Estate Jewelry (or jewellery) is a term used, most commonly in a retail sense, to refer to jewelry and often timepieces which are part of the ‘estate’ of a deceased person. More correctly estate jewelry is second-hand or pre-owned jewelry, with the ‘estate’ appellation signifying that the item is antique, vintage or an otherwise considered a significant or important piece.
Periods of Estate jewelry
Estate jewelry may come from any time period, however the most popular are Georgian, Early Victorian, Mid-Victorian, Late Victorian, Arts and Crafts Era, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Retro, and Art Organique.
Georgian jewelry (1714–1837)
Georgian-era jewelry is fairly hard to come by as much of it has been dismantled over the years. Therefore, it represents some of the most sought-after estate jewelry.
Early Victorian, romantic jewelry (1837–1855)
Early Victorian-era jewelry also featured nature-inspired designs, similar to jewelry of the Georgian era. Frequently, these designs were delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular in daytime jewelry during the early Victorian era, whereas colored gemstones and diamonds were worn during the evening.