Estate jewelry is a term used to describe previously enjoyed jewelry, and encompasses a very wide age range. Estate Jewelry that is more than 40 years old is often described as VINTAGE and anything over 100 years is considered to be ANTIQUE.
Part of Estate jewelry’s charm and character lies in its history and as such, Estate pieces may have some signs of wear and tear. All Estate pieces on Kavador will have been cleaned and polished by our in-house jeweler before shipping to remove most surface abrasions (which you may see on images). Kavador only sells pieces that are are rated as ‘New’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ condition after polishing. Below are our definitions of the terms we use to describe the condition of Estate jewelry:
- New: Brand new, no signs of having been worn
- Excellent: Like-new condition, no abrasions on the stones or metal
- Very Good: Small signs of having been worn; slight abrasions on the stones or precious metals
- Good: Signs of having been worn, abrasions on the stones or precious metals but nothing that structurally affects the piece
Buyers of Estate Jewelry can find magnificent pieces from different eras in history that are truly one-of-a-kind. For buyers with an astute eye, “younger” Estate pieces in excellent condition are exceptional value, as these pieces are often sold for a fraction of their original price. Estate Jewelry should be assessed by a jeweler for both the quality of the craftsmanship and the quality of the gemstones; such qualities are often difficult for consumers to accurately assess.
At Kavador, we only source our pieces from reputable, independent, high-end jewelers with an expertise in buying and assessing Estate Jewelry. In addition, Kavador’s own certified gemologists individually inspect every piece for craftsmanship and gem quality BEFORE we list it, and provide a detailed valuation report for each piece on our website so you can be confident that Kavador’s Estate Jewelry meet the highest standards and will stand the test of time.
Estate Jewelry is often described by the period in which it was created; here are several of the periods most often used to describe Estate pieces:
Georgian Era (1714 – 1837) – the period during which the four King George’s and then King William IV reigned in Britain. Jewelry from this period is very rare, as many pieces have been dismantled and remade – few pieces remain in their original design. Shop Georgian
Victorian Era (1837-1900) – the period during which Queen Victoria reigned in Britain. Early Victorian designs were very often handmade and inspired by nature. The sudden loss of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Albert in 1861 propelled her into a long period of mourning, and many Victorian jewelry designs reflect this as very dark and somber; some are even called ‘mourning’ jewelry. Later Victorian designs began to incorporate brighter gemstones and more feminine patterns, and the use of machines to manufacture jewelry became more common. Shop Victorian
Edwardian Era (1901- 1915) – the period after the death of Queen Victoria, when Edward reigned. Designs from this period were typically lighter than previous eras but very elaborate, ornate and elegant.
Arts and Crafts (1880 – 1910) was an international movement rebelling against the industrial revolution during which jewelry designers (and other craftsmen) advocated fine craftsmanship and design over the use of machines
Art Nouveau (1880 – 1915) is a style originally showcased in Paris. Art Nouveau often featured curvy ‘whiplash’ lines and romantic designs containing the female form and images of nature
Art Deco (1920-1935) emerged during the roaring 20’s. Art Deco is most recognizable for its geometric shapes, parallel lines, symmetry and abstract patterns. Art Deco jewelry and designs remain very popular today. Shop Art Deco
Retro (1945 -1960) emerged following the end of World War II. Pieces from this period were often inspired by the glamor of the golden era of Hollywood. Also known as ‘cocktail’ jewelry these pieces are big, bold, extravagant, colorful and bright. Shop Retro