What exactly is “Estate Jewelry”?

What do you think of when you hear the words “Estate Jewelry”? Most people will commonly think of vintage or antique jewelry, but it can also be previously loved modern or contemporary jewelry. Our estate jewelry collection spans the decades and includes vintage to pre-owned modern jewelry.

The words Antique, Vintage and Estate are rather common in the world of jewelry, yet the three are confused and misused quite often. There are dramatic differences between estate, antique, and vintage jewelry, along with a few all-too common misconceptions about these three major players in the jewelry industry.

Jewelry is considered “Estate” if the piece of jewelry in question has a previous owner. However, contrary to common belief, the previous owner of a piece of estate jewelry may very well still be alive. While the previous owners of a considerable percentage of estate jewelry have indeed passed away, the vitality of the previous owner has nothing to do with a piece of jewelry’s status as estate jewelry. Another common misconception in the world of estate jewelry is the fact that age has nothing to do with whether or not a piece of jewelry is classified as “Estate”. Although many estate pieces on the market today may be 50, 100, even 150+ years old, age is not a determining factor when it comes to classifying estate jewelry.

A piece of jewelry is considered “Antique” if it is over 100 years old. In general, antique jewelry is crafted with a superior level of craftsmanship from higher-quality materials, compared to modern pieces found on the market today. However, due to the relative scarcity and sheer age of jewelry by the time it can be classified as “antique”, the majority of antique jewelry is too valuable to be worn or at times even displayed.

On the other hand, a piece of jewelry is considered “vintage” if it is between 50 years old and 100 years old. Unlike antique jewelry, vintage pieces are often worn and displayed, as they are less likely to break. Vintage jewelry designs are also easier to incorporate into fashion-forward outfits to create unique statements, as vintage jewelry designs are relatively current, easily paring with today’s hottest trends while adding an extra flair to any outfit!
In our estate showcases you will find previously loved vintage filigree art deco rings to previously loved modern solitaire engagement rings. Our collection spans the decades and gives customers a wide variety of styles to choose from. Whether you’re looking for that perfect modern piece of jewelry or a timeless vintage style to adorn yourself or your loved one, we have a wide selection of styles to choose from.

At Abshire & Haylan Jewelers, we are big on quality. So if we purchase a piece that doesn’t stand up to our rigorous quality standards, we don’t put it in our case. If a piece passes our quality standards we have our in-house goldsmiths carefully refinish the piece so it looks brand new and we add it to our estate jewelry collection.

It is true that estate pieces come with a story but the reason that someone sells their jewelry isn’t just because the piece is associated with bad memories. People sell their jewelry for a lot of reasons. One of the most common reasons we see people sell is because their tastes have changed. If the look of the piece doesn’t fit your style it will just sit in a jewelry box. Why not trade it in for a piece you’ll wear and enjoy?

Style is so important and that is often why we also see people come in to sell pieces they have inherited but would never wear. If the original piece has sentimental value we can rework the piece into a new design that carries the same sentiment in a style you love. If it doesn’t have sentimental value you can use the value of the piece towards a new piece you love.

We do see some pieces come in for sale that are the result of a relationship that has ended but that doesn’t mean the piece is cursed! Even though the relationship didn’t end up where the couple thought it would, the piece was still purchased and worn as a symbol of their love when it was strong. When that love changes the piece has a unique story and is like a rescue dog waiting to make a new couple as happy as it did for the original couple once.

Come see for yourself all that our Estate Jewelry Collection offers. No two pieces are exactly the same, so whether you want to get engaged, show some love to your sweetheart, get out of the doghouse, or just buy yourself something beautiful, you can find it here at Abshire & Haylan Jewelers.