April 24, 2021
By Chelsea Reed
If you’ve followed the fashion trends in recent years, you may have heard the terms “antique” and “vintage” before. These words have cropped up as older fine jewelry is becoming fashionable for its nostalgic value. But did you know that estate, vintage, and antique actually mean different things in the jewelry market? Here’s how expert estate jewelry connoisseurs can tell the difference.
Contrary to popular belief, not all estate jewelry is old. Any pre-owned jewelry for sale qualifies as estate jewelry. Let’s say you treated yourself to a beautiful ruby ring on your birthday four years ago. But now this birthday, you are interested in financing that new car you always wanted. You decide to sell the ring to help raise funds for the down payment. The ring is now considered estate jewelry.
In order to classify estate jewelry as vintage, it would need to be produced at least 20 to 30 years ago. Believe it or not, a piece from the 1990s is considered vintage! (Time sure does fly!) The vintage term is pretty common in the estate jewelry circuit, as most vintage pieces were made when mass production of fine jewelry was in full swing. Heirloom gemstone pendants are a good example of vintage jewelry.
Estate jewelry is especially prized once it becomes antique. These pieces would need to be made at least 100 years ago to fit this category. An original shell Cameo from 1913 is considered antique today. An antique piece can still be called vintage, but the dealer will more likely call it antique, as the age is prestigious to mention. Because they were made so long ago, antique jewelry is likely reconditioned. This Cameo, however, happens to be in very good condition from the start!
Be wary that “antique style” or “vintage style” is not always the same meaning. A jewelry piece patterned after the look of an antique or vintage period is still a new designer piece. This is not necessarily a bad thing. New pieces inspired by antique or vintage pendants are a gorgeous example. If you’re looking for in-period estate pieces, however, be aware of these terms. A reputed estate jewelry dealer can tell the difference and express them in clear terms so the customer does not accidentally select a new piece.
Congratulations! You now know how to distinguish estate jewelry like a connoisseur. Whether you are looking for vintage jewelry, antique jewelry, or a newer piece inspired by a similar style, Seaside Art Gallery is the estate jewelry dealer you can trust. Contact the Gallery today to discover the latest arrivals in the collection!
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