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Estate Buying Guide

About Our Estate Collection:

Michaels Jewelers is one of the largest Estate dealers in Connecticut. Our Estate tours twice a year and regularly buys and sells to offer a wide variety of collections and pieces to our customers. Our accredited Gem Lab gemologists are qualified to appraise diamonds and fine jewelry of all periods. We attract pieces of the highest quality and continue to seek collections from individuals and estates to offer through our Vault program. Our collection represents some of the finest acquisitions in antique and vintage jewelry as well as watches. For additional information or to schedule a private viewing, please contact our Estate division at

Georgian (1790-1831)

defined by the reigns of four King Georges of England. The themes most often dealt with nature. Common were leaves, trees, flowers, and animals. Often stones were set into sterling with a high karat gold backing. Stone cutting and faceting was in its development stages. Paste, a lead glass imitation stone, was commonly used as a substitute for genuine gemstones.

Victorian (1831-1901)

The reign of Queen Victoria was a diverse period. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861 so black enamel and jet jewelry grew in importance, as Victoria remained in formal mourning until she died. Finely worked gold pieces, often with granulation work in lovely, intricate detail, underlying emphasis on sentiment, the motifs of hearts, flowers, animals, clasped hands and locks of hair, all playing important roles.

Edwardian (1901-1915)

The reign of King Edward VII brought a new romance defined by lightness, delicacy, much filigree work, mostly set in platinum, much knife-edge metal work to add a lacy emphasis. White stones such as diamonds, moonstones and pearls were most popular. Also common were demantoid garnets, sapphire, and amethyst.

Art Nouveau (1895-1905)

Flowing, sensual, unreal, asymmetrical lines, emphasis on women with sensuous bodies and long undulating tresses, delicate color, often fine enamel work which, when held up to light, is transparent.

Art Deco (1920-1935)

Hard, crisp, geometric patterns, bright color contrasts such as jade and onyx, coral and jet, rubies and emeralds, obsession with fun after horrors of World War I. Palm tree brooches, long rope style necklaces, obsession with speed and science: diamond greyhound pins, lightning bolts, and rockets, etc.

Retro (1940-1950)

Jewelry reflected the feelings of the war and post war era, and the emergence of the United States as the major world power. Large scrolls and bows were a common theme. Rose colored gold was the predominant feature. Aquamarine, amethyst, sapphire and especially rubies were featured.

Post Retro (1950-1969)

Explosion of the United States as the World's economic power. Jewelry of this period is highly diverse using all types of designs and stones. Reproductions of earlier periods become more prevalent during this period.