Art Deco American Flag Brooch circa 1930













Antique Jewelry: Jewelry which is over 100 years old


Estate Jewelry: Jewelry that has been previously owned


Diamond Cuts:

             Rose Cut: Cut flat at the back and has a few facets on the top.


              Old Mine Cut: Cut in the fashion and shape of the rough diamond. Thus

                                        keeping the maximum weight, minimizing the loss of

                                        weight during cutting. No electricity was available at this time to

                                        power the diamond cutting wheel. Foot and hand power was the only way

                                        to power the cutting wheel. This old mine cut has a small table; high  

                                        crown; deep pavilion and; open culet. Old mine Cuts were cut from 1800-1905.

                                        {also known as: old miner; miner cut; old cut}


              European Cut: This was the first diamond to have the girdle (diameter) round.

                                        The cut was improved over the Old Mine Cut,

                                        giving the diamond more brilliance and symmetry.

                                        The table is large, letting more light into the stone; the girdle round,

                                         letting the pavilion to be cut into a geometric pattern and,

                                         the culet open but round. {circa 1905-1940}


               Transitional Cut: More facets were cut on this diamond to make it more brilliant.

                                             The evolution between the European Cut and today’s

                                              Modern Brilliant (58 facets) {circa 1940-1965}





Periods of Jewelry:

Victorian        circa 1837-1901

Edwardian     circa 1901-1914

Art Nouveau  circa 1895-1915

Art Deco         circa 1920-1930

Retro               circa 1940-1950

Modern           circa 1950 to date



About the different periods of jewelry:

 Each jewelry period has its own style and flavor.

Techniques, materials and market influences, as well as world events all have an impact on the

jewelry manufactured for that particular period of time. Styles from past periods are resurrected and newer techniques are used to create newer versions of older styles.










VICTORIAN (1837-1901): The Victorian period ranges from Queen Victoria’s accession to the British Throne until her death in 1901. Sixty-four years is a lot to encompass for one period of jewelry. This long and important period has to be split into different sub-periods. The reason for this is because of worldwide influences and demands.

1837-1860: Woman’s clothing had no open necks, therefore no necklaces. Bonnets and hair styles covered ears, hence no earrings. Large brooches adorned woman’s dresses. Also rings, bracelets and pendants were worn.

Gemstones of the period: Rose cut and old mine diamonds; amethyst; pink and golden topaz;

coral; chalcedony; turquoise ruby; garnet; cameos carved from shell and stone; natural pearls and lava.

Manufacturing of the period:  Hand crafted manufacturing was mostly used although with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mass production of jewelry was starting.

Motifs of the period: bows, arrows, snakes, swords, birds, clovers, flowers.

1860-1885: Earrings started to become longer using pendants and fringe techniques to add length.

Gemstones of the period: Amethyst, coral opal, onyx; ruby; pearls; carbuncles (cabochon garnet)

Diamonds; sapphires; tortoise shell; ivory; jet; glass and enamels and; emerald.

Manufacturing methods: Hand crafted; Etruscan filigree with fine granular gold and wire.

Motifs of the period: Monograms; insects; crosses; memorials; stars; hearts; birds; crescents; mottoes and Etruscan Revival.

1885-1901: More of a delicate look comes into fashion, as clothing becomes lighter.

Bracelets and rings were of a narrower width. Earrings were on the ear. Jeweled hair ornaments adorned the head including tiaras. In the evening, diamond brooches would be worn. Stickpins in hats were in vogue.

Diamond solitaire rings and bar brooches were also very popular.

Manufacturing of the period: Hand crafting; machine produced jewelry capable of manufacturing mass quantities started to being developed and used.

Motifs:  Etruscan designs; feathers knots ;clovers; cross-overs; horseshoe; double hearts with a crown ; stars; Crescent; birds; grapes clusters; oak leaves; starbursts; sunbursts; hunting and sporting motifs.





