How old is your piece of jewelry?
Is it a true antique or a reproduction?
The age of a piece is often uncovered by assessing by a variety of factors including:
Throughout time there have been different prevalent materials or favored techniques that are clues to pinning down the manufacturing date and distinguishing authentic antiques from imation reproductions. A couple of examples include the ubiquitous use of white gold and platinum in the 1920s, or use of Jet and other black gems during the Victorian era.
Looking at each piece of jewelry with an eye for art history and design movements of the past is quite helpful. Fashions have always changes and evolved, and are marked by the form and character of the design. For instance, fluid and swirling Art Nouveau influences would point to 1890–1910.
Things like earring hooks and clasps often help date a piece of jewelry because each era has signature techniques and innovations that affect jewelry construction. For example, brooches have distinctly different closure mechanisms and hinges that reflect when they were made.
To learn MORE tips and facts about dating Antique Jewelry please visit my BLOG
What is Gemology?
Why would I need the services of a Gemologist?
Gemology is a science dealing specifically with gemstones and minerals used in jewelry. Using a variety of specialized tests, measurements can be taken which definitively identify the material in question. Equipment such as a refractometer, spectrometer and polariscope can be used to prove what a gemstone is, and rule out simulants and synthetics.
What is the difference between natural Gemstones and synthetic imitations?
Natural gemstones have a number of desirable characteristics that are unique to each, such as hardness, color, crystal structure and how the surface interacts with light. Imitation stones are things like glass, plastic or other treated gemstones substituted for the natural gemstone to achieve the same desired look. Examples would include the use blue Plastic instead of natural Turquoise, glass ‘faux’ pearls, or Quartz dyed the color of Ruby. Synthetics are different, in that they are created in a laboratory, like Cubic Zirconia (CZ) used in place of natural Diamonds.