Antique Jewelry Stores

Antique Jewelry Stores

Q Any tips for buying estate jewelry as a gift since we always assumed returning estate jewelry is a no-no? A Actually returning is not a no-no. In fact, it is easier to return estate jewelry than new because there is no “used car” syndrome in effect, by which I mean the minute a new piece walks out of the store, its value declines by half. Estate jewelry is worth as much the day after you buy it as the day before and in most cases, we hope it is worth more over time. Although, we never recommend buying jewelry for investment purposes—estate jewelry, when purchased wisely and at a fair price should hold its value over time as the discount in price from brand new has already been factored in. We are happy to take our pieces back because they have real, tangible gemological value and are not just the jewel du jour. Buying jewelry as a gift is no more fraught than anything else…but it does help to know your recipient’s taste.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

Our store began over forty years ago by Melba Walton, an entrepreneur who had a sincere passion for antique jewelry. Today, Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry has become a staple to the downtown Franklin community. Specializing in pre-1940’s antique and estate pieces, Walton’s maintains the foundation on which Melba created the store; a place where all are welcome to share in the love and admiration for pieces of one of a kind jewelry.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

Q What are the key design elements and characteristics of the popular eras? A That is a huge question! Every design era has characteristics that are immediately visible and familiar to a trained eye, which is why we organized the vintage jewelry offering on Beladora by era, so the dominant characteristics of each are easily visible. Below are the basics with some visual aids: Georgian (1714-1837)As it’s one of the oldest eras, there’s not a lot on the market, meaning that these pieces can be hard to find. Most notably, these are handmade pieces with the stones, mainly diamonds and some colored stones, set over a foil. Victorian (1837-1901)This is where things get confusing because there is some overlap between periods, the blurriest line being between Edwardian and Art Deco. Romantic motifs, such as a serpent biting its tail, birds, and florals were popular during the Victorian era. You’ll notice some pieces are partially tarnished—it can be removed, but a piece is actually more valuable with it, since it takes many decades to get that patina on it in the first place. Art Nouveau (1890-1915—in France)Art Nouveau designs are typically free-flowing and sensuous, often featuring nature-inspired features such as insects, animals, and flowers, as well as women with long, flowing hair, all frequently enhanced by delicate enamel and gemstones. Edwardian (1901-1915—in England)During the Edwardian era, platinum was discovered and became popular in jewelry design. You’ll find lots of white-on-white bracelets and necklaces pierced into beautiful, delicate lace patterns as well as some natural pearls worked in for good measure. Something to keep in mind is that even though the Edwardian era is technically older than Art Deco, it’s not necessarily more expensive. Art Deco (1920-1935, i.e., roughly between the World Wars)The Art Deco period is characterized by a geometrical and symmetrical style of jewelry, typically made in platinum set with white diamonds and accented with brightly colored gemstones or uncommon semi-precious materials, such as carnelian and onyx. Many of the styles were inspired by Asian and Egyptian motifs. Retro (1935-1950)Retro jewelry is known for the use of multi-colored gold (yellow, rose, and white) and for pieces that are often large in scale and asymmetrical. Popular themes include ribbons, patriotic color schemes using sapphires, rubies, and diamonds for red, white, and blue, as well as military or weaponry-inspired designs. Mid-Century (1950-1970) and Modern (1970-1990)This is when you see platinum coming back after the war, meaning lots of white-on-white gold set with stones, mainly diamonds. The styles for brooches, bracelets, and cocktail rings are quite oversized, chunky, and bold. By the time the 80’s come around, things become more refined. Great attention was being paid to design and name brand jewelry became big. Contemporary (1990-Present)These are the pieces you’re buying in stores now, which can end up on the resale market almost simultaneously.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

As soon as the topic of estate jewelry came up at goop HQ, it became obvious that in spite of our intense appreciation for pretty, sparkly things, our collective knowledge of the topic was skimpy at best (not one of us was able to pinpoint what passes as estate jewelry, for example). So in the interest of self-education, we tracked down industry veteran Russell Fogarty to shed some light. After falling in love with jewelry and gemology in college, he joined Christie’s first U.S. outpost as an appraiser in 1979 and grew to head up the entire jewelry department before striking out on his own. Perhaps most impressive of all is that he’s perfected the art of selling estate jewelry online by way of Beladora, an offshoot of his 25-year-old buying firm, Kazanjian & Fogarty, Inc. in Beverly Hills. Over the years, he’s mastered the secret sauce to making clients far and wide trust his and his team’s expertise enough to take the fear and mystery out of making such important purchases online. A few of the ingredients? Painstakingly researching and verifying the authenticity of each piece and a brilliant use of video to demonstrate what pieces look like on the body for anyone who can’t try them on in person.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

Actually returning is not a no-no. In fact, it is easier to return estate jewelry than new because there is no “used car” syndrome in effect, by which I mean the minute a new piece walks out of the store, its value declines by half. Estate jewelry is worth as much the day after you buy it as the day before and in most cases, we hope it is worth more over time. Although, we never recommend buying jewelry for investment purposes—estate jewelry, when purchased wisely and at a fair price should hold its value over time as the discount in price from brand new has already been factored in. We are happy to take our pieces back because they have real, tangible gemological value and are not just the jewel du jour. Buying jewelry as a gift is no more fraught than anything else…but it does help to know your recipient’s taste.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

Estate jewelry is simply any piece that is pre-owned, whether the prior owner is living or not. In most cases, estate jewelry comes from the collection of someone who has passed away—witness the great sales that have taken place over the past 30 years of pieces from the collections of Elizabeth Taylor and the Duchess of Windsor. But estate jewelry also includes, just to name a few, the fabulous collections of Lily Safra, Ellen Barkin, and the Princess Salimah Aga Khan, all sold during their lifetimes.
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Antique Jewelry Stores

Q What are the basics of estate jewelry shopping? How can you tell whether the item in question is real, important, etc.? A This is really the essential question, because of course unless you have a degree in gemology, or work in the field, or collect very seriously and see a lot of pieces to develop your eye, it is difficult for buyers to determine authenticity. For us, it’s easy because we know what to look for: the subtle quality of the workmanship, the look and feel of a piece, the quality of the material, whether precious stones/metals—gold, platinum, onyx, jade, lapis, etc.—have a signature that’s correct, because unfortunately, there are many signed pieces out there that are not authentic. As in so many things in life, you really have to deal with someone you trust, someone who has a reputation for integrity and expertise, and who stands behind your purchase with an unequivocal guarantee so that no matter what, you know you are buying exactly what you think you are buying, and for a fair price. How to tell whether a piece is important or not is another question that is really dictated by the quality of the materials used, the importance of the maker, the specialness of the design or workmanship, and the rarity factor. There are many sources in the market place to find incredible, even one-of-a-kind estate jewels, be it from a private dealer you know and trust, a major auction house, a retail operation that specializes in estate jewelry, or online sources such as Beladora and 1stdibs. Whatever and wherever you buy, the seller must provide detailed information and stand behind authenticity and price. There’s a common misconception that buying jewelry is an investment, but I’m of the belief that it should be something you actively wear and love forever. One day, should you decide to sell it, you might do very well. Because the diamond and gold markets fluctuate cycles, it’s most important to make sure the piece is something you love—if you happen to make a profit, that’s just the icing on the cake.

Antique Jewelry Stores

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