How to Shop for Estate Jewellery

Shopping for estate jewellery is one of the more interesting ways to experience fashion. Shopping for vintage pieces actually gets you more involved in your wardrobe, and you can choose unique accents that won’t be found in the major retailers. You will also be wearing authentic clothing that, in some cases, can be over 100 years old!

Defining Estate Jewellery

First, a definition of what qualifies as estate jewellery. Traditionally, estate refers to antiques that are over 100 years old. Today, estate jewellery encompasses the broader “vintage” definition with pieces older and younger than the 100 year mark. Jewellery must be authentic from the era, is sometimes appraised for value and may be considered very high-end.


Many people enjoy collecting certain pieces for their sentimental value or style.  Antique rings in the art deco style might form the basis for an entire wardrobe of accents from the 1920s and 30s. Matching clothing by decade or era is a similar concept to matching by color. You do have to study the styles of the time to get an eye for them though.

Design Features

It really is true: they don’t make ‘em like they used to. Older clothing, especially jewellery, may have features that have fallen out of every day use. A common example might be the sterling silver pieces that were produced in the early 20th century. These items typically have some yellow gold smelted into the metal that would increase the value of the piece. Older jewellery might also feature a higher karat of gold than today’s counterparts.

The preceding guest post was written on behalf of Cynthia Findlay Antiques, a Toronto based vendor of vintage jewellery.