Estate, Vintage, or Antique Jewelry? How to Tell the Difference

Estate, Vintage, or Antique Jewelry? How to Tell the Difference
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Posted in: Jewelry

Beverly Loan, Beverly Hills’ premier pawnshop, makes collateral based loans on preowned jewelry from all time periods.  Often the terms vintage, estate and antique are used interchangeably; however, in the jewelry industry there can be significant differences between the three expressions – and considerable price differences.

Estate jewelry is defined as jewelry that has been previously owned, most commonly these pieces are passed down through generations. Estate jewelry does not have an age limit – items are estate whether they are 200 years old or 20 years old. Estate jewelry is then broken into two subgroups: vintage and antique.

Vintage jewelry is less than 100 years old and includes watches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, etc. that were made after the 1920’s. Retro and art deco jewelry of the 1930’s and 40’s, Hollywood inspired jewelry from the 40’s and 50’s, Kennedy inspired 60’s pieces, and bold, large styles from the 70’s and 80’s all fall under the heading of vintage. Beverly Loan Company, a family business, founded in 1938 and has seen many of these trends at the height of their popularity.

Antique jewelry is defined as items that are more than 100 years old, according to government guidelines, and include many different eras of fashion and jewelry. The most notable periods include Art Nouveau (1895 – 1915) which has a feminine naturalistic style, and Edwardian (1901 – 1915) with its over-the-top designs and classic rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Other eras include Arts & Crafts (1894 – 1923) with its organic craftsmanship and Victorian Era (1837 – 1900) named for Queen Victoria, which has three sub-eras (Early Victorian Romantic, Middle Victoria Grand, and Late Victorian Aesthetic) and lasted until she passed away. Georgian era (1717 – 1837) jewelry is very rare, always handmade, and most well-known for its rose or old mine cut diamonds with ribbons, foliage or flowers.

Pre-owned jewelry encompasses many different periods, and Beverly Loan Company accepts both vintage and antique jewelry for pawn loans – in addition to modern jewelry and current designers. Many jewelry houses that create current trends, also have antique or vintage designs due to their longevity – Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel, Tiffany & CO, David Webb, and Cartier to name a few.

To inquire about pawn loans against estate jewelry please visit or call at 310-275-2555.

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