estate

How To Choose Estate Jewelry

Older fashions are coming back into style, and that means that estate jewelry is becoming especially popular among young people. In general, people use the term to refer to antique jewelry that has been part of an estate sale. That means that there are plenty of different styles to choose from, which can complicate the search for a perfect piece of jewelry. Fortunately, finding the right piece can be easy if you can keep a few tips in mind.

 

Shop By Material

Styles can come and go over the years, but the fundamental qualities of gold, silver, and other materials remain the same. As such, it is usually easiest to start the search by narrowing down the options according to the materials in the piece.

Start by choosing a metal. Gold, platinum, and silver are the most common options by a very large margin, but other metals are sometimes available. The main factors to consider at this stage are the appearance and value of the metal. Platinum is extremely popular, but it is also expensive when it is reasonably pure. Gold is cheaper, and gold-plated pieces are a common way to get the appearance of gold at a significantly lower price. Silver is often cheaper, but it requires special care to keep it in good shape.

This is also the best time to start thinking about jewels. Many fine pieces lack them, but they can also add a great deal of value and beauty. Valuable gemstones are fairly common in vintage jewelry, with the most valuable stones being diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Semiprecious stones are often just as beautiful, but they also tend to be much cheaper, so they’re a good choice for shoppers on a budget.

Shop By Period

Several centuries worth of estate jewelry are on the market today. Many of the oldest pieces come from the Victorian era, but they tend to be both expensive and difficult to find compared to younger jewelry. The newer pieces come from the early part of the 20th century.

People with an interest in a period of history can own a piece of it by purchasing estate jewelry. Shoppers who don’t have that kind of interest can still use this as an easy way to find the right style. Jewelry, like every other part of fashion, changed over time. Shoppers who can find a period that they like will have an easy time finding appealing pieces. A few periods deserve special attention:

 

  • For striking designs that incorporate elements from the Middle East and Asia, look for pieces from the Art Deco period.
  • People who want big, bright pieces should turn their attention to the middle of the 20th century, right after the end of World War Two.
  • Older periods offer a variety of somber designs that will go well with understated outfits.

Check For Damage

Estate jewelry is always used, and that means that it might be scratched or otherwise damaged. Be sure to check each piece for damage before making a purchase. If it does appear to be damaged, try to find out the cost of repairing it before making your final decision. It isn’t necessary to pass up a good deal because the piece has a few scratches, but it is necessary to make an informed decision on the topic.

history of gold

History of Gold

Although there aren’t any exact dates revealing when gold was first discovered, historical texts from different ancient civilizations show evidence of gold that date as far back as 40,000 BC. Evidence suggests that when gold was first encountered, it was in its natural state: as shimmering, yellow nuggets whose brilliance attracted ancient civilizations.

 

Currency

Gold didn’t immediately become a form of currency, however. Instead, as a result of the metal’s natural state (which made it very malleable), along with its brilliance, and non-corrosive properties, it became a luxury set aside for those in power, as well as for the gods they believed in. Gold was made into shrines and idols in honor of the civilization’s gods, and it was also made into plates, cups, vessels, and jewelry for royalty. Ancient records show that once gold was encountered, prisoners of war and slaves were sent to mines in search of more of it.

Egypt and Greece

The first real evidence of humans working with gold dates back to Ancient Egypt in 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians loved gold so much that they built pyramids out of solid gold: the Pyramids of Giza. Records of Ancient Greece’s earliest interaction with gold show that to them, gold was a symbol of power, equated with gods and with social status. However, neither Ancient Egypt nor Ancient Greece were the first to have used gold as currency. Historical records show that it was actually the Kingdom of Lydia, an ancient civilization in Western Turkey that first used gold as a form of currency.

USA

In 1792, the U.S. Congress signed the Mint and Coinage Act, which officially made gold a legal form of currency in the United States. At that time, the price of gold, in terms of U.S. dollars, was fixed at fifteen times more than silver. In the 1800s, the newly established United States was marked by a series of gold rushes. In the 1900s, the United States made the gold dollar the official standard unit of account. Paper dollars were then printed and issued in accordance to the gold reserves of the country.

The Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 then took what the United States implemented in the 1900s and created a global gold exchange standard, making the. U.S. dollar the official unit of account for gold. However, the Nixon Shock of 1971 ended the Bretton Woods Agreement, getting rid of the gold standard with it.

The Present

In 2000, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the last countries still using a gold standard, stopped using it. Today, there is no longer any country whose currency is based on gold. Although gold stopped being used as a basis for the U.S. dollar in 1971, that’s when it started being used as an investment instead. In spite of some ups and downs in its value, the price of gold has been steadily increasing since 1971. Furthermore, with global tensions and economic crises, which increase the price of gold, are the reason it is considered by many a “safe haven” they can count on.