Comparing Antique, Vintage, And Estate Jewelry

It is perfectly understandable if you find it incredibly confusing to actually identify a piece of collectible jewelry. Some people think that only experts can tell, but what most people do not know is that there are things even anyone can tell. If you want to know more about it, then just keep reading.


When it comes to antique jewelry, a lot of people are aware that an item has to be at least a hundred years old to be considered as one. That is not just based on anyone’s opinion, that is actually defined by the United States Customs Service. 

Woman Taking Selfie
Comparing Antique, Vintage, And Estate Jewelry

Obviously, the list of antique items goes up each year. Some people use the term antique even if it has not reached the proper age to be considered as one. It is simply something that can get casually involved in a conversation. Another thing people might not know about is that every item is actually an antique regardless of how much it originally cost. This simply means that every fine and costume jewelry can be as one.


Estate jewelry, on the other hand, was once referenced as antique jewelry that is extremely valuable. However, this particular term is now considered as a nicer way of referring to used jewelry. For instance, a brooch can be called a piece of estate jewelry if it as once owned by some royalty or notable people.

This is regardless of the date it was made, as long as it was owned by someone, then it is a piece of estate jewelry. It also means that every antique over a hundred years of age can be one as long as it was previously used. It also does not matter whether it is high or low-quality jewelry.


When it comes to fine jewelry alone, it can be referred to as a piece of period jewelry. However, fine jewelry can only be referred to as one if it was made within the last century.

One great example would be some pieces of jewelry made by some of the oldest designers brands like Cartier. Who has been around since the 20s. Although period jewelry is not exactly a very popular term, it can still be interchangeable with the term vintage. Experts usually just use this term when referring to a piece of fine jewelry.

Person Holding Gold-colored and White Jewelry
Comparing Antique, Vintage, And Estate Jewelry


Vintage jewelry is the most popular term, that people use when referring to a piece of old jewelry. People use this term even if a particular item is not even that old yet. Or if something is over a hundred years old, which is not quite right.

Experts say that the term vintage is more used when referring to costume jewelry, that has been around for over a decade. This means that jewelry from the previous decades can now be considered as vintage. It can be quite confusing at first, but once you actually break it all down, it makes sense.

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