Jewelry is considered antique
if it is a piece that was made over a century ago. They may also include
those pieces which carry a certain design criteria and are branded as Art
Deco, Vintage or Retro; or they may also be some estate jewelry, which by
definition means jewelry that previously belongs to another owner or
Many of today's fine jewelry pieces are created and inspired by antique
designs. It is quite rare though,
to see a piece that was made and crafted
with materials not already used by jewellers today. Best of all, antique
jewelry are crafted with utmost quality. It is very well made so much so
that it stands through time.
Antique Jewelry from Period to Period
From 1760 to 1830, during the Georgian period, accessories were
characterized by extravagance and
ornate gold craftsmanship made of
cannetille (or jewelry that is held by fine metal wires) was very popular.
Enamelled pieces, particularly in cobalt blue combined with diamonds, were
considered a favorite decorative ornament. Women wore drop earrings and
long necklaces with a variety of textured gold chains. This was the
fashion statement during this time.
Years later, bright colored gems became a fad, while intricate gold
embellished jewelry still remained popular. This was known as the
Victorian era, a time for romanticism and industrialization. Many
archaeological achievements were also made known during this period that
it inspired styles based on Egyptian and Celtic origins. Buckles and
accessories with serpent designs or love knots became popular with women
and along with this, brooches in varied shapes and forms was widely
At the turn of the century, Art Nouveau movements were gaining popularity
that it also affected design changes in the world of jewelry making.
Artistic expression was its main objective and
gold was no longer popular.
In place of it were brass and
silver. Other popular ornaments also
included pearls, designed in long strings or made as a choker; or jewelry
encrusted with sapphire and amethysts. Platinum also became a jeweller’s
favorite and it remains one of the primary materials used even today.
The Art Deco era brought about dynamic designs which were also influenced
by Africa and India. The use of primary colors and frosted pieces was the
rave of this period. After the war in the 40's jewelry production became
slow and materials became scarce. In place of platinum and
gold was alloy
and designs were made for large scale pieces with only a minimal stones
encrusted in it.
In buying antique jewelry, it is first important to learn how to classify
what kind of piece you are eyeing because the period where it originates
from, whether it was in the Victorian Era or the Art Deco period,
essentially affects how valuable it its. Additionally, many reproductions
of antique jewelry are already made available in the market, it would be
best for those who would like to own authentic antique pieces to be
familiar with the marks of each of the different periods to differentiate
these from the "reproductions". Lastly, shop only at dealers or stores
which carry a good reputation for selling authentic antique pieces, they
will normally provide you with the right information and assistance and
give you the best deals worth your money.
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