Vintage and Estate Jewelry

At Carson’s jewelers, we have had a long tradition of carrying a large selection of estate and period jewelry. Our collection includes many unique one of a kind of a pieces and we have an everchanging selection of beautiful pieces from different jewelry periods.  Like fine art, architecture and design, jewelry periods in history reflect changes in society (such as peace time and war and materials that can be used), fashion (sometimes impacted by innovation such as the transition from gas lighting to electric lighting at the turn of the 19th century) and changes in economic conditions at the time.  A summary of jewelry periods is as follows:

Georgian Jewelry | 1700s – 1830s:

Georgian Ring

Georgian Ring

The Georgian period was named for the four English Kings names George that reigned during that period.   Jewelry from this period often includes gemstones backed with silver and set in gold.  Diamond cutting styles primarily consisted of rose cuts and old mine cuts.  The motifs largely reflected nature and included designs highlighted with flowers, foliage and animals. Pieces from the Georgian period are relatively rare.


 

Victorian Jewelry | 1837 – 1900:

victorian_jewelry_earrings2

Victorian Earrings

The namesake of this period of jewelry is the reign of Queen Victoria and it is further broken into three periods; early Victorian (1837-1855); mid-Victorian (1856-1880) and late Victorian (1885-1900). Early Victorian jewelry is characterized by intricately etched gold lockets and brooches set with colored gemstones and diamonds. The onset on mid-Victorian was brought about with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband and is characterized by mourning jewelry fashioned in gold and set with jet, onyx, garnet and other gemstones. Also personal artificats during this period used included photos or hair of lost loved ones. Late Victorian saw a greater use of diamonds and gemstones such as sapphire and peridot in stcik pins, hat pins and the like with motifs such as stars or crescents.


 

Art Nouveau Jewelry | 1890-1914:

Art nouveau pic

Art Nouveau Necklace

Considered counter cultural to the Victorian movement, Art Nouveau jewelry features sensual women with flowing hair and curves, insects and flowers.   The jewelry utilized plique-a-jour enamel on gold.


 

Edwardian Jewelry | 1901-1910:

Edwardian jewelry Belle_Epoque_French_Diamond_Brooch

Edwardian Broach

Named after King Edward VII, Edwardian jewelry marked the beginning use of platinum.  With the electrification of lighting, jewelry during this period incorporated a lot of delicate filigree work with diamonds in floral sprays to compliment the fashion of fine lace and silk during the time.


 

Art Deco Jewelry | 1920-1939:

Art decco brooch

Art Decco Brooch

Jewelry during the Art Deco Period reflects motifs of bold, geometric designs with contrasting colors by incoporating onyx, coral, lapis and carnelian with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Many of the rubies and sapphires were synthetic calibre cut for jewelry. The 1922 opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb brought about a period of Egyptian revial, which was also incorporated in many Art Deco pieces.  The gem materials were fashioned in to beautiful bold bracelets, brooches and clips.  With the advent of WWII, platinum became a constrained metal.


 

Retro Jewelry | 1935-1955:

Retro Jewelry

Retro Broach

Inspired by Hollywood, retro jewelry is colorful and bold.  Gold with rubies and diamonds were utilized in large cocktail rings, bracelets, watches and necklaces.  Bows and sweeping curves were reflected with a greater use of rose gold. Synthetic calibre-cut rubies continued to be used during this period.