Vintage and antique jewelry has been trending for years. Whether you’re buying or selling pre-owned jewelry, get to know these popular estate jewelry periods.

Antique Jewlery vs. Vintage Jewelry: What do they mean?

First of all, it’s important to not the difference in antique vs vintage when it comes to jewelry. 


Very simply put, antique jewelry has been created more than 100 years ago. This includes jewelry made any time from the Georgian era towards the end of the Edwardian era.

We have managed to find and stock incredible antique pieces in our inventory. This jewelry needs an extensive amount of care to maintain it’s condition.


Vintage jewelry includes any pieces made within the last 100 years.

The end of the Edwardian marks the divide between true antique jewelry and vintage. Our jewelry experts at Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers can help customers determine the time period of their estate jewelry.

Vintage Inspired

This category is reserved for new jewelry that is made in the style of older jewelry periods. This is very common in costume jewelry. Our associates can also help determine if your estate jewelry falls into this category.

Complete List of Estate Jewelry Periods

The estate jewelry periods are listed from earliest to latest. 


Georgian jewelry era

Generally regarded as the oldest era of estate jewelry – Georgian era jewelry is extremely rare and was produced in a time period from 1714 to the mid 1830’s.

Most of the jewelry that has survived from the Georgian era has been taken apart or modified in some way over the years. Learn more about Georgian era jewelry.


victorian era

Victorian Era jewelry is steeped in royal British tradition and influence. Queen Victoria oversaw an extremely prosperous time for the Great Britain and its citizens from 1837 – 1901.

Commerce and industrialization rose and caused the middle class to explode. This provided a. large boost to consumer goods industries like jewelry.

With extra money to spend, the public looked towards Queen Victoria for fashion and jewelry wearing etiquette, and the Victorian Era was born.


Edwardian Era

Next, as England made the slow transition from Queen Victoria in the late 1800’s to King Edward VII in 1901, the style of jewelry craftsmanship changed along with it.

Major advances in technology paired with a new fashion trends for women caused a shift towards a light, elegant jewelry period known as the Edwardian Era.

This period in jewelry design lasted from 1901 to roughly 1920. The Edwardian era was a time period of sophistication and elegance driven by the extreme wealth of the upper class. Learn more about Edwardian era jewelery.

Art Nouveau


Art. Nature. Romance.

This is what the Art Nouveau period embodied for a 20 year span from 1890 – 1910.

This era was essentially sandwiched between the Victorian and Edwardian periods, but made a massive impact on the artistry used by jewelry makers of the time.

In addition, the Art Nouveau period sharply contrasted the growing advances of technology in the industrial age. Learn more about Art Nouveau era jewelery.

Art Deco

Art Deco Jewelry

Imagine how the average American must have felt after World War I when Art Deco jewelry emerged. Over the course of the war from 1914-1918, over 116,000 U.S. troops died. Almost 4.8 million American troops served during World War I, which was unlike anything the country had ever seen.

Times were intensely scarce, and the War officially brought the Art Nouveau era to an end. Long gone were the days of decadence and artistry that were so important during the late 19th and early 20th century. World War I put a strain on materials and the traditional working environment of the time.

With so many men off to war, women quickly filled the essential jobs left behind. This dramatically changed the amount of time and energy that was dedicated to fashion and jewelry trends. Women began to earn money for themselves and focus on the valuable skills needed to financially provide for their families.


Retro Era

Bold. That’s the most striking characteristic of Retro Era jewelry. Commonly referred to as “cocktail jewelry”, Retro Era pieces are almost the polar opposite from the times that they were created in.

The mid-1930′ to 1940’s were an interesting period in American history that were marked with both the Great Depression and World War II. Times were tough and resources were scarce, which makes the designs of Retro jewelry all the more intriguing.

While the struggling American public would seem to lend itself to conservative jewelry designs, women of the 30’s and 40’s wanted the glamour that they saw on the silver screen. Read more about Georgian jewelery. Learn more about Retro jewelery.

Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers has dealt in vintage jewelry for over 25 years. One of the early staples of our business revolved on identifying, buying, and selling vintage estate jewelry. If you are interested in Retro Era jewelry or would like us to evaluate pieces in your possession, call or send us an email to schedule an appointment. You can also view our eBay store to find some of our current inventory.

To learn more about Retro Era and other estate jewelry, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. You can also see our personal Instagram accounts below:

Sergio Nuncio

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