estate jewelry

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.

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