Jewelry - Estate Jewelry
Way We Were features over one thousand pieces of antique jewelry
and estate jewelry. We specialize in antique engagement rings
and wedding bands, and also have an extensive collection of watches,
brooches, vintage charms, cameos, pendants, bracelets, cufflinks
and rings. Our inventory includes pieces from the Victorian, Art
Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro periods.
items can be ordered online via our secure server, or by calling
us at 609-654-0343. We ship via UPS, fully-insured, and your satisfaction
is guaranteed. Please click here to read some of our customer
hope you enjoy exploring the beauty and romance of antique jewelry.
The pleasure of owning a one-of-a-kind piece, showcasing the superior
artistry and craftsmanship of yesteryear, is truly unparalleled!
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
ABOUT THE HISTORY OF JEWELRY
GEORGIAN (c. 1760-1837)
A Revival of the Classical style during Napoleon's First Empire
inspired delicately draped dresses with high waists. Chandelier
and pendeloque earrings complemented the fashion for upswept
hair, while short necklaces like the riviere (a row of
graduated diamonds) flattered low necklines. Diamond brooches
in floral sprays and feather motifs were popular, as were memorial
pieces and miniature portraits.
Fashions were quite voluminous, with the silhouette shaped by
full skirts, hoops, bustles and trains. Sentimental and nature
themes like hearts, birds, flowers and bows adorned the jewelry
of the times. Many pieces featured semi-precious stones like amethyst,
turquoise and garnet. Rings, earrings and pendants set with sparkling
diamonds became particularly desirable with the advent of electric
lighting in the 1880s.
NOUVEAU (c. 1890-1915)
Art nouveau jewelry often features beautiful enamel work, as the
Arts and Crafts movement emphasized craftsmanship and artistry.
Nature motifs like flowers, dragonflies and butterflies were popular
for brooches. Delicate lavaliere necklaces with a gemstone and
dangling pearl are characteristic of the era.
Clothing of delicate fabrics and light colors were accessorized
with platinum and diamond jewelry. Saw-piereced filigree settings
complemented the ethereal, lacy fashions of the era. Earrings
and necklaces took the shape of flower garlands, bows and ribbons.
Bar pins, circle brooches, and diamond-set stars and crescents
were part of every fashionable lady's wardrobe.
DECO (c. 1920-1935)
Platinum, diamonds and precious gemstones like rubies, sapphires
and emeralds were de rigeur during the Roaring Twenties.
Jewelry incorporating geometric shapes, as well as baguette, shield
and calibre cut stones, were inspired by the popularity of Cubism.
Many Art Deco pieces feature Egyptian, Far Eastern and automobile
motifs, reflecting the cultural interests of the times. Other
popular items included diamond "strip" bracelets, dress
clips and pearl sautoirs.
Hollywood glamour was the single greatest influence on Thirties
and Forties fashion. Women favored jewelry with a dramatic flair,
like large cocktail rings, bold bracelets, elegant watches and
charm bracelets. Romantic motifs, combinations of yellow and rose
gold, and large semi-precious stones like citrine and aquamarine
were characteristic of the era. Engagement rings often featured
elaborately carved, square shaped center mountings called illusion
visit our Guide to Collecting Antique
AND GEMSTONE LORE
the birthstone of January, is said to be the gem of faith and
constancy; according to Christian beliefs, it was used to illuminate
Noah's Ark. Legends have long associated amethyst, the gem of
those born in February, with royalty; it is said to protect travelers
and bring victory to its wearer. March's stone, aquamarine, means
"seawater," and is believed to symbolize purification
and everlasting youth. The jewel for April is diamond; its name
means "unconquerable," and it has been associated with
power, wealth, love and marriage throughout history. Emerald is
the stone for those celebrating birthdays in May. It is considered
the gem of immortality and faith; legend has it that Christ used
an emerald bowl at the Last Supper. June's pearls symbolize femininity,
purity and wisdom; they were bridal gems in the 1920s, and legends
say they are God's first creation.
birthstone, ruby, has been long associated with passion and power;
it is said that the wearer of a ruby enjoys great success and
fortune, and is lucky in love. Peridot, the stone of August, was
highly regarded in ancient Egypt and a favorite gem of the Pharoahs;
they are believed to promote courage. September's sapphire is
said to reflect the tranquility of the heavens; it is also considered
the gem of love, sincerity and fidelity. The ancients believed
opals, the October gemstone, fell to earth in flashes of lightning;
they equated them with hope, purity and prevention of disease.
Topaz, representing November, was considered by the ancients to
be the stone of the Sun; it was thought to bring strength and
imperial favor to its wearer. December's jewel, blue zircon, was
popular in Victorian times, and again in the 1930s-40s; it is
believed to afford its wearer wisdom and riches.
visit our partner site, circa1930s,
if you are interested in antique style engagement rings, wedding bands,
filigree necklaces and earrings in white gold and platinum!