Estate jewelry has been previously owned. The term “"estate jewelry"” refers to the fact that jewelry may have been part of an estate of someone who has passed away. It can also refer to a previous owner who has decided to sell his, or her, own pieces. Sometimes the term “estate jewelry,” or “antique jewelry” and “vintage jewelry” are used interchangeably, however, they each have a different meaning. VintagediamondRing.com has over thirty years of experience in classifying antique jewelry, and defining the different eras and categories of estate jewelry. All of our estate jewelry with precious and semi precious gemstones, and european cut diamonds, are ethical and conflict free.
Art Deco Engagement Rings
Art Deco Engagement Rings are as desirable as those from the Edwardian Era. Unlike their Edwardian counterparts, however, they are most noted not for their delicate softness, but for their geometry and symmetry. Like much Art Deco jewelry, the rings often resemble the architecture of the 1920s (i.e. New York City’s Chrysler Building). Another feature popular in Art Deco rings is brightly colored gems that served to contrast with the diamonds and platinum within the ring.
Antique Engagement Rings
The word “antique” usually implies that a piece of jewelry is over 100 years old, but when it comes to engagement rings, “antique” can mean the ring was made as far back the early 1700s (during the Georgian Era) or as recently as the 1930s (during the Art Deco Era). The same goes for “vintage” engagement rings. (Rings made during and after World War II are frequently referred to as “retro.”) Antique engagement rings are typically excellently crafted and made with beautiful gemstones; for this reason many women prefer them to newer designs.
Bangles are hard, round bracelets that either slip over the hand to the wrist, or attach with a hinged clasp. Because of their simplicity, they’ve been around for thousands of years and serve as traditional jewelry for many cultures around the world. Also for this reason, they can be worn alone, or clustered with many other bangles. They’re timeless, and many modern bangles can be as simple as a solid band of precious metal, or ornate with elegant gemstones.
Brooches actually got their start being used as clasps to hold together coats and dresses by Ancient Greeks and Romans, but nowadays they tend to serve purely as adornment. Instead of clasping, they are now simply attached with a pin, and can be work on hats, coats, blouses. Brooches are popular because of their variability. They come in innumerable shapes and sizes, and can be made out of almost any combination of metals and gems.
Simply put, bracelets are jewelry that you wear on your wrist. There are many different styles of bracelets, some of the most common being bangles and link bracelets. Bangles are rigid and often slide over the hand. A link bracelet consists of many different pieces, usually uniform, linked together to form a chain. One popular type of link bracelet is the tennis bracelet, which are thin and made of a series of linked gems (frequently diamonds).
Chandelier is the name of an element in jewelry that features dangling branches or jewels. The two most popular types of chandeliers are girandole earrings and Sevigne brooches.
Chandelier earrings, also known as girandoles, are those with a larger central piece from which three gemstones hang. They were very popular from the Renaissance up until the Victorian Era, and have become popular once more in the 1900s and 2000s.
Crescents are shaped like crescent moons at the first and last quarters of the lunar cycle. The shape was a common shape in the jewelry of the late 1700s and 1800s, used for brooches and hair ornaments. When worn in the hair, crescents signify Greek Goddess Artemis, the virgin goddess of the moon.
Cuff bracelets are very similar to bangles, in that they are rigid. However, cuffs tend to have a gap on one side and are always slipped over the arm.
Earrings come in many shapes and sizes and are affixed to the earlobe with either a hook or a clutch attached to the back of a strait post. Studs are the simplest type of earring, small and constructed on the end of a post that is securely fastened. Hoop earrings are similar, but wrap down around the earlobe in a circle or semi-circle. Dangling earrings tend to be more ornate, and hand down below the earlobe. Two popular types of dangling earrings are chandeliers (which, like their namesake, have many branches) and girandoles (which specifically have pear-shaped pendants that hang from a central piece).
Edwardian Engagement Rings
Edwardian engagement rings are most often found in diamond and platinum, and are coveted for their craftsmanship and feminine look. They are detailed and intricate, and frequently outfitted with many tiny accent diamonds and curves.
Engagement rings are used as symbol of commitment in proposals of marriage. Though they typically feature a large diamond, they come in a wide variety of styles. Different rings will have different shapes, cuts, stones, and settings. If you buy an antique engagement ring, the different styles vary with different historical periods. To learn more about rings, and for tips on how to choose an engagement ring, check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring.
Estate Engagement Rings
The term “Estate” is extremely broad, and refers to any ring that has been previously owned. Though they frequently refer to antique or vintage rings from a variety of historical periods, Estate Engagement Rings are sometimes merely a few years old. Many Estate rings are antique, though, and though some may fear the fact they are “used” might diminish their worth, this is by no means always true.
Georgian Engagement Rings
Georgian Engagement Rings are those from the Georgian Era, between 1714 and 1830. The era was dominated by wealthy aristocrats who wore an exorbitant amount of jewelry, but very few of the rings made in this time were engagement rings. There was one style, though, the Georgian Crowned Heart Diamond Ring, which was given to others as a token of one’s love and commitment. These ring, and most Georgian Era jewelry, are extremely rare.
Hoop earrings are earrings that are circular in shape. They attach to the ear with a small post, and make it look as though one single hoop is passing continuously through the ear.
Necklaces are perhaps the oldest form of jewelry known to mankind: even our ancient ancestors loved to accessorize their necks. In this day and age, though, we’ve come a long way, and necklaces can be some of the most beautiful and sophisticated jewelry on the market. Necklaces are classified based on their length (from the shortest Choker [16in], to Princess [18in], Matinee [22in], Opera [30in], to the longest Sautoir or rope necklace [30+in]). They also traditionally come in a variety of materials, with diamond and pearl being the most popular.
Pendants are pieces of jewelry that dangle loosely, often from other pieces of jewelry like necklaces, brooches, or earrings. Two common types of pendants are lockets, which open to reveal pictures, heart shapes, and solitary diamonds, gemstones, or pearls.
Solitaire Diamond Rings
Retro Jewelry and Mid-Century Jewelry changed the style of all jewelry in a big way, and this naturally influence engagement rings as well. Instead of an arrangement of many different stones set in a ring, this era saw the rise in popularity of Solitaire Diamond Rings, ring where the focus was on one large and central diamond in a four or six-prong setting, sometimes with small accent diamonds. Because the center stone was the most noticed, fancy shaped stone such as Pear shaped and Heart shaped diamonds also grew in popularity.
Studs are simple earrings affixed to the ear with a post and clutch backing. They most often feature a single, small gemstone.
Tennis or Straightline Bracelet
Straightline or tennis bracelets are narrow bands of chain metal links, set with gemstones such as diamonds. They have been popular in many different eras of antique jewelry.
Victorian Engagement Rings
Victorian engagement rings were typically made from yellow gold or rose gold and diamonds. The designs popular during the Victorian Era were very different than modern engagement rings and often saw images like intertwining hearts, initials, and serpents. Old mine cut diamonds, elaborate engraving, and seed pearls were also popular for rings.