What is Estate Jewelry?

Estate jewelry is a term which, as a rule, refers to a previously owned jewelry article, regardless of its age. One of the numerous advantages of estate jewelry lies in the fact that a great portion of the cost has already been absorbed by its original owner. In certain cases an estate item could cost as little as 25% of its original retail price. It therefore serves as an excellent investment option when choosing to invest in gold and/or diamonds.

Also referred to as ‘Vintage Jewelry’, estate jewelry is a fashion trend for the new millennium, and stores selling vintage jewelry are gaining popularity in the United States. Vintage jewelry can range from inexpensive to highly expensive items, but enthusiastic collectors consider it increasingly enjoyable!

What is the Difference Between ‘Antique Jewelry’ and ‘Estate Jewelry’?

Primarily, the difference lies in the age of the item. Based on official guidelines, the term ‘antique’ is used to define items which are at least 100 years old.

In the world of jewelry, an item dating back to the Art Deco era (1920-1935) or earlier is referred to as ‘antique’.

What Are the Different Jewelry Periods?

Jewelry has been defined by time and style in a variety of forms, reflected throughout the centuries by master craftsmen around the universe. For the sake of recognition and understanding of the distinct jewelry styles, the following chronological chart has been compiled:

  • Georgian Period: 1714-1830
  • Early Victorian Period: 1837-1860
  • Mid-Victorian Period: 1860-1880
  • Late Victorian Period 1880-1901
  • Art Nouveau Period: 1880-1914
  • Arts & Crafts Period: 1890-1914
  • Edwardian Period: 1901-1910
  • Art Deco Period: 1920-1935
  • Retro Period: 1940’s
  • Modern Period: 1945 to Present

Georgian Period: 1714-1830

The production of Georgian jewelry commenced and continued throughout the reign of the ‘four Georges’ in Great Britain, hence the term Georgian applied to jewelry produced in that era which encompassed most of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century.

Georgian jewelry was entirely handmade and therefore of individualistic design. Rose-cut diamonds and other precious stones were primarily applied to items inspired by nature. Motifs frequently used were flowers, leaves, birds, feathers and ribbons.

Early Victorian (Romantic) Period 1837-1860

This period commenced as Victoria became Queen of England at the age of eighteen. Victoria’s great love for jewelry contributed to the development of numerous styles throughout her reign. The Queen’s style became an important influence on fashion. Her jewels in particular were carefully copied by the Court and the rest of Society. Jewels were worn in great abundance and intimate jewels expressing sentiments were in vogue. The Industrial Revolution brought with it the invention and development of new tools and greater scope of mining precious stones, hence enabling production of jewelry items in greater quantities.

The dominant jewelry styles during the early Victorian period resembled those of the preceding Georgian era, featuring scroll work, stylized floral sprays, animal themes and artistic gold works enhanced with colored gemstones.

Mid-Victorian or Grand Period 1860-1885

The mid-Victorian period coincided with the demise of Queen Victoria’s husband and witnessed a variety of solemn pieces of jewelry some of which were termed as ‘mourning jewelry’ set primarily with jet and black onyx. Day jewelry of this period consisted of classical motifs made of mosaics, sea shells, agate and jasper, often adorned with amethyst. Diamonds and other faceted sparkling gems were used exclusively for evening wear. The latter were often set in highly detailed, Etruscan style mountings. Stars were among the common motifs for jewelry. Almost every locket, every brooch or bracelet had pearl, diamond or enamel star at the center.

A further characteristic of the 1860’s and 1870’s was the taste for ‘novelty jewelry’. In the mid 1860’s naivete and frivolousness invaded jewelry design : earrings assumed the shape of windmills, baskets of flowers, animals and many other items net hitherto appeared in the world of jewelry fashion.

Late Victorian or Aesthetic Period 1885-1900

The more liberated women emerging during the 1880’s contributed to drastic changes in fashion and the desire for finer and more feminine colors in jewelry. Fancy-colored sapphires became the stones of choice, accompanied by peridot and spinel. Diamonds gained greater popularity during this period, while the Suffragettes introduced for the first time the concept of linking wedding ring expenditure to salary!

Arts & Crafts Movement 1894-1923

During this period jewelers rebelled against the mass production of the Victorian era. They argued that there had been a tremendous loss of craftsmanship and quality, encouraging g the formation of Art Guilds and the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society. Pieces of jewelry were then handmade by craftsmen using mainly uncut and cabochon stones in bright colors. Jewelry emphasis was on simple and functional designs with straight lines and angular forms.

Art Nouveau Period 1890-1915

The latter part of the 19th century indicated a greater change. The Art Nouveau movement was defined largely for the work of Alfonse Mucha, whose expressive art could be characterized as having a ‘flowing theme of feminine figures, stylized flowers, scrolls and insects in beautiful enamels’.


Rene Jules Lalique led the French in Art Nouveau jewelry, while Louis Comfort Tiffany became the first American jeweler best known for his designs in the Art Nouveau era.

These graceful designs which became influential throughout Europe in the 1900’s, are still highly desirable and collectible but not often easy to find at affordable prices!

Edwardian Jewelry 1901-1910

The term ‘Edwardian’ refers to the reign of Queen Victoria’s son Edward who succeeded his mother in 1901. High society was in full swing during this period, with lavish jewelry becoming the style. The heavy gold settings of the Victorian era were replaced by platinum which enabled the creation of lacy and delicate designs. Edwardian jewelry was primarily inspired by decorative motifs, such as Marie Antoinette’s jewelry which featured an array of garlands, wreaths, bows and tassels, often with open work design of scalloped edges and mille-grain embellishments.

Art Deco Jewelry 1920-1935

Derived from the famous 1925 “Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes”, held in Paris, which dedicated a substantial part of the exhibition to jewelry, the term ‘Art Deco’ manifested itself between the two World Wars. Influenced by the Far and Middle East, the Romans and the Egyptians, Art Deco rose like ‘the phoenix from the ashes of the First World War’. Distant and exotic civilizations also inspired many creations of avant-garde and even more conservative jewelers.

The Persian style revived by Paul Poiret around 1910 remained in vogue while Persian carpets and miniatures supplied a rich source of inspiration for chromatic combinations and decorative motifs. Geometrical patterns and the combination of contrasting colors were the main features of Art Deco Jewelry. Diamonds and platinum were used, irrespective of their costs and gemstones were cut into triangles, trapezoids, oblong shapes and emerald cuts. Oriental jade and coral were carved in oriental style for pendants, bracelets and earrings. Aquamarines, topaz and citrine were also amongst popular semi-precious stones of the Art Deco period.

Art Deco jewelry was mainly dominated by French designers, such as Cartier, Boucheron and Fouquet to name only a few of the most outstanding ones.

Retro or Modern Period 1940’s

The flamboyant curves and bows and often bold and colorful pieces of jewelry characterize the styles of this era. Nickel being in short supply due to its use in the production of arms, copper was widely used as a substitute. A popular stone of this period was the caliber-cut ruby or even the synthetic ruby, often channel set as an expression of curvature and color. The Retro style of jewelry remains popular to the present day and is available at affordable prices.

Do You Purchase Jewelry? May I Sell My Jewelry to You?

As your full-service jeweler, we would be happy to purchase your pieces of jewelry. Please look for detailed information in ‘ Selling Your Jewelry ’

Do You Collect Sales Tax?

Only residents of Florida will incur sales tax. The rate of sales tax for Miami Dade residents is 7% and for all other parts of Florida 6.5%. Residents of other states are exempt from paying the Florida sales tax.

Do You Have a Store That I Can Visit?

The answer is Yes, by making an appointment with one of our guest specialists!
First and foremost our team is comprised of Jewelry Dealers and Jewelry Buyers, GIA Gemologists, Master Jewelers, and Certified Accredited Jewelry Appraisers. The list continues to include our Fine Jewelry & Luxury Watch Consignment Division and Expert Photographers. This team of Specialists is fully available and ready to welcome you in our Miami office with a prior appointment to either view item(s) of your interest or accommodate your Fine Jewelry needs. Our office is located at 1000 Brickell Avenue, Suite 100 in Downtown Miami. Please call us at 305-933-5777 to schedule an appointment.

Do You Offer a Layaway Plan?

Yes, we do.
Dover Jewelry offers a 60-day Layaway Plan for the convenience of those valued customers who prefer to pay in installments over a maximum period of 60 days. The initial down payment required is 30% of the total price at the time of purchase, followed by two subsequent installments at 30-day intervals.

For example, if you are purchasing an item priced at $2,400 on January 15th, you would pay $800 on the day of placing your order, i.e. January 15th, and pay two subsequent installments of $800 each on February 15th and March 15th respectively. Dover Jewelry will extend the Layaway period upon request in cases deemed justifiable.

Cancellation and/or return of items purchased on a Layaway basis will be subject to the payment of cancellation and/or re-stocking fee equal to 10% of the item price. In the foregoing example, such a fee would amount to $240.

Do You Offer Appraisals?

Yes. Dover Jewelry will provide you with an appraisal for each item purchased, enabling you to ensure your item at its retail replacement value.
We also provide appraisals for items not purchased from us. The cost of such appraisals would vary from $50 to $250 depending on the complexity of appraisal preparation and irrespective of the item value.

Do You Ship Internationally?

Yes, we do. Our international shipments are assigned to FedEx at a charge of $45 inclusive of full insurance.
Please note that you may be required to pay an import duty imposed by ‘Customs and Excise’ authorities. Such taxes are levied on specific items purchased internationally upon reaching the ‘port of entry’. Any such taxes and/or duties levied at the destination point will be the sole responsibility of the purchaser and non-refundable by Dover Jewelry In case of returning a purchased item. You may, however, claim a reimbursement from your authorities after returning an item in order to recover your payment. Please address your inquiry to relevant sources at home.

Do You Charge For Ring Sizing?

No, we do not.

Ring sizing is done on a complimentary basis for all items exposed on Dover Jewelry Website. This includes both up-and-down sizing, irrespective of the price or precious metal applied.

Please allow one week for ring sizing.

How Can I Learn More About Estate and Antique Jewelry?

We have developed a number of resource pages for our website visitors and clients to learn more about Estate, Antique and Vintage jewelry.  Contact our jewelry experts today or visit us in our New Brickell Showroom located at 1000 Brickell Ave Suite 100 Miami Florida.  We welcome your inquiries either via email, telephone or by private appointment in our Brickell Miami Offices.

Browse any of the below pages or call us directly at 1-877-777-6111 Get in touch today.