You may have become intrigued by jewelry that’s not new. Buying jewelry that is not new in San Diego is a great idea, but it’s worth sorting out the confusion – what is antique jewelry as opposed to vintage, retro or estate? You will notice that these terms may be used very loosely and sometimes interchangeably on the Internet, probably because the author doesn’t really know the difference or is trying to make a jewelry item more appealing. Leo Hamel is your reliable source for the distinctions on these categories. We are San Diego’s largest independent jewelry store, with a vast collection of new and like-new jewelry in excellent condition – including antique, vintage, retro and estate jewelry in San Diego. Here’s the skinny on the differences.
Antique jewelry is at least 100 years old
In order for a piece of jewelry to be labeled antique, it has to be minimum 100 years old. Right now, it means that jewelry older than 1918 is antique. However, in real world, you can find that jewelry close to the age of 100 years is also included in this category. This is often the case with Art Deco jewelry, to be precise. Art Deco era lasted from 1920 to 1930, roughly speaking, but it started to emerge around 1915. Still, antique jewelry remains jewelry that is 100 years old or older (or at least very close to 100 years old).
Retro jewelry belongs to the Retro era
Retro jewelry describes jewelry with distinctive characteristics that was made in 1940s and 1950s. Saying that an item is Retro, determines not just the age of the item, but also some salient stylistic features – lavish amounts of diamonds, symmetry and asymmetry, fluid lines, feminine designs and a certain “larger than life” feel. Retro jewelry was greatly influenced by Hollywood glamor.
An antique piece can belong to Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian era, etc. Vintage can mean Art Deco, Retro, from the 1960s, 1970s, etc. But Retro jewelry is vintage jewelry specifically made during the Retro era that lasted through the 1940s and 1950s.
Estate or vintage jewelry in San Diego is simply pre-owned
Finally, we come to the estate or vintage category. Saying that a piece of jewelry is estate or vintage tells you that it was previously owned. It might have been originally purchased yesterday, 2 years ago, or 20 years ago, and might even look brand new, but it is not new.
Estate jewelry in San Diego might have been part of an estate liquidation. Reasons for estate liquidations are many: the owner may be deceased, the owners may have become divorced or insolvent, or maybe they just decided to sell part of their jewelry collection.
Vintage jewelry in San Diego was probably simply sold by its previous owner for various reasons. Perhaps it was no longer being worn, or was inherited and the style doesn’t suit the new owner. Or the owner was simply in need of cash.
So, browsing estate jewelry in San Diego returns many results – pieces that could be antique, vintage, retro, or modern (but always pre-owned). Estate or vintage jewelry may or may not be fine jewelry, characterized by the use of precious metals and gemstones in its construction, and should be priced accordingly.
Visit Leo Hamel’s for the best selection of fine estate jewelry in San Diego
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Ring Store is your go-to destination for the largest selection of new and like-new jewelry in San Diego. Visit us in our jewelry store on San Diego Avenue where our friendly and knowledgeable staff can show you our handpicked selection of estate, vintage, Retro, Art Deco, and antique jewelry. Subscribe to our catalog to stay ahead of the hottest arrivals! Find out why we are San Diego’s favorite jeweler!