - was considered imaginative with original style bursts from European arts scene ("New Art"). Jewelers considered themselves more as artists than jewelery makers. Art Nouveau is known for soft, mystical and romantic with usage of pale colors and "undulating curves". There was Japanese influence, depictions of art, natural world such as: orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies and butterflies. This Era took more emphasis on settings experimenting with enamel techniques using different gemstones and materials. Moonstones, amethyst, opal, amber, citrien, peridot as well as freshwater pearls were used and diamonds were cautiously used. Other materials used were horn, shell and copper.
Edwardian Era (1901-1920) - light, graceful and elegant designs - Filigree techniques. Jewelers applied threads of gold, platinum and other precious metals to the surface of their settings giving the appearance of a lacy look. This would compliment the Edwardian style wardrobe, conveying femininity and decorum while simple would highlight the beauty of the gemstone. During this Era, Diamonds, Pearls and Platinum were prized for their elegances showcasing natural beauty. Platinum was used because of its strength but lightweight creating an almost invisible settings where little metal was needed to secure each gemstone. The white on white appearance showed class and sophistication.
Art Deco Era (1920-1935) - the roaring 20's spirited era of gangsters, flappers and speakeasies. Art Deco jewelry is known for being fun and stylish, women felt free to express their individualiity. Styles included bolder, sharper and were more masculine. Art Deco jewelry used futuristic motifs and geometric forms. Inspired by the Empire State Building and Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso embodied some of the design choices. New cutting techniques of modern round brilliant cut style diamonds showcased more dazzle and and sparkle. New casting techniques showcased more intricate details on the settings. Platinum became popular material as well as white gold (an alloyed form of yellow gold). White gold was more affordable that platinum or yellow gold and its hue almost identified to platinum.
Retro (mid 1930's-end 1940's) - also known as "Coctail Jewelry". This Era showcased bigger and bolder styles. During Hollywood's golden age, women wanted jewelry that reflected gliz and glamour. Diamonds were cut using old techniques.
Mid-Century (1950 - 1965) - Wartime years, bolder and more colorful, elegant linear styles. Voluptuous curves with pearls and whimsical portrayals of animals, flowers, branches and vines.
Antique Diamond Cuts
Many of the diamond cuttin techniques from past centuries are no longer prevalant today. Diamonds were often cut by hand giving diamonds shapes and dimensions that were popular in their eras. Recently these cuts are renewing its popularity.
Single Cut - This is an extremely old diamond cut dating back to the 1300's. Diamonds have a large table and an Octogon girdle with the bottom edge of the diamond may be pointed or flat.
Rose Cut - dating backto the 1500's during the Georgorian and Victorian Eras, rose cut diamonds features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown with anywhere of 3 - 24 facets resembling the shape of a rose bud.
Old Mine Cut - dating to the 1700's these diamonds possess a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners with a high crown, a small table and a large, flat culet.
Old Eurpean Cut - dating to the 1800's these diamonds possess the shape of s high crown, small table and large flat culet with a circular girdle, with 58 fscets a predessor of today's modern round brilliant cut.
Modern Round Brilliant Cut - in the early 1900's, diamond cutters began to use new techniques, maximizing fire and brilliance, making this cut the standard popular cut. This cut is a round brilliant cut lacking a culet.
Whatever the case, these pieces are unique works of art and could easily become your treasure.