So you’re at a sale in Sarasota and you are interested in some beautiful estate jewelry you’ve found. The family is clearing out the property and everything must go by the end of today, there are other people eyeing the piece you want, and you don’t have time to deliberate long. Is it worth the price? How do you know what to look for? You need to be informed before you end up in this situation.
Let’s start by first determining what defines estate jewelry. The basic definition includes any jewelry that was previously owned. More specifically, the term originated to refer to those items that are part of an estate. These are typically the belongings of someone now deceased, but sometimes the previous owners simply decide to sell some of their own items.
Unfortunately this term can encompass a broad range of values, periods, and styles including, but not limited to:
- Retro – 1960 and older. Bright and elaborate. Inspired by Hollywood.
- Art Deco – 1930’s. The most valuable and sought after style of estate jewelry. Art Deco is more abstract, taking inspiration from both Dadaism and Cubism.
- Art Nouveau – Exemplifies beauty. Utilizes curves, natural designs, flowers, and butterflies.
- Edwardian – Made during the period that King Edward held the throne. Large gemstones and elaborate designs, evokes thoughts of excess.
- Late Victorian – Late 19th century. Often utilizes star and crescent designs made of gemstones.
- Early Victorian – 1837-1855. Romantic. Colored gemstones saw more use. Popular items included brooches and lockets.
- Georgian – 1714-1837. Handmade and very rare. Nature inspired.
What You Should Find Out
Before you buy those items from a Sarasota estate, there are a few things you need to find out:
What condition is it in? Look for any scratches, dents, or missing stones. This also includes any previous joint repairs. Any repair should have a receipt.
What is its history and certifications? You’ll want to know the history of the piece to adequately assess it. If there are any precious stones, are they lab certified?
If you’re buying from a Sarasota dealer are they reputable? You want to ensure that who you buy from is both honest and experienced in the field.