Antique jewelry is not only beautiful, but also allows the wearer to appreciate the styles, craftsmanship, and history of a past era. It can also be a great investment if you do your research and knows exactly what you are buying.
According to the eBay Costume and Antique Jewelry Guide, antique jewelry is any jewelry that predates the 1930s. The Atlanta Antique Gallery states that jewelry must be at least 100 years old in order to be considered antique.
There are many types of antique jewelry, including rings, necklaces, brooches, miniatures, pennants, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks and watches.
The time frames in jewelry history are the Late Georgian (1760-1837), Victorian (1837-1901), Art Nouveau (1890-1915), Edwardian (1901-1915), Art Deco (1920-1935), and Retro (1935-1950). Jewelry before the Late Georgian era is very hard to find.
People can tell what era a piece of jewelry is from by its type, material, and style. The name of the period is often used in the product's description, such as an antique Victorian or an antique Edwardian.
There are many fake diamonds and gemstones on the market, so before investing a large sum of money on a piece of jewelry one should have it authenticated by a jeweler. Antique stores and flea markets offer antique jewelry of all types, but for quality pieces a collector should look for the brands Cartier, Lee Van Cleef and Arpels, and Boucheron.