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Vintage jewelry is growing in popularity with each passing year: Its timelessness cannot be overlooked, and vintage pieces allow you to find the perfect piece that barely anyone—perhaps even no one—else owns.
No matter the age of the person wearing it, the event it’s being worn to, or the personal style it’s being paired with, vintage fine jewelry is as gorgeous and relevant now as it was when the designs were first created. Roman Malakov has a wide selection of estate or vintage jewelry in our NYC stores, and we are confident that you’ll find something you love when you shop with us.
When we consider vintage jewelry nowadays, it can be actual pieces that were handcrafted decades or centuries ago. We’re also at an age where jewelry design has so many styles to pull from that pieces can simply be based on vintage designs and motifs.
Exploring the various vintage styles requires us to go back in time to when the original vintage designs were created. Going as far back as the 1700s will take us to the Georgian Era, which spanned over 100 years and included the reign of four different King Georges. Georgian Era vintage jewelry pieces are incredibly hard to come by nowadays, but they are characterized by foil-backed diamonds, topaz, and garnet stones, along with high-carat gold and silver metals. Due to their time in history, stones used in jewelry during this time were cut with primitive tools and techniques, meaning they aren’t perfectly symmetrical or smooth.
The Victorian Era (1837-1901) is aptly named for Queen Victoria, who had a large impact on the style and advancement of vintage fine jewelry. Popular stones that adorn Victorian Era jewelry include garnets, turquoise, amethyst, sapphires, pearls, and diamonds. Animal, insect, and bird motifs are a popular theme in Victorian vintage fine jewelry as well.
The Edwardian Era (1901-1915) saw the introduction of platinum, and the inclusion of diamonds and pearls made its way to the forefront of jewelry design during this period. Vintage style jewelry from the Edwardian Era is characterized by ornate, intricate, and symmetrical designs that include floral motifs and delicate details. This period is also credited with the popular milgrain and filigree details that are so commonly associated with vintage fine jewelry.
Art Nouveau (1890-1910) vintage style jewelry is hard to find today. While this period of jewelry overlapped with the Edwardian Era, the designs that define each are vastly different. Art Nouveau vintage jewelry is all about free form and organic movement, as to reflect the raw power found in nature and natural shapes.
The Art Deco Era (1920-1945) is significantly different from its predecessors of vintage style jewelry. It is characterized by harsher angles, geometric designs, and clean details. Pieces during this time reflected feminism and edginess, as women entered the workforce (many for the first time) while men fought in World War II. Platinum was the metal of choice during the Art Deco period, and the most common gemstones of the time included diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and onyx.
Fine jewelry from the Retro Era (1939-1950) is one of the most popular styles worn today. It has bold geometric patterns and symmetry, as well as large, colorful gemstones. Platinum and yellow gold were the most popular metals of this period, but it was during the Retro Era that white gold started increasing in popularity as well.