Mixing and matching is an art learned round the world—then displayed at the hockey rink (among other fab places).
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Go ahead and buy. Estate jewelry has a luster all its own.
Those with Jackie O style—with or without Jackie O cash—can shine just as brightly as any red carpet starlet. They just have to find the right estate jewelry. Local stores can help.
Paul Cohen, owner of Continental Jewelers in North Wilmington, is one of Delaware’s leading experts.
“First you have to determine what you like, what makes you feel good,” Cohen says. “That could mean remembering a grandmother that had a similar piece or a certain color that makes you feel glamorous.”
Second, Cohen says, examine the condition of a piece. Repairs “have a major impact on value.” If the stem of a Victorian brooch has been replaced with a modern component, it isn’t as valuable as one restored with an authentic stem. Beware of bad soldering. And consider authenticity. If that late-Edwardian piece was restored with white gold, it’s not so precious. White gold wasn’t made until 1917.
Don’t care about bad glue? Go ahead and buy. But if you know history, you can negotiate a better deal. Some estate pieces are antique, made before 1920. Art deco, vintage and retro pieces cover the 1920s through the 1950s.
Cohen can fill you in. Or visit Winterthur to see how the du Ponts sparkled. At the Pennsbury Chadds-Ford Antique Mall, dealers such as Betty Martin can help. The Heritage Antique Market in Lewes sells jewelry ranging from Victorian to vintage 1930s and ’40s. Centreville has great antique shops with estate jewelry, as well. And Brandywine Boulevard in Bellefonte boasts fabulous shops with estate pieces. But a word to the wise: If you go on Saturday morning, grab a coffee first. Shops don’t open till 11.
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