Beginner's Guide to Selling Vintage Jewelry

May 7th, 2024

Selling Vintage Jewelry: A Beginner's Guide


In the world of jewelry, where timeless elegance meets historical allure, vintage jewelry stands as a  testament to the eras of glamor and sophistication. But what exactly is vintage jewelry? While definitions vary, most consider vintage jewelry to be estate, used jewelry at least 20 years old or more. The vintage jewelry market covers a wide range of eras and styles, from Victorian Era Jewelry, to Retro Jewelry and Mid-Century classics. Selling vintage  jewelry requires knowing the best place to sell used, pre-owned, estate and  vintage jewelry, like our website   

Unlike modern costume pieces that are mass-produced, vintage jewelry tends to be handcrafted using high quality materials like polished precious metals and stones. This artisanal appeal imbues vintage pieces with a uniqueness and charm that draws collectors. The most coveted vintage pieces often come from renowned jewelry houses like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, or encapsulate a particular historical style like Art Deco or 1950s American retro.   

Selling vintage jewelry requires some key knowledge areas, understanding how to authenticate pieces and assess their condition, detecting gems and metals, pinpointing eras and styles, and keeping abreast of market values. This beginner’s guide from will navigate all the essential information needed to successfully sell vintage jewelry. We’ll go over popular eras like Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Mid-Century while highlighting iconic designers from each period.   

Whether you’re looking to build your own elegant vintage collection or to buy and sell jewelry for profit, this beginner’s guide is here to equip you with all the necessary tools. Let’s dive into the sparkling world of vintage jewelry!   

Victorian Era Jewelry 

Named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, this era is known for romantic and ornate jewelry utilizing materials like gold, silver, pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Popular Victorian styles include sentimental lockets, floral motifs, snakes, bows, and lace filigree.

Preowned Vintage Victorian diamonds & emerald pendant
Preowned vintage Victorian diamonds & emerald broach/pendant in 18K & silver

Edwardian Era Jewelry 

Continuing with the lush romanticism of the late Victorians, Edwardian jewelry has a soft, feminine aesthetic using Bowknots, garlands, scrolls, and lace. Platinum became widely used in this era alongside diamonds, pearls, rubies, and sapphires.

Beautiful Preowned Edwardian diamonds cross pendant
Preowned Edwardian rose cut brilliant diamonds cross pendant in platinum

As we progress through key design periods of vintage jewelry fashion, pay attention to the notable stylistic details of each era. Being able to accurately identify and date vintage pieces is key for selling vintage jewelry.    

Art Deco Jewelry 

Emerging after World War I, Art Deco represented modernity and glamour. The bold geometric forms, sleek lines, and exotic materials contrasted Victorian romanticism. Iconic motifs include sunbursts, tassels, chevrons, and stylized animals. Art Deco jewelers used platinum, white gold, diamonds, onyx, jade, black enamel, and lacquer.

Used 5 carats Art Deco pair of earrings
Used art deco pair of earrings with over 5.00 carats round European & baguette diamonds set in 18k white gold

Retro Jewelry 

Retro jewelry mimicked the sleek lines of Art Deco while embracing vibrant gemstones and bolder use of color influenced by Hollywood and Asian art. Yellow gold returned to favor along with rubies, sapphires, citrine, amethyst, and exotic animal motifs

Preowned signed Hammerman Brothers New-York, diamonds bracelet
Preowned signed Hammerman Brothers New-York, diamonds bracelet in 18k yelllow gold

Mid-Century Modern Jewelry (1940s–1960s)

After WWII rationing ended, jewelry focused on freeform sculptural shapes with dimensional details in yellow and rose gold, white enamel, rock crystal, and wood. Some Mid-Century jewelers included David Andersen, Peruzzi, and Fulco di Verdura. is the way to go 

When selecting a buyer for your used jewelry, reliability and trust are non-negotiable. You need a partner who will provide expert valuation and fair prices. This is where we stand apart.

With over 43  years of experience buying pre-owned jewelry, our expertise is unmatched. Our team possesses in-depth knowledge of appraisal methodology and gemology and market trends enabling accurate assessments. We hold industry certifications and we area committed to ethical practices.

We offer more than just secure transactions - we simplify the process. Our user-friendly online submission and free quote system is designed for your convenience. From there, we handle shipping logistics and provide comprehensive, transparent appraisals.

Expertise, trust, and ease - we bring this powerful combination to the table. Discover why we are the top choice for receiving competitive offers when selling jewelry.

Used Vintage Bvlgari diamonds & rubies ring
Used Vintage Bvlgari emerald cut diamonds & baguettes rubies ring

Safe and Secure Selling Process

We engineered our selling process with efficiency, security, and clarity in mind. Here's what you can expect:

First, visit our website and enter your jewelry details including photos using our simple form. For Vintage Jewelry, our trained specialists swiftly evaluate submissions. This step enables informed decisions.

Next, we email a free initial quote based on the provided information. If you opt to continue, we supply an easy ship box to safely send us your item. We provide detailed instructions on how to package your jewelry safely, complete with shipping labels. Make sure to get insurance for your item. 

Upon receiving your jewelry, our on-staff gemologists and appraisers thoroughly examine it. We consider all value factors like materials, craftsmanship and condition. Contact us anytime with questions!

Once our appraisal concludes, we finalize a fair market value offer. After you accept, we process prompt and secure payment via check, bank transfer or other options.

We go beyond expectations to ensure your experience with us is seamless, convenient and rewarding. Trust our decades of experience.

Preowned Damiani diamonds necklace
Preowned Damiani Italian designer, Mimosa Collection

Fair Prices and Valuation

Our valuation process centers on providing competitive offers that reflect true value. Rely on our specialists to account for all relevant details when assessing your items.

Leveraging fair market rates, current trends and benchmarks, we derive fair quotes. Receive top dollar when you select us as your jewelry buyer. From start to finish, expect efficiency with no hidden costs.

Beautiful used 14k Vintage Victorian ring
Used Vintage Victorian ring in 14k with approximate 1 cft

Security and Privacy

Protecting your valuables matters to us. We implement robust security measures, so you can have peace of mind. When the time comes to sell your fine jewelry, choose a partner you can trust completely.   


Sell Us Your is a trusted name for buying pre-owned jewelry. Since 1980 as the buying division of Gray and Sons, we have served thousands of satisfied customers who entrusted us with their jewelry. 

We offer a fair and transparent valuation process and provide top dollars for your jewelry. We also make prompt payments. When you are ready to sell your jewelry, Sell Us Your should be your destination. Get your free quote now!



Claudine Faifer: Estate Jewelry & Sterling Silver Specialist

Meet Claudine Faifer: Estate Jewelry & Sterling Silver Specialist

Meet Claudine Faifer an estate jewelry, watch and sterling silver specialist with a professional career spanning over 50 years, including an impressive 30 years career at Gray and Sons Jewelers, the premier destination for selling, buying, repairing and consigning luxury watches and estate jewelry… Read more of Claudine Faifer's History in Estate Jewelry




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