Estate jewelry, also known as “vintage” is pre-owned jewelry that sometimes has antique properties.
The word “estate” is used to suggest that the jewelry was in somebody’s estate (will) but in reality, it has become a term for pre-owned, used, or simply “not brand new” jewelry.
Estate jewelry presents amazing opportunities to own incredible pieces for lower prices than a similar new item would cost. This is not always the case if a piece has provenance, antique value, or some other intrinsic added value, but often can be a great deal.
Estate jewelry often comes in two “flavors”. “Estate Sale” and “Consignment”. For estate sale/retail, usually the jewelry store has acquired the piece and now has it for sale in the same way most retail is done (buy/sell). Consignment is where the piece is still owned by the original (or present) owner, and the jeweler allows space in their store to sell that item, often for a commission. Your jeweler will tell you how it works.
Either way, it does work, your local jeweler who specializes in estate jewelry has amazing deals to offer. From arts and crafts pieces to Edwardian jewelry to more modern, 1980’s pieces, there is usually something for everyone in an estate showcase. Also, there’s only one of them! Remember, even though you may technically be able to reproduce a piece, there’s only one in the case and when it’s gone, it’s gone!