Vintage vs. Antique vs. Estate Jewelry: Know the Difference

Jewelry isn’t just looking good, it tells a story, reflecting culture, art and personal style. Most People use the terms like vintage, antique, or estate jewelry interchangeably. But let us tell you that there are a few differences between all of them. And it is important to know these differences if you are planning to sell your antique-style jewelry, estate jewlery, or old vintage jewelry.

Let’s get into the details of each one of them.

What is Vintage Jewelry?

Vintage jewelry is also called second-hand jewelry. These are timepieces between 50-100 years old. You must have seen the pieces from the retro era, Hollywood era, and dramatic jewelry. Such accessories come under vintage pieces. Old vintage jewelry mixes well with modern clothing styles. You can definitely consider wearing them at the events. Moreover, such accessories do not break easily. You can look ravishing with vintage jewelry designs that are enough to add an extra flair to your dress

What is Antique Jewelry?

Antique pieces are the ones that are more than 100 years old. Due to their age mark, they are invaluable pieces whose value increases over time. These are second-hand jewelry derived from the Gregorian era, Victorian era, or Edwardian era. Talking about it, these are the pieces that came into this world before 1922. High-quality materials are used for creating antique gold jewelry or antique jewelry as compared to the materials used in modern accessories. Some people refrain from wearing such pieces due to their extreme value. Thus, there is no denying that selling them can fetch you a good amount of money.

antique jewelry box

What is Estate Jewelry?

The estate jewelry is somewhat different from the 2 mentioned. It is simply a piece that comes from a previous owner. It could be a six-week-old piece or a 100-year-old piece if it has a previous owner. However, experts limit the usage of the term “estate jewelry” and consider such pieces should be more than 30-50 years old. There is a common misconception associated with estate jewelry. People have the notion that these are the pieces of someone who has died, but it is not necessarily to be true. The owner might be alive too.

Key Differences Between Antique, Vintage, and Estate Jewelry


The primary difference between vintage, estate, and antique jewelry is its age. Estate jewelry is merely pre-owned, vintage jewelry is between 20 and 100 years old, and antique jewelry is beyond 100 years old.

Historical Value:

As compared to vintage and estate pieces, the historical value of antique jewelry is greater. It is because of the craftsmanship and age of the antique jewelry. The historical significance of vintage jewelry is enhanced when it is associated with any significant 20th-century trend or movement. On the other hand, Estate jewelry varies in value depending on the particular piece.

Style and Craftsmanship:

Each item of jewelry has a unique style and level of craftsmanship. Antique pieces capture the changing fashions of the 20th century, whereas jewelry with more elaborate patterns is considered antique.

Value and Collectability:

People value antique jewelry more than vintage and estate jewelry because it is difficult to find. Vintage jewelry are quite valuable if they were created by well-known designers or date from significant eras. On the other hand, the condition, provenance, and appeal of each piece determine how much an estate piece is worth. The age and the material used in the jewelry determine the worth of your old vintage jewelry. For instance – the jewelry pieces designed in the 1910s will be more valuable than that designed in the 1970s.

How much is my Jewelry worth?

Various factors like age, material, time period, condition, type of the pieces etc. determine the value of your vintage, antique and estate jewelry. For example, jewelry designed in the 1910s is often more valuable than those designed in the 1970s. For accurately determining the value of your jewelry it is important to consult with antique jewelry experts like DJP Diamonds. DJP Diamonds offers reliable jewelry appraisal services, utilizing professional methods to determine the value of your assets. As Houston’s best antique  jewelry buyers, we ensure that you receive the fair market value for any type of jewelry, whether you want to sell it or merely appraise it.

old vintage jewelry


Selling old, estate, vintage, or antique jewelry is not an easy task as many of you have your emotions associated with such pieces. But, knowing the story related to such pieces can even bring you closer to the people who belong to such jewelry. And knowing their value will make you take better care of the items. Furthermore, selling them becomes easy if you know the difference between such jewelry pieces. It is advisable to take assistance from jewelry experts to know the real value of your timeless possessions. It has become easy with DJP Diamonds to sell you old jewelry items or get their appraisal from our experienced technicians. 

Browse our website and schedule an appointment for further details. We would be more than happy to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vintage jewelry has a broad definition in the fashion kingdom. Pieces that are 50-100 years old come under the category of vintage jewelry.

Antique jewelry is defined as pieces that are 100 or more years old. So the jewelry pieces made in 1922 or before that can be recognized as antique jewelry pieces.

Antique jewelry holds an outstanding value and it is like an investment. So, if you are looking for monetary gains, you can definitely consider selling your antique jewelry as an option.

Vintage jewelry typically refers to pieces that are at least 50-100 years old.

Antique jewelry is generally defined as being more than 100 years old.

Jewelers use different ratios to make gold. And this ratio is responsible to change the composition and hue of the gold metal. You can recognize the difference between the two once you visit a professional jeweler. Antique gold is warmer than normal gold and comes in different types like – gold-filled antiques, rolled gold antiques, or gold-plated antiques.

Jewelry can be classified as vintage or antique based on the materials, design, and level of craftsmanship. Antique jewelry will have older, occasionally handcrafted processes and possibly more wear than vintage jewelry, which frequently features more modern construction and materials. Moreover, the maker’s markings and hallmarks might reveal information about the piece’s historical period. A competent jeweler or appraiser can offer conclusive identification.

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