Common Misconceptions About Vintage, Antique, and Estate Jewelry

Posted by Andro Yuson


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Some people only go for the latest trends when assembling a jewelry collection, but the smartest jewelry buyers know that vintage pieces can be a great addition to your jewelry drawer. Let Luriya walk you through the most common misconceptions about vintage, estate, and antique jewelry! Scroll down to read more...


READ MORE: Is It Time to Sell Your Jewelry? 


First things first-- what is the difference between estate, vintage, and antique jewelry? Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous differences between all these types of jewelry.


Antique jewelry is jewelry that has been in existence for a century or more. Vintage, while relatively new, are pieces that are made in the past century. The most confusing is estate jewelry. All jewelry is considered estate jewelry if it isn’t brand new but not all estate jewelry is considered vintage or antique. Estate jewelry, simply put, is jewelry that has been previously owned. The name estate jewelry comes from the idea that this kind of jewelry is obtained as an inheritance from someone else’s estate. Estate jewelry can be vintage, antique, or even modern-- as long as someone has already previously owned the piece.

Now that we got that out of the way, what are the common misconceptions about this type of jewelry?


Previously Owned Pieces Bring Bad Karma

This is probably the most popular reason jewelry owners are wary about owning a previously owned piece. However, it’s all in the head.




For instance, jewelry pieces are often taken apart to use the stones and/or the settings to create other pieces. Jewelers can easily move diamonds from one setting to another and, as the pieces become part of newer ones, it becomes difficult to track which ones have already been worn or unused. In addition, just because someone had a bad experience while wearing jewelry does not mean you will have the same experiences. In fact, it gives you and the jewelry piece a chance to start fresh and make some new memories!


Older Styles Don’t Have the Same Quality

If you’re familiar with paste jewelry, you’ll know that these inexpensive alternative to real gemstones were popular in the 18th and 19th century. Paste jewelry can all be considered as classic jewelry and is made of colored glass. However, this type of jewelry may have contributed to the negative connotation that older styles might not have the same quality as modern ones.


Out With the Old, In With the New

Anyone in the fashion industry knows this isn’t true. Fashion is recurring. Fashion is a cycle that goes from obsolete to trendy in a couple of decades. The same goes for jewelry! However, if you’re talking about fashion fads, those are different. Fads occur because an influential person wears them and, because it seems trendy, the general public follows suit. But for real fashion, it follows a cycle where what was fashionable in the 70s could make a comeback in 2019. After all, good style is timeless.


“It’s vintage? It must be expensive!”

While technically true, it is important to understand that older jewelry are rare. Therefore the rarer the piece is, the more expensive it will be. You should also consider that the designer of a vintage piece might no longer be making jewelry therefore making the pieces that he/she has made more exclusive. Having a selection of vintage jewelry in your collection can also be a great investment as you can be assured that the price will stay the same or can become higher when the time to sell ever comes.


Can A Vintage Piece Be My Engagement Ring?

Of course! While it’s true that most older vintage/estate jewelry do not feature diamonds as often as modern jewelry pieces do, it doesn’t mean that a vintage piece couldn’t be your engagement ring. The most successful marketing campaign in history is the myth that diamonds HAVE to be given as an engagement ring. The De Beers company, the largest diamond production company in the world, has convinced 20th century couples that they shouldn’t settle for anything less than a diamond when getting engagement. Since then, diamond engagement rings have been the number one choice when proposing to a significant other.




So how could vintage jewelry compete with diamond rings? Simple— vintage jewelry are unique. You can be sure that there would be a slim chance that your vintage engagement ring would be similar to another person’s engagement ring as opposed to having a mass produced diamond ring.


My Style Is Modern, I Don’t Want to Change That

Having a modern style doesn’t mean you only have to exclusively wear modern stuff. The great thing about timeless jewelry is that it goes well with whatever your style might be. A modern outfit with one older piece of jewelry can be a great look, and tells people you’re confident enough to think outside the box. Ultimately, the decision to wear vintage/estate/antique jewelry is up to you! We also hope that we have cleared up some of the most common misconceptions about these types of jewelry.

It is important to keep in mind and realize that personal styles and preferences evolve. We hope that the next time you see an estate sale, you don’t pass it by!

That's it for us here at Luriya! Until next time!






Topics: Selling Jewelry, Estate Jewelry, Antique Jewelry, Jewelry, Buying Jewelry, Celtic Jewelry, Jewelry Care, sell jewelry, wearing jewelry, sell jewelry nyc

November 28, 2019