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Regaining the Sparkle of Antique Jewelry

By Karan Jain 4 years ago 646 Views No comments

Created by the most skilled hands in the world, antique museum jewellery creates a style statement that is unique, often affordable, and one that stands apart with its own old world charm……

Once sent to the melting pot or relegated to the corners of a safe, antique jewelry can no longer be considered as old-fashioned. These stellar pieces have found their groove back and now adorn the aesthetics of interested buyers, like never before. Discovering one such jewel is obviously a valuer's dream and serves as a matter of pride for collectors and users alike.


Read on for a closer look at how to understand the worth of museum jewelry or cherish the possession of existing ones.

The Triumph of an Antique Jewelery Collector

Years ago, upon visiting an antique store in Channel Islands, I found a very stylish platinum ring that was adroitly set with a square-looking stone. Sized like my thumbnail, it was quite filthy. However, I had a lingering feeling that it was something special. Upon cleaning with a brush and some warm soapy water, I was intrigued to see the stone taking on a nice blue color. When I looked closely through my eyeglass, I was happy to notice that my suspicions were right: Yes, the ring had a rare and important blue diamond. As colored diamonds were less sought of in the 1900s, the store keeper was under the assumption that the stone set in the ring was a blue topaz, which he had attained for a paltry sum from an ancestor of a Russian railway worker. Today it is one of prized items in my jewelry box.

Such is the triumph of any art and jewelry collector …like me.

Appreciation of Museum Jewellery

Be it rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, pendants or other pieces of heritage jewels, they serve to be the most personal and emotive of all decorative art. Offering an insight into the aspirations and values of the societies of ancient lands (and eras), they have witnessed a renaissance in terms of their appreciation and understanding.

Until recent times, auction houses (understandably) laid focus on other artistic gems: Impressionists, Old Masters, and contemporary art, with their record-breaking prices hitting the headlines like never before. While in the case of paintings, connoisseurs are expected to focus on the message conveyed through the work or the artist's personality, the genres of jewelry lack this sophistication of thought. Created by the most talented craftsmen, they are made of rare, precious as well as semi-precious stones that evoke a visual display of status and wealth—a feature that has oft tainted the overall appreciation of their artistic importance.

Jewelery across Ages

The goldsmiths in medieval times were greatly regarded and crafted treasures for the religious places in their regions. However, in modern times, the obsession with multiple branding has tarred the world of jewels with mass production and a brush of mediocrity, thereby cheapening the overall value of precious settings. In the West too, heirlooms and family jewels have been traditionally passed down through generations. More often than not, as unloved possessions, they rarely see the light of day. Often deemed unwearable and old fashioned with respect to contemporary accessories, they are recycled into more contemporary jewels to add new worth.

Fortunately, the attitude towards antique jewelry is fast changing and the same is being seen as a resurfaced time capsule of the eras gone by—a window that allows a peep into our rich heritage, which, if broken up, may be lost forever.

The Worth of Antique Jewellery

Jewellery passed down across generations' talk of many features: its journey, past owners, quality of craftsmanship, materials used, and so forth. Some of them are so rare that may not be produced ever again. For instance, thanks to the existing levels of pollution, natural saltwater pearls are fast becoming a thing of the past. This is the reason behind them attracting high prices when they come into the market, if at all. In case of heritage jewels, an appreciation of the uniqueness and rarity of pieces is instantly achieved via strong prices.

In addition, a jewel's worth is aptly measured by the significance of the social history it reflects, and the tales it may unfold. Antique pieces have the extraordinary ability of bringing loved ones back to life—frequently answering questions which may have remained a secret for generations, as in the case of the blue diamond in Channel Islands.

Last Word about Museum Jewelery

Even as you explore the other items on display in any museum retail outlet in India, or other places that sell heritage and art pieces, your eyes will be drawn by the age old jewels on sale in the next counter. A source of inspiration for modern jewelry designers, antiques and collectibles are incomplete without these precious investments in place. A radical increase in the availability of such pieces offers evidence that discerning jewelry-buying clients are now indulging in the appreciation of art in jewelry, and aligning their preferences with the importance of heritage.

Yes, people are seeking individuality and creativity in their selection of jewelry, and are striving to invest in pieces that prove to be a successful marriage between the creator and designer, so as to exude a magic which promises to remain timeless.

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