Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Estate and Antique Jewelry

Estate vs Antique Jewelry

Estate and antique jewelry are considered by many as the same type of jewelry. The reason for this could be that both are considered to be old and valuable. The main difference between antique and estate jewelry is that an antique is any article of jewelry which, according to U.S. government guidelines, is 100 years or older, while estate jewelry could be from any era irrespective of any number of years. Estate jewelry has been pre-owned at some point in time.

Antique Jewelry
Antique jewelry is a piece of jewelry which is at least a century old. There are many periods or eras in which different, unique jewelry styles were designed with different stones and different craftsmanship used. One of the periods is called the Art Deco period which is considered to have been stretched from 1920 to 1935. In the jewelry business, articles of jewelry which belong to this era or from earlier periods are considered antique jewelry.

Estate Jewelry
The jewelry which has been pre-owned is called estate jewelry. The main feature is that the article has been acquired from the estate of any living or deceased person from their private collection. Estate jewelry could be vintage or antique and may belong to any of the eras of the past. Estate jewelry is also referred to as vintage jewelry.

Estate jewelry could be expensive as well as very reasonably priced. The biggest advantage of buying estate jewelry is that most of its cost has already been absorbed by the original owner, and it could sell for as low as almost 25 percent of the original price. Estate jewelry can belong to one of the many eras in which the designs of jewelry were distinctly different from each other depending upon the craftsmanship, the political dominance, popularity of certain stones, and, finally, the industrial revolution which brought machines into play.

The main eras include the Georgian era (1714-1837), Early Victorian (1837-1850), Mid- Victorian (1860-1880), Late Victorian (1885-1900), Arts and Crafts (1894-1923), Art Nouveau (1895-1915), Edwardian (1901-1910), Art Deco (1920-1935) and Retro (1940s).

Georgian and Early Victorian jewelry, also known as Romantic era jewelry, were handmade and were inspired mainly by nature with designs like leaves and flowers.
Mid-Victorian jewelry was also called grand jewelry. It consisted of dark stones like onyx and garnet and had solemn designs. It was also called mourning jewelry as during this era Queen Victoria’s husband had died.
Late Victorian jewelry was also called Aesthetic jewelry. In this era, stones with bright colors like peridot and sapphire with stars and crescent designs were most popular.
Arts and Crafts era saw the revolution, and designs were very simple with uncut stones. Art Nouveau featured designs like flowers and butterflies.
Edwardian jewelry, just like King Edward, saw expensive, elaborate designs with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
The Art Deco era had Japanese, Egyptian, and African influence on the jewelry with geometrical designs.
Retro jewelry was inspired by Hollywood; it was bold, bright, and colorful with big rings, etc.


Antique jewelry is jewelry which is 100 years or older; estate jewelry is pre-owned jewelry from any era less than or more than 100 years old.
Antique jewelry is almost always expensive; estate jewelry could be very expensive as well as reasonably priced.

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