Estate Jewelry: A Beginner's Guide to Purchasing Timeless Pieces

Estate jewelry buying can be a great way to add valuable, one-of-a-kind pieces to your jewelry collection and maybe even save some money in the process. With so many options available, though, it can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start.

In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about estate jewelry purchasing, from what to look for to how to ensure authenticity to where to find the best deals.

Know What You're Looking For

Before you start your estate jewelry shopping journey, it's important to know what styles, periods, and materials you are interested in. Estate jewelry includes pieces from many different eras, such as Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Retro, and more. Each period has its own style and characteristics, so doing your research before you start shopping will help you narrow down your options and prevent feeling overwhelmed. It is also helpful to know which precious metals and gemstones you prefer, as this knowledge can help you quickly determine which pieces are a match for your taste and budget.

Consider the Condition

Pawn shops and estate sales are two great places to find estate jewelry, but it is important to take the condition of a piece into account before purchasing. Some years of wear and tear are part of the allure of estate jewelry, but rust, discoloration, missing stones, and broken clasps can decrease value. If the price reflects any necessary repairs, and you're willing to invest in those repairs, damaged estate jewelry can be worth the investment. 

Negotiate in Good Faith

With the variety of estate jewelry sources available, it is essential not to shy away from a little bargaining. But remember, the negotiation process should be done in good faith. Too much lowballing might cause misunderstandings and offend the seller, which might lead to walking away from the prodigious piece you want to have. In luxury jewelry shops, private dealers, and online stores, the exact price of an item may not always be clearly marked, and haggling may be required. 

Know Your Sizing

When it comes to estate jewelry, it's a common problem that the available size may not fit your intended wearer. Therefore, it is good to know their measurements before finalizing the purchase. This prevents unanticipated resizing fees when you bring your new piece home or avoids any resizing entirely. Also, knowing your ring size or determining bracelet length can be quite helpful when it comes to shopping for estate pieces.

To learn more about estate jewelry purchasing, reach out to a local service provider.