For jewellery to be called antique. It normally needs to be 100 years or older.  Antique jewellery is often divided into two groups, fine and costume jewellery.  Fine jewellery was made using precious metals, gold , silver or platinum containing diamonds or gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires. These items of fine jewellery are worth a lot more than just the metal or precious stones they contain.

Due to there rarity and designs the other group is antique costume jewellery. Which was produced in the 1700s. This type of jewellery was often made from paste or glass instead of natural gemstones and diamonds.  Also in costume jewellery they tended to use a man-made resin instead of amber. Base metals were also used instead of silver or gold including brass and although costume jewellery is not as valuable as fine jewellery It is still considered highly collectable.

Here at we make selling your jewellery as simple as possible. We provide a professional and secure service.  We have built up a great network of buyers not just in the UK but also Internationally.  We  have a small team of experienced  valuers who can provide you with a free estimate. We purchase antique and modern jewellery, we also offer a free pack for you to send your jewellery to us which is fully insured . If you have a large or valuable collection we can arrange to have it valued at your home.

So feel free to contact us  with any questions or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our appraisal team will respond with an estimate.

Lets have a look at the different periods and antique styles of jewellery through the ages.


This came from the Georgian period which was between the years 1714 until 1830. This was the period in Europe where it was ruled by kings named George I, George II, George III, and George IV in a consecutive manner. Jewelry created during this time has become very rare these days due to the fact that most pieces have been broken apart in order for the parts to be used and fitted with new pieces of jewelry. Often featuring nature-inspired designs such as leaves and birds, Georgian jewelry frequently includes precious stones. Memento Mori jewellery was also popular at the time (meaning ‘remember you will die’) and was quite morbid, featuring skull motifs and coffins. The very few pieces that have managed to survive up to this date showed very thorough and amazing craftsmanship.


The Victorian Period was named for Queen Victoria, who inherited the throne of England in 1837 when she was only 18 years old.  Victoria was young, beautiful, and loved immensely by her subjects. Her tastes in fashion and jewellery were highly regarded and inspired the Victorian jewelry trends of the time.  In the Victorian era, it was very common for birthstones to be used instead of diamonds for engagement rings. After Victoria’s beloved Albert passed away in 1861, the queen went into the customary mourning period for 18 months, which inspired the gold lockets and black jet pieces commonly seen in this period. Nearing the end of the Victorian period, until the discovery of diamonds in South Africa helped to popularize diamonds again. This historical period is where the very first diamond solitaire engagement rings originated! At the turn of the century, society was at the height of the industrial revolution and the jewelry of the time period reflected the dawning of a new modern age. Queen Victoria passed away in 1901 after a 64 year reign, marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new one when her son Edward ascended the throne, ushering in the Edwardian era.


Queen Victoria’s son, Edward VII, took the throne in 1901. Society was at the height of its elegance and sophistication: it was during this time that advances in metal finally allowed for the use of platinum in jewelry. This advance makes jewelery dating much easier – if a piece is made with platinum, we can be pretty sure that it was made in the early 20th century or later.  In addition, it was still common practice for jewellers to back platinum pieces with gold until 1910 or so, making dating even more precise. Because of the strength of platinum, its use allowed jewelers to produce more detailed pieces. Jewelry from the Edwardian period was light and delicate, and using as many diamonds as possible in the designs. Diamonds were the gemstone of choice during this time, but we also see sapphires, aquamarines, and electric green demantoid garnets from Russia.  Additionally, a new type of decorative enhancement called “milgraining” was used extensively during this period.  The end of the Edwardian era came abruptly with the start of World War I in 1914.



Dragonfly Lady brooch by René Lalique, made of gold, enamel, chrysoprase, moonstone, and diamonds (1897–98)

The Art Nouveau Period overlapped the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and came about as an artistic revolt against the technological advances of the industrial age. The movement was short-lived, but produced some of the most sought after jewellery in the world. Rene Lalique and Gustav Klimt are probably the most recognizable artists from the period. The emphasis of Art Nouveau jewellery was placed on hand craftsmanship, creativity, and design.  The female form, was commonly used and considered highly scandalous by conservative Victorians and Edwardian.  Popular gemstones used in the jewellery of this period were moonstone, opal, and agate, and diamonds were used sparingly as accents to enhance the artistic appeal of the piece. Japanese themes of nature, also dragons and birds were commonly used. The most important technique employed in the design of Art Nouveau jewelry was enameling. The art of enameling was perfected during this time, and the use of “plique a jour” – an enameling technique that produces a stained glass effect – was also revived, complementing the sensual, natural themes of this highly artistic period.


The era we now know as “Art Deco” received its moniker from the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, which was largely dedicated to the jewelry arts. Emphasis was placed on the association of art and modern industry. Inspiration for this style was as far reaching as Oriental, African and South American Art and as varied as Cubism and Fauvism, both popular movements at the time. The term “Cubism” was often used to describe jewelry of this era because of the angles, geometric lines and figurative representations used in its execution. A desire to eliminate the flowing lines of Art Nouveau and distill designs to their rudimentary geometric essence, thus eliminating seemingly unnecessary ornament, resulted in the cleaner and more rigid lines employed in Art Deco jewelry. A look forward toward modernism and the machine age also featured prominently at this juncture in jewelry history.


Jewelry design regained speed in the late 1930’s after the United States began its recovery from the collapse of the stock market in 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. Hollywood and all its glamour became the influence of Retro jewelry It is easily identifiable by the use of bright, highly polished yellow, rose, and green gold. The jewelry is big, bold, and three dimensional. Large emerald cut semi-precious gemstones were the star of this era, mostly amethyst, aquamarine, and citrene.

These large stones were often surrounded by small diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Due to the beginning of World War II in 1941, platinum became scares again and gold was the metal of choice. Common designs themes from this period include large ribbons and bows, as well as the use of flowers and animals. Wide gold bracelets and earrings that were worn high up on the ear were all popular styles. Notable designers of this time were Verdura, Oscar Heyman, Buccellati, and William Russer.

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