Vintage jewelry refers to any previously owned jewelry that comes from one of the established jewelry periods, dating back to the early 1700s (Georgian Period) and going through the early 1970’s (Retro). The jewelry of each period has specific elements that help identify its age and the period it comes from.
Learning the characteristics of the types of jewelry that come from each era can help you find what you’re looking for in vintage jewelry online. It can also help you identify some unique finds from online sellers and in places such as yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, where the seller may not be aware of an item’s value or history.
If you’re looking for used engagement rings, San Diego vintage jewelers online are good places to start browsing for ideas, styles, and prices. A vintage engagement ring offers the chance to share a unique piece of history with the love of your life and use something from the past to create new meaning in your lives as you move forward into the future together.
Online jewelry stores post images for browsing, but don’t hesitate to contact the dealer with specific questions about an item before purchasing, especially when it comes to the era and condition of vintage items. Here are some of the key characteristics to look for when searching for jewelry from specific periods or trying to identify the era of jewelry you already own.
Georgian (1714-1837): Handmade and rare, these pieces are inspired by the natural world and are often adorned with precious stones.
Early Victorian (1837-1855): With an emphasis on intricately-etched designs in gold, the ladies of the era preferred lockets and brooches during the day and diamonds and other precious gems at night.
Mid Victorian (1856-1880): Dark stones such as onyx, garnet, and amethyst became popular in jewelry during this era, marking the death of Queen Victoria’s husband.
Late Victorian (1885-1900): Jewelry took a turn toward the bright side with elaborate hat pins, bright diamonds and gemstones, and astral-inspired designs.
Arts and Crafts (1894-1923): In response to the industrial revolution, jewelry artists returned to their roots with simple, handmade designs full of natural, uncut gems and stones.
Edwardian (1901-1915): During this period jewelry became elaborate and increasingly expensive through adornment with precious gems such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
Art Nuevo (1895-1915): This nature-inspired jewelry is elaborate, curvy, flowing, and transformative.
Art Deco (1915-1935): This abstract style is marked by silver as the primary metal, gains inspiration from the Egyptian pyramids and other geometric shapes and designs, and was culturally-influenced by artists worldwide.
Retro (1945-1970): Retro jewelry has post-modern influences and is marked by chunky, colorful designs and charm jewelry.