Our collection of estate jewelry includes unique antique and vintage pieces. The attraction to estate jewelry is its workmanship and uniqueness not often seen in current jewelry designs. Estate jewelry is popular with collectors because it carries a sense of history and respect for craftsmanship. Compared to new jewelry composed of the same metals and precious stones, estate jewelry can be significantly more affordable.
Some of our customers have antique or vintage pieces that have sentimental value or a family history, but are in need of some additional work. At Grissom’s, we can restore the original or assist in the design of a custom piece using the materials from the original item.
There are differences between estate jewelry, antique jewelry and just used jewelry. Estate jewelry roughly means that it is jewelry that has been previously owned, not that it is jewelry that comes from someone’s estate, although generally most estate jewelry does, in fact, come from someone’s estate. Furthermore, estate jewelry really encompasses jewelry that is higher end and features fine workmanship and high quality stones, and more often than not is one of a kind. Most estate jewelry is irreplaceable, which is why when you find a really good piece it commands a high price on the market for both selling and buying. Antique jewelry is jewelry that is over 100 years old.
Periods of Estate Jewelry
This is where the Art History is helpful because estate jewelry can be Early Victorian, Late Victorian, Art Nouveau, Georgian, Edwardian, Art Deco or Retro. Each of these time periods has distinct characteristics to distinguish the pieces, which helps to identify them.
Georgian – The estate jewelry in this era is very rare and is handmade from 1714 – 1837. The designs are often nature inspired and generally include precious stones.
Early Victorian – Early Victorian also is nature inspired, much like the jewelry of the Georgian era. The time period between 1837 – 1855 produced romantic jewelry that was intricate and delicate. Lockets and brooches were popular during this time period and the use of colored gemstones started to take shape as well.
Late Victorian – The jewelry became more aesthetic during 1885 – 1900. Jewelers used diamonds and bright gemstones to create star and crescent designs and hatpins became very popular.
Edwardian – The estate jewelry during the Edwardian period consisted of elaborate designs using expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. This period marked the time when Edward became King after Queen Victoria died; it also marked a time of excess and lasted between 1900 - 1915.
Art Nouveau – When you think of Art Nouveau estate jewelry think of vintage Lalique with curves and natural designs that show butterflies and flowers. Think of Paris and romance and women with long hair. Think beauty. It lasted between 1895 and 1910.
Art Deco – The estate jewelry becomes more stylized and designed as it enters into the 1930’s and the age of Art Deco. Art Deco is more abstract and geometric with influences from cubism and Dadaism. Out of all the eras of estate jewelry, Art Deco is the most sought after and commands the highest price at auctions and on the open market for resale.
Retro – Retro is inspired by Hollywood and it is jewelry that is bright, bold, elaborate and colorful. The pieces are large and many were worn at once. This time period covers up to 1960.
Once newer than 1960, estate jewelry is considered contemporary.
Shop Grissom's for estate jewelry, a trusted source that provides reassurance of quality and authenticity. Products are classified correctly regarding the age and provenance of a piece of jewelry.
At Grissom’s, we get new pieces in year round, so stop by our showroom and view our estate jewelry collection, a trusted source for your estate jewelry needs.