The difference between Antique, Vintage and Estate Jewelry

January 05, 2021 1 min read


The true definition of antique jewelry is anything that is over 100 years old. According to various customs laws, the object, which can be a piece of art, furniture, or other decorative item is defined as made from an earlier time period that is 100 years old.


The term vintage has been loosely adapted and applied to various items in the past decade. As the interest in all things vintage has grown, the term has been widely used and misused in the fine jewelry world. A younger generation, particularly the millennial crowd, has quickly adopted vintage style and a growing interest has emerged. At Baraka Gems, we define vintage jewelry as from the 1920's to the 1970's.

Old European Cut Vintage Engagement Ring - Baraka Gems Seattle

Estate jewelry is simply defined as anything that has been pre-owned, or pre-worn from any time period.

Things to remember

There is a difference between vintage and another term that has become popular when describing jewelry, in particular, engagement rings: vintage-inspired or "in the style of". Vintage-inspired engagement rings are quite popular, and are simply rings or fine jewelry that are reproductions of vintage or antique designs and settings. A nice compliment to old-world handcraft artisans.

Having trouble telling the difference? We offer appraisal services with certified gemologists that can help you determine the time period of your piece. Read more about our full list of services online.

Working with a jeweler you trust is always the best way to determine exactly what you are buying. We are always here to answer your questions and help guide you through the buying process. Shop the story online.