Antique jewelry means old-fashioned jewelry. To term it ‘antique', the jewelry must be at least 70 years old. It could refer to jewels handed down from generation to generation, and it also includes jewelry with a historic value. They are treasured not just for the money value. Rather, they are relics from a memorable past.
There are different types of antique jewelry. The most common ones are estate antique jewelry, Victorian, Edwardian, Art deco and Art nouveau.
Estate antique jewelry pieces are recent pre-owned ones. These excel in workmanship. The pieces are generally low priced compared to new jewelry. This type of jewelry is commonly auctioned off. Some of the most popular pieces are engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants.
The elegance of the Victorian era is captured in antique Victorian jewelry. A unique type of Victorian jewelry was hair jewelry. Locks of hair were saved and later on turned into ornate hair jewelry such as watch chains, bracelets and rings. Hair jewelry served the purpose of being a very personal memento at the time of parting or death. Today antique hair jewelry is valued at hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the condition of the piece.
The period from 1920 to 1935 is referred to as the Art deco period. It produced dazzling pieces in bright colors and straight lines. Long earrings were a popular part of Art deco jewelry. The antique Art deco jewelry is studded with emeralds, sapphires and rubies. These are jewels fit for a queen. Needless to say they are exorbitant and rare.
Art nouveau jewelry was popular in the years between 1890 and 1919. Motifs used in this jewelry were inspired by nature. Butterflies, dragons, orchids, snakes and lilies were the popular motifs preferred. Widespread usage of precious and semi-precious gemstones, horn, copper shell, tortoise shell, ivory and shells was the norm.
The brief span from 1901 to 1915 is referred to as the Edwardian era. Edwardian jewelry had diamonds and pearls set in platinum, creating intricate filigree patterns.
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