“Slow Moving” Victorian Turtle Brooch                                

set with diamonds and demantoid garnets                        

                                                               Victorian Opal & Diamond

                                                                                           Crescent Brooch






Edwardian Period (1901-1914):

Simplicity and light weight is the background for this period. Jewelry made to compliment Edwardian garments. Fine, light weight jewelry was created in very high quality and craftsmanship.

Gemstones of the period: Diamonds; pearls; rubies; sapphires; emeralds; onyx; amethyst

Types of jewelry of the period:  “Dog collar “choker necklaces; diamond feather brooches; pearl sautoir

(long pearls and or diamond chains with a pendant hanging at the end). Pendants and brooches with diamond borders and finely pierced center sections were very prominent for this period.

Manufacturing methods: Hand crafting; machine made; mass production

As the industrial revolution evolves, manufacturing becomes more exact and precise. Jewelry is

produced in finer and greater detail than ever before in jewelry history!

Platinum becomes a metal of choice to set diamonds. The marriage of platinum and yellow gold also comes into fashion (platinum top and yellow gold bottom.).


                                                                                                                 Edwardian Diamond Pendant Earrings                                        


            Edwardian Diamond & Sapphire Necklace                                                                             










ART NOUVEAU Period (1895-1915)

World prosperity reins, money no object. Jewelry moves to a drastic direction. Old simplistic ordinary styles are out------- new free form; free flowing, natural like jewelry is being produced. Jewelry designers take on the jewelry world like Artist (painters) creating works of Art in jewels. Jewelry with the faces of “pretty” woman; insects like dragonflies and butterflies become life like with transparent wings emulated by fine plique a jour enamels; beautiful landscape scenes depicted by the combination of gemstones and enamels.

The use of semi precious gemstones (amethyst, peridot, demantoid garnet) brought out the color and craftsmanship of the gold as well as the motif of the article of jewelry. Diamonds were not as important to this period of jewelry as in all other periods.

Materials used: Yellow gold, almost no platinum, silver and enamels

Manufacturing methods: Hand crafting for the fine artist and machine, for the mass produced

The artist was the manufacturing genius for the Art Nouveau Period.


Art Nouveau “Dog Collar” Center Plaque by Lalique


Art Nouveau Dragonfly Brooch with Plique a Jour Enamel Wings



ART DECO Period (1920-1930)

World travel becomes more frequent. Jewelers from different parts of the globe start unveiling their new designs to the world through important exhibitions in foreign countries (other than their own).

Geometric designs, combinations of diamonds and geometric shaped colored stones take a new form

in jewelry. Evening wear for women became strapless and backless giving jewelry the way to adorn the body. Long pendants and sautoirs; long dangle earrings; made the wearer much more elegantly outfitted. The jewelry houses of Van Cleef et Arpels; Tiffany & Co; Boucheron; LaCloche; Marcus;

Black Starr & Frost and Cartier (to name a few) became the leaders of the Art Deco Jewelry market.

The short manufacturing life of this period is due to the great depression.

Motifs: Geometric patterns; flowers; flower baskets; flags; symbols 

The craftsmanship of the use of platinum and the lapidary cutting expertise of small finely cut gemstones

(calibre’) defines this great jewelry period.


Art Deco Emerald & Diamond Brooch (set with Calibre Emeralds)


Art Deco Calibrated Lapis and Diamond Platinum Bracelet


Art Deco Platinum Diamond (Geometric) Bracelet




Art Deco Brooch set with Calibre sapphires














RETRO Period (1940-1950)

Also called 40’s Jewelry

During the war, woman’s life styles changed. Woman helped in the war effort working in factories and business, clothing also changed. To accommodate woman’s jewelry needs, jewelers designed larger bolder jewelry. The styles were strong and powerful, not petite and lacy as in the past 25 years .The metal of choice for jewelry for the past 25 years was platinum. During the years of WWII, platinum is a (government) strategic metal and not used in jewelry. Pink gold dominates the metal color of this period. Both geometric and free forms ate encompassed in retro jewelry.

Motifs of the period: Flowers; sprays, ballerinas (a Van Cleef et Arpels original design) and explosive

wild designs never before fashioned into jewelry



Retro Flower Brooch in Pink Gold                                                                                                                                                                              


Retro “Artist Pallet” Brooch in Pink Gold                                                     Retro Pink Gold Bracelet




















MODERN Period (1950-Present)

The 1950’s brought prosperity and upward economic mobility. Platinum is back and White Gold

Makes its debut. Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds is the focus of jewelry. Brooches, bracelets, Earrings and rings are created with lots of diamonds!!!!


The 1960’s yellow gold comes back into fashion. Some wild and larger jewelry is created. Rubies, emeralds, sapphires, coral, lapis and pearls are designed with diamonds to enhance jewelry.

Cabochon colored gemstones are commonly used in jewelry from the 1960’s


The 1970’s and 80’s produced a tremendous quantity of jewelry. Mostly yellow gold dominates the market place; “Tennis” bracelets are in fashion.


1950’s Bracelet Platinum & Diamond


Diamond Stone on Stone Earrings circa 1950




14kt Yellow Bow Brooch circa 1970                                           18kt Yellow French Hallmarks circa 1980


















Commonly used terms and expressions when dealing with Estate Jewelry:

  • Rose Cut                      type of diamond cut (see diamond page)
  • European Cut               type of diamond cut (see diamond page)
  • Old Mine Cut               type of diamond cut (see diamond page)
  • Asscher Cut                  type of diamond cut (see diamond page)
  • Dutch Rose cut             type of diamond cut (see diamond page)                 
  • Victorian                       Period of Jewelry  circa 1837-1901 
  • Edwardian                     Period of Jewelry  circa 1901-1914
  • Art Nouveau                  Period of Jewelry  circa 1895-1915
  • Art Deco                        Period of Jewelry  circa 1920-1930
  • Retro                             Period of Jewelry  circa 1940-1950       
  • 40’s                                Another term to describe the Retro Period 
  • Filigree                          Very Fine wire and metal work
  • Palladium                      White precious metal used instead of platinum (1940’s to present)
  • Platinum                        White precious metal used in jewelry since the 1890’s     
  • Old Gold                         Just a term for Antique gold 
  • Antique                           Jewelry that is 100 years old or older
  • Pink Gold                       Gold that has copper as it’s alloy (used in the 1940’s)
  • Rose Gold                       Same as pink gold    
  • Plique a Jour Enamel      Translucent enamel (like stained glass)
  • Sautoir                             Long hanging necklace with a pendant at the bottom
  • Belly Bracelet                 The center “bellies” out at the center(middle) and tapers at the ends
  • Line Bracelet                   Straight line of diamonds (any shape diamonds and or gemstones)
  • Modern Brilliant               Round Cut diamond with 58 facets(see diamond page)
  • Fish tail setting                4 prong setting that makes a round diamond look square
  • Cloisonné Enamel            Enamel that is separated by cells(walls)
  • Calibre Cut                      Geometric cut gemstones in small mm sizes  
  • Hallmark                          Either a maker’s mark or metal content mark
  • Reproduction                   A current production of an item that was manufactured in an earlier jewelry period
  • Circa                                Approximate date that an item was produced



























Estate Jewelry



A good selection of Estate Jewelry gives the opportunity to sell a wide variety of items.


Jewelry never goes out of fashion. The Estate Jewelry Product enables to offer prospective clients, jewelry from years past at good values. There is an Estate jewel for every customer from our Estate Collection.


Most jewelry stores only sell the most current item in fashion. What happens when a customer is looking for jewelry that would be special to them or an item that they should have purchased a while back?                                    

We will be able to satisfy their needs!!!


Estate jewelry is very special and important. An Estate Jewelry Collection carries a piece of history, great stories and beauty to adorn.




Smiling after a purchase