Sometimes estate jewelry and antique jewelry are terms that are used interchangeably, however, they are different. Antique jewelry must be 100 years old or older to be considered “antique.” Antique jewelry is most always estate jewelry, but not all estate jewelry can be called antique jewelry.
Georgian era jewelry is exceptionally rare and is often handmade. Some defining characteristics include nature-inspired designs, such as birds or leaves, and precious gemstones. Jewelry featuring skulls and coffins known as “Memento Mori” or “Remember you will die” jewelry, was also popular during this time.
Similar to jewelry of the Georgian era, Victorian jewelry also has characteristics that include nature-inspired designs that were intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were worn regularly during the day and were popular during this time. Colored gemstones and diamonds were reserved for more formal, evening events.
Many jewelers returned to the old-fashioned way of making jewelry by hand during the peak of the Industrial Revolution as a type of rebellion. Jewelry with simple patterns, made with colorful, uncut stones was common during this time.
When Victoria’s son, Edward became king, it was the start of the Edwardian period. Many jewelry items incorporated more expensive gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds & rubies in their designs, which were feminine, delicate and had lacy motifs.
The Art Nouveau Jewelry movement actually began in Paris in 1875 and eventually spread throughout the western world. The style was popular from 1895 until World War I. The jewelry features curvy, nature-inspired designs, such as flowers and butterflies and sometimes depicted sensual women transforming into birdlike or flowerlike shapes.
The Art Deco movement is one of jewelry’s most popular and enduring design periods and the styles are highly sought after today! Inspired by American Indian, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman architecture, the jewelry’s characteristics includes geometric designs, different combinations of color, especially diamonds paired with sapphires, emeralds, rubies or black onyx. The use of rock crystals and abstract patterns were also defining characteristics of jewelry made during this time period.
Retro Jewelry is inspired by Hollywood and is typically very colorful, bold and elaborate pieces such as large cocktail rings, bracelets, watches, charm bracelets and necklaces.
Funny, you ask. Bellman’s is starting to sell select estate pieces!