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Finding a Gem in Estate Jewelry

Finding a Gem in Estate Jewelry

If you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry, look no further than Carson’s. We carry a wide selection of one-of-a-kind pieces from an array of time periods. Each period boasts a different style of jewelry; here’s our guide for knowing what you’re looking for. From Art Nouveau to Art Deco, any piece you choose is guaranteed make a statement.

Georgian Jewelry (1700’s – 1830’s)

The Georgian period is named after the three consecutive King Georges of England. As it is so old, this jewelry is rare, but if you manage to find a piece, you’ll notice its ornate and delicate details. Typically, you’ll find diamonds, emeralds, rubies, or sapphires in a Georgian piece. Feminine designs that featured flowers, foliage, and animals were popular in the Georgian era.

Victorian Jewelry (1837 – 1900)

The Victorian era was also named for the royalty of England at the time – Queen Victoria. Broken into three distinct sub-categories (early, mid, and late Victorian), jewelry became more accessible to all economic classes during this period. Gold filigree and etchings on brooches and lockets was popular in the early-Victorian period, while darker jewelry, featuring black onyx and enamel were popularized in the mid-Victorian period. In the late-Victorian period, jewelry turned back to lighter designs. This period featured a higher use of diamonds and other gemstones and they were often used in whimsical motifs.

Art Nouveau Jewelry (1890 – 1914)

Although shorter than the preceding time periods, the Art Nouveau period left a lasting impact on jewelry design. The Art Nouveau movement purported that art should be found in all elements of daily life, and Art Nouveau jewelry designs reflect that. These pieces were elegantly and elaborately crafted; designers typically focused more on the setting than the gemstone inside. In contrast with the more “buttoned up” style of the Victorian period, Art Nouveau designers featured sensuous images of women and colorful images, using plique-a-jour enamel on gold.

Edwardian Jewelry (1901 – 1910)

Running concurrently with the Art Nouveau movement, Edwardian styles served as their foil. More refined and understated, Edwardian styles were influenced by traditional Greek and Roman fashions. Edwardian designs relied on tassels, bows, and wreaths made of platinum, diamonds, and pearls to represent a more feminine style. These pieces also appeared lacey, because of the filigree that was done on them, which complemented many of the styles of clothing at the time.

Art Deco Jewelry (1920 – 1939)

Incorporating onyx, coral, lapis, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, Art Deco jewelry was unapologetically brash and bold. Inspired by an Egyptian revival at the time, designers used bold, geometric designs with contrasting colors in their jewelry. Art Deco designs featured gems fashioned into bold and sharp bracelets, brooches and clips.

Retro Jewelry (1935 – 1955)

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of classic Hollywood, Retro jewelry expanded on the styles of Art Deco to become bolder and even more colorful. Also known as “cocktail jewelry,” Retro jewelry featured classic feminine motifs like bows and curves. Utilizing a lot of gold, platinum, and large gemstones, Retro pieces are truly made to be eye-catching.