Jessop Jewelers Blog

  • What is the Difference between Estate, Vintage, & Antique Jewelry?


    For many people, part of the fun of jewelry shopping is coming across a special and unique piece of estate jewelry. But often times, it is confusing when some items are referred to as vintage and others as antique or simply estate. Let’s take the mystery out of these different distinctions.


    Any piece of jewelry that has been previously owned is estate jewelry. But, not all estate jewelry is considered vintage or antique. Having different classifications helps to date older pieces of fine jewelry by their age and the jewelry design era they came from.

    Antique jewelry refers to any piece of jewelry approximately 100 years old or older; however, jewelry that is nearly as old can correctly be called antique. Antique jewelry includes the eras of Art Deco, Edwardian, Belle Époque, Art Nouveau, Victorian, Georgian, & earlier.

    Vintage jewelry refers to any piece of jewelry that is at least 20 to 30 years old. Using the term “vintage jewelry” to refer to reproductions or preowned newer jewelry is misleading to customers. Classifying a piece as vintage is usually the most common reference made to preowned jewelry since it includes many more recent jewelry eras. Your grandmother’s ring from 1945 would be considered vintage. Technically, a necklace from 1910 could be also be considered vintage, but would be better classified as antique to highlight its age. Vintage jewelry includes the antique jewelry eras and the additional eras of Modern, Mid-Century Modern, Retro, and some Art Deco.

    Jewelry simply classified as an estate piece, without any acknowledgement that it is vintage or antique, would mainly refer to a preowned item manufactured within the past couple of decades and would include the era of Contemporary jewelry.

    A word of caution – any item description what includes the word style, such as “antique style” or “vintage style” design means it is a reproduction and not a true old piece.


    Learn more about estate jewelry periods here:


    Browse our beautiful estate and vintage jewelry here:


    Browse our estate bridal rings here:

  • A Fresh New Look for Antique Pins

    Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 1.47.03 PM

    From 1880 – 1941, narrow, elongated brooches (also known as bar pins) were a popular jewelry item traditionally used to adorn collars. By the 1920’s, bar pins featured open, lacy filigree designs often sprinkled with diamonds and treasured today for their delicate and intricate details.

    Jessop’s has fashioned some of these exquisite pieces into a unique collection of bangle bracelets, allowing these beautifully crafted pieces of history to be worn in a modern way. These elegant designs are fun and interesting conversation pieces, as well!


    Jessop’s redesign team can also help you transform something special in your jewelry collection not being worn into something you can enjoy wearing today.

    For more details on these bracelets, visit:

  • Where did Mother’s Day come from?

    In the 1850’s, Ann Reeves Jarvis organized Mother’s Day clubs whose goal was to improve infant mortality rates. By addressing poor sanitary conditions, they helped fight disease and milk contamination. During the Civil War, the clubs cared for wounded soldiers and improved health conditions in encampments on both sides of the conflict. After the war, Mother’s Day Friendship Day picnics were held to encourage women to get politically involved in promoting peace and to help unite families divided by the war.

    When Ann Reeves Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis was inspired to organize a special day to honor one’s mother and to thank her own mother for all she had done. She is credited with the first observance of a Mother’s Day (in its present form) on May 10, 1908. Carnations have come to be associated with Mother’s Day because Anna Jarvis handed out hundreds of white carnations (her mother’s favorite flower) at the first celebration.

    Mother’s Day is set aside as the second Sunday in May and was made an official U.S. national holiday on May 9, 1914 with a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. The proclamation directs the U.S. flag to be displayed on all government buildings and invites “...the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

    Click here to SHOP NOW for Mother's Day!

  • What’s Your Jewelry Worth? An Appraiser Knows!


    A question often asked is, “What is the value of my jewelry?” Although this seems like a straightforward inquiry, the answer is - it depends. A determination of the value of a piece of jewelry can vary tremendously depending on the circumstances under which it is being appraised. For example:

    INSURANCE APPRAISAL - If the jewelry is going to be insured, the insurance company will require a retail replacement value. This is the retail price the item would most likely be purchased for by the public.

    ESTATE APPRAISAL - If the jewelry has just been inherited as part of an estate, it may need an estate appraisal, possibly for tax purposes. This would require a “fair market value” determination that can range from liquidation to scrap to auction values, again tailored to the individual situation.

    No matter what type of appraisal is required, one should look for a professional appraiser who must be able to correctly identify gems and metals, grade beauty and rarity, assess the quality of workmanship, and be knowledgeable about current market values. The appraiser should be an experienced, unbiased, graduate gemologist accredited by a professional organization, such as the American Gem Society (AGS). The AGS is dedicated to uphold the educational and ethical standards of its membership to protect the consumer. Keeping these things in mind, it should also be noted that jewelry appraisal is not a pure science and subjective opinions may vary from one appraiser to the next, within a reasonable range.

    As for the appraisal itself, gemstones are generally not removed from their mountings during this process. Thus, it is normal for a range of quality grades to be given due to the visible limitations that a mounting can impose. For an insurance appraisal, a good description and photographs should be included and are invaluable, particularly if it becomes necessary to duplicate a piece of jewelry as closely as possible to the original. The cost of an appraisal should be based on a flat fee (usually an hourly rate) and not on the number of pieces or on a percentage of the value, which is a clear conflict of interest for an appraiser.

    Finally, as a rule of thumb, jewelry appraisals should be updated every three to five years as values of metals and gemstones can fluctuate - sometimes dramatically.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

  • An Antique Engagement Ring – With You, Its History Lives On...


    Adam Levine, from the band Maroon 5, recently married Victoria’s Secret model, Behati Prinsloo. Following one of today’s latest trends, Adam presented Behati with a vintage diamond engagement ring. (To the right, #16785 from the Jessop’s Estate Collection) Click Here to View!


    The actress, Scarlett Johansson, was lucky to receive a vintage Art Deco diamond ring when her current husband, French Journalist Romain Dauriac, proposed. (To the right, #001456 from the Jessop’s Estate Collection) Click Here to View!

    Vintage engagement rings have many wonderful traits which make them so desirable. Early designs were often made of platinum and feature beautiful, delicate looking filigree detailing. Many women find they also like the idea there is a history or story behind each ring and knowing their ring will be very unique to what modern trends are showing. Another added benefit is the great value realized when purchasing an estate piece.
    We are well known, here at Jessop’s, for our special collection of estate bridal rings. Their wonderful craftsmanship can be truly appreciated when seen in person. So, come see us in our store or visit our website collection by clicking here!

  • Calming and Serene Aquamarine

    Untitled1 The beautiful blues of aquamarine conjure up images of the cool and calming sea. So, it is no surprise the name aquamarine comes from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. And it makes sense it is the designated birthstone for March with its connection to the zodiac sign of Pisces (The Fish). Aquamarine is believed to dispel fear, calm the nerves and temper, plus bring mental clarity and levelheadedness to the wearer.

    Untitled2Generally, aquamarine is larger in carat size, usually free of visible inclusions, and likely a light-toned greenish blue color. The range of color for aquamarine goes from greenish blue, to blue-green, to blue; however, fine quality stones are considered to be more valuable as their purity and intensity of their color blue increases. The larger the stone, the more vivid the color appears and most aquamarine are heat-treated to produce the more desirable bluer color. Sometimes, aquamarine and treated blue topaz compete in their aesthetic attractiveness; however, fine aquamarine commands a higher price than equal-quality treated blue topaz.

    Measuring 7.5 to 8.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, aquamarine is durable and appropriate for all types of jewelry with proper care given to prevent scratching and damage from impact. Exposure to heat is not recommended for aquamarine. In some rare cases, an aquamarine stone may be fracture filled, in which case ultrasonic cleaning would not be recommended either. Warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush is always safe for cleaning.

  • Ah, Ring Sizing – Perhaps the Least Exact Science of All!

    The number one rule for sizing a ring is that it must be sized so the ring is secure on the finger, but can slide over the knuckle without the wearer having to struggle too much to put it on or take it off. Therein lies a major challenge – knuckles do not always stay the same size! Factors that can affect knuckle size include the weather (temperature and humidity), personal weight fluctuations, and various medical conditions such as swelling due to fluid retention, arthritis, etc. Any of these factors can cause the size of one’s knuckle to vary from day to day, or even through the course of one day.

    After a ring has been sized correctly to fit the knuckle, issues often arise due to a discrepancy between the size of the knuckle and the size of the base of the finger. It is very common for the base of the finger to be smaller than the knuckle. This can result in the ring turning around on the finger, particularly if the ring is top-heavy (usually with gemstones). There are several ways to address this problem, depending on how big the knuckle size discrepancy is.

    If there is just a slight amount of ring turning on the finger, sometimes merely flattening the back of the shank will stabilize the situation.

    For a more pronounced problem, two small beads of metal (referred to as “cleats”) can be placed inside the shank.

    The next option is to install a flexible strip of metal (or “spring ring guard”) inside the shank, which “hugs” the finger to keep the ring in place.

    Finally, if none of these solutions are viable, a hinged shank can be installed, which opens and closes to the size of the base of the finger, making the size of the knuckle irrelevant.

    The cost of these remedies varies substantially; charges can be fairly minimal for flattening the shank, but are quite a bit more expensive for the hinged, openable shank.

    As jewelers we are often asked what it costs to size a ring. The answer is determined by several factors, including the type of metal (14K gold, 18K gold, platinum, etc.), the width and thickness of the shank, and by how many size increments the ring is being sized up or down. Also, if there are gemstones in the ring which could become loose as the size is altered, it may be necessary to tighten them. Additionally, the sizing of a white gold ring usually requires a re-plating of rhodium to keep the evenly colored, bright white finish.

    In short, a “simple” ring sizing may not always be so simple. However, a qualified jeweler can help with advice, and provide a cost estimate when consulted about a particular ring. The best strategy when trying to determine the correct size is to be aware that there are several things that need to be taken into consideration and shoot for a happy medium!

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

  • The Royal Richness of Amethyst


    When you think of a purple gemstone, most people think of amethyst, the designated birthstone for February. In the past, amethyst was mainly considered the stone of Kings. Throughout history, it has adorned both religious and royal jewelry and its value was once considered on par with emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. The supply of amethyst is now more widely available today and is considered one of the most desired colored gemstones.

    The purple variety of quartz, amethyst comes in a wide range of color from a light lavender or lilac to an intense reddish-purple or royal purple; hence, the early Greeks associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. They believed the wearer would be protected from drunkenness, as well as given the ability to maintain a clear and balanced mindset.




    Fine amethyst is available in small and larger carat stones, usually free of visible inclusions, and able to be cut into a variety of standard and free-form shapes

    Measuring 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, amethyst is appropriate for all types of jewelry with proper care given to prevent scratching and damage from impact. Cleaning can be done safely with warm soapy water; however, ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaning, or exposure to heat is not recommended.

  • Spring Cleaning


    spring-cleaning-2Don’t forget to put “Jewelry” on your spring cleaning list!

    If you’re like most people, you either forget or don’t realize your jewelry needs to be periodically cleaned, inspected, and maintained. Especially on those favorite pieces you treasure and wear.

    Thorough cleaning is very important! Not only does it improve the appearance of your jewelry, it also gives us an opportunity to identify any potential problems that might exist.

    Rings are often brought to us that have been worn regularly for many years and not cleaned or checked for quite a while. In many cases, it’s not unusual to see a ring partially held together by hardened soaps or lotions. And when we clean the ring, we sometimes find prongs broken off or worn so dangerously thin that had it not been for this buildup, the stone(s) may have fallen out of the setting.

    So, give your jewelry the attention they deserve and continue to enjoy them for a lifetime.

  • See it, Love it...Buy it Now!

    Introducing Jessop’s new online shopping feature at

    Along with Jessop’s renowned personal service, we have added the convenience of buying online and having your treasure shipped right to your door.

    Have questions or need customized service regarding your purchase? We’re just a phone call away!

    So, let Jessop’s make your next purchase quick and online today!

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