Jewellery Facts for antique and Vintage Jewellery
Just by the way the term “estate jewelry” is Americanism for “second hand jewellery”, ie not new jewellery.
Carat has two distinct meanings
Carat can refer to the quality or purity of gold –
pure gold ie a metal that is 100% gold and nothing else but gold, is known as pure gold or 24 carat gold
So for example with a ring which is 18 carat ie 18/24s gold or put another way, 18 divided by 24 is 0.750 or 3/4
You may see jewellery marked 0.750 which is a some what modern way of writing 18ct as we say in the UK and 18k as they say in the rest of the world
The colour of pure gold is yellow. However if gold is mixed with other metals it can become a silvery colour, known as white gold, or pinky and is then known as rose gold
Secondly carat can refer to the weight of precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires
One carat is 1/5 of a gram – so 1/2 of a carat is 1/10 of a gram
A slightly outmoded way on expressing a diamonds weight is the point system. In this method a carat is said to be 100 points, so a 1/2 carat diamond for example would be a 50 pointer. You will find this system used in vintage books and catalogs, mostly when refering to antique diamonds – old cut, old European cut, old mine cut, old brilliant cut, swiss cut and rose cut etc
In 1973 platinum was first covered by the hallmarking act, A standard of 950 parts per thousand was introduced.
The platinum mark is an orb with a cross on the top all set within a pentagon.
First pieces were marked in January 1975 at the London assay office
Georgian Georges 1714 – 1837
Victorian Victoria 1837 – 1901
Edwardian Edward V11 1901 – 1910
Belle Epoque From about 1880 to 1915 ( the start of the first world war)
Garland France from 1870, England from 1880 – very feminine
Art Nouveau Art Deco
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