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Creating A Style

I have always been one of those people who is laser-focused on looking as professional as possible, which is why I began second-guessing my choice of jewelry. I could tell that I was starting to look a little older, so I began choosing pieces that were a little more modern and delicate. It was really amazing to see how much of a difference it made in my life, and before I knew it, things had really come together. This website is here to help other people to know how to create a style of their own by using jewelry. Check it out for great information!



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Creating A Style

What Makes Antique Jewelry Antique?

by Nathan Gordon

You can find antique jewelry all over the place. Remember that human beings have utilized precious stones and metals to make jewelry for thousands of years. That stuff doesn't just all disappear. However, it's often difficult for novices to tell when they have a rare antique in their hand or just an old piece of jewelry.

First, understand there are different categories older jewelry can fit in. You can't call a piece antique if you don't know what it means and what it doesn't.

Antique jewelry – Very generally speaking, an antique is something that's over 100 years old. This definition is fluid, especially since every year something that's 99 years old suddenly becomes an antique.

Vintage jewelry – Vintage pieces are under 100 years old. But they can become antiques as well. Just like with the antique definition, vintage pieces can become antiques; it's just a matter of time.

Sellers and collectors usually group antique and vintage jewelry by its estate jewelry category. Estate jewelry technically means previously owned jewelry that came from an estate, family, or individual. Of course, pretty much all antique and vintage jewelry falls into this category, so you will often see the term "estate jewelry" used for it. Estate jewelry falls into these broad categories.

  • Georgian (1714–1837)
  • Early Victorian (1837–1855)
  • Mid Victorian (1856–1880)
  • Late Victorian (1885–1900)
  • Arts and Crafts (1894–1923)
  • Art Nouveau (1895–1915)
  • Edwardian (1901–1915)
  • Art Deco (1915–1935)
  • Retro (1945–1960)
  • Art Organique (Current)

As you can see, many of these time periods cross and intersect each other. Each one also has defined styles and attributes that can help you figure out how old a piece is. The years associated with these time periods can also vary some.

Knowing these facts can help you in a few ways.

If you plan to purchase antique jewelry, you can check it against descriptions of what jewelry from a particular time period looks like. For example, if a dealer claims to have a genuine piece from the Late Victorian era, you can look it up. You'll see that pieces from later in the Victorian era were mass-produced by machine, rather than hand crafted. Star and crescent designs were popular, as were animal figures. You will know the peridot and sapphire were very popular.

If you plan to sell an antique piece, it helps to have an idea of what estate era your piece represents. It will help you explain the piece to potential buyers and it will help you to price the piece appropriately.

Just knowing about the eras isn't all there is to it, but if you're new to antiques, it's an excellent place to start. After you see a few pieces that correspond to their respective era, you will start developing a better sense of what is an antique and what isn't. Of course, you should only deal with a reputable antique jewelry dealer like Morgan Sonsthagen Jewelry Design to make sure that you're getting exactly what you think you're getting.