Do you know the basic rule for buying jewelry? Sure, materials, workmanship, designer all matter very much, but the most important rule is – I love it!
Jewelry is all about the intrinsic beauty of an object and how it makes us feel. Humans first developed a need for personal adornment thousands of years ago and we still love a delicate pair of earrings, a gorgeous bracelet, and let’s not even talk about rings, most women feel naked without their favorite rings.
Traditionally, the term antique refers to objects that are over 100 years old, but in the jewelry trade the rules are not as strict and a ring that was crafted only some 80 years ago will also qualify as antique, rather than vintage. Were you ever fascinated by the roaring 20s? Then you’re lucky indeed lucky as you can buy a bracelet from that era and call it antique. Art Deco jewelry made in the 1920s and 1930s is one of the most popular antique jewelry styles today. If you’re interested in antique jewelry you should also check out the eye-catching designs from the Edwardian, Georgian or Victorian era.
How much is a piece of jewelry worth?
Exactly how much you’re willing to pay for it. Actually, no, there are some things you should consider before forking out a lot of money. First of all look at the materials – gold, silver, platinum, as well as the stones – an aquamarine blue stone might look wonderful, but it’s certainly worth less than a diamond.
Yet, even more important than the materials is the workmanship – a plain silver band ring will never be worth the same as a filigree one, which required a lot of work.
And, as always, designers matter, especially if you’re considering buying antique jewelry as a form of investment. You’ll never make a bad investment when buying an outstanding work of art created by one of the masters in the field Lalique, Castellani, Fabergé, Giuliano or Cartier.
Many people turn to the antique market when they’re looking for an engagement ring because you want to make your loved one feel special and unique. What better way to say that than with a white-gold diamond-encrusted ring from the Art Deco era?
Another market in high demand is that of antique bracelets, from Victorian gold bracelets decorated with opal, agate or turquoise stones to Edwardian diamond bracelets. Or how about a geometric modernist panel bracelet from the Art Deco period? Speaking of which, did you know that bangles are staging a comeback? Maybe you want just one stylish bracelet on your arm, but then maybe it’s not enough – this is where the bangles come in – a white silver engraved bangle from the Victorian era is big enough to catch the eye, yet elegant and simple.
So far we’ve seen what you need to consider when buying antique jewelry – materials, craftsmanship, designer. Obviously, buy from a reputable dealer and ask for an expert opinion when in doubt. And one other thing, don’t buy something just because it’s fashionable at the moment – one year it will be about brooches, while the next one big roped necklaces might be all the rage. Fashion comes and goes so you’re better off trusting your instinct and buying something you like. A diamond ring or a gold bracelet will never go out of style, and, as far as antiques are concerned, their value can only increase.