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Estate jewelry refers to previously owned jewelry. The category of estate jewelry includes antique and vintage jewelry as well as modern and contemporary.
Estate Jewelry describes pieces that were previously owned, it sounds more elegant than used or old jewelry. Both vintage and antique are types of estate jewellery. Antique Jewelry is typically at least 100 years old but often Art Deco jewels crafted during the 1920's to 1930's are included. Fine antique jewelry is generally made of either yellow gold or platinum. Vintage Jewelry describes items that are at least one generation old, so anything before the 1980's is currently considered vintage. Many think of costume jewellery when they hear vintage jewelry; however, between the 1940's and 1980's some of the finest crafted jewelry pieces were produced.
Garlands and ribbons, laurel wreaths, bow knots, tassels and lace were rendered with a new lightness thanks to the advances made in platinum fabrication. Early platinum work continued to be backed with gold in the same manner as silver. In 1903 the invention of the oxyacetylene torch, that could reach the temperatures necessary to work with platinum, allowed jewelry to be made solely from platinum. The strength of platinum was fully exploited and it became possible to create jewels that resembled "petit point" embroidery and fine, delicate, sophisticated jewels resembling diamond encrusted lace. This strength and rigidity allowed the jeweler to mount stones in minimalist settings. Millegraining, a new decorative technique made possible by the use of platinum, is featured often on Edwardian jewelry. Its border of delicate balls and ridges surrounding a gemstone or on the knife sharp edges of a design served to give jewelry a softer, lighter look.
A stylized design which was named after the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, held in Paris, France. Much Art Deco design was a transition from the earlier Art Nouveau and, as with the Art Nouveau epoch, was inspired by the art of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and by ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman architecture. Art Deco jewelry motifs are characterized by geometric designs, diverse combinations of color, and abstract patterns.
Bold gold, Hollywood starlets, huge gemstones and cocktail rings, all characterize the Retro time period of jewelry. Spanning from 1940-1945, this coincides almost exactly with World War II. With that said, platinum use in jewelry was no longer available. Gold made a comeback, this time in rose and even green gold. Everything in regards to retro jewelry was oversized. Rubies were the most prominent gemstone, followed by large, rectangular cut citrines, aquamarines and amethysts.
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