Jessop's in downtown San Diego, near Little Italy, has simplified shopping for antique and vintage estate jewelry. There are so many styles from the past 200 years to be enchanted by it makes seeing our cases mandatory for jewel lovers. Here is a broad overview of period styles.
An important thing to keep in mind when considering the styles for vintage jewelry is that the time periods overlap. In older vintage jewelry there is a vague beginning, a peak and a tapering off over many years for specific styles. There was no strict stop and start to the periods but are more accurately classified by their design styles and their construction methods. There is style overlap also; new changes often incorporated elements from earlier designs. Fashions did not change as rapidly 150 years ago as they do today, thus styles stayed current for longer periods and did not evolve as quickly. Vintage dating of estate jewelry is like trying to see the past through a fuzzy filter.