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Before we look specifically at antique jewelry, I would like to look at the word important. In many ways the English Language can be rather limiting as the same word can have a myriad of different meanings and connotations. Important antique jewelry can also be taken in the sense of valuable antique jewelry specifically referring to the parts value of the estate piece of jewelry. For example if we take a diamond engagement ring,  the value can be taken as the cost of the main diamond,or gem stone, the cost of any of the smaller stones and lastly the cost of the metal it is set in, whether it be platinum gold or silver, along with the purity of that metal.

However with this engagement ring, if it has been passed down through the family, as an heirloom, then there is an added importance and value to the piece, which can not be expressed in monetary terms, but sentimental terms. If we take this idea one stage further, and this same engagement ring, is actually an antique or Art Deco original period piece then there is also a historical value to the piece, which will also add a monetary value, but how much? This monetary value for the antique engagement ring though is very difficult to estimate. The best analogy I can use if one takes a Monet painting, you cannot value it by the cost of the paint, the canvas and the frame; well I suppose you could, but that would not be the true market value. Platinum, Aqua Marine & Diamond Cluster earrings

Platinum, Aqua Marine & Diamond Cluster earrings circa 1930

There is the originality, the historical value and the artistic talent of the painter all to be considered, and how important is that..... very, but how do you put a value on it....... almost impossible. And this is why antique jewelry is in my opinion a much more important and valuable than any antique style, antique inspired or a piece of massed produced jewelry. So far we have looked at importance in terms of value, but if we broaden the scope, and look at antique jewelry from a different perspective...... from a more personal perspective; what is the most important piece of jewelry a lady can own? The first answer would be their antique engagement ring, then secondly a family heirloom, and then?....... After these antique pieces, most antique jewelers, most fashion experts, and most ladies I have spoken to have said the most important piece of antique jewelry a lady can have are earrings, because earrings frame the face. When