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The Difference Between Estate Jewelry And Antique Jewelry

Jewelry never seems to go out of style, especially vintage and antique jewelry pieces. For those that love wearing a timeless piece of jewelry, estate sales and antique stores are great places to shop. With the low cost of old jewelry made with precious metals and stones, many investors and collectors look to the low prices of antique jewelry and estate jewelry to invest in. But, many people may wonder exactly what the difference between estate jewelry and antique jewelry is, since these terms are often used interchangeably.


Estate jewelry is a term that means the item has been previously owned, regardless of the age of the item. Estate jewelry is also sometimes called vintage jewelry. Because estate jewelry has been previously owned, it can be purchased for as little as 25% of the original price. Many enthusiasts feel that it is a wise choice to invest in gold and diamond estate jewelry as the price to buy it is low, but the selling price of gold and diamonds continues to rise. Just think of estate sales, where a person's previously owned items are being sold. Estate jewelry is previously owned jewelry.


When discussing estate jewelry, it is important to point out that most items are categorized into the different eras in which the piece was made. For example, jewelry made between 1714 and 1837 is called Georgian Jewelry. Pieces made between 1837 and 1850 are called Early Victorian or Romantic Jewelry. Items made between 1860 and 1880 are called Mid-Victorian or Grand Jewelry. Any jewelry made between 1885 and 1900 is called Late Victorian or Aesthetic Jewelry. Arts and Crafts Jewelry was made between 1894 and 1923. Art Nouveau Jewelry was made between 1985 and 1915. Edwardian Jewelry was made between 1901 and 1910. Art Deco Jewelry was created from 1920 to 1935. Finally, Retro Jewelry is any piece that was created in the 1940s.


For a piece of jewelry to be called an antique, it must be at least 100 years old, according to government guidelines. Many jewelry business owners consider antique jewelry to be any piece of jewelry that is from the Art Deco period or earlier. This means that the item must be from 1920 to 1935 or earlier, to be considered antique jewelry. So, antique jewelry can be estate jewelry, but estate jewelry isn't necessarily an antique. It is also important to note that both antique and estate jewelry can be delicate due to old age, so it is important to handle the pieces carefully.  Some forms of antique jewelry are bracelets, rings, necklaces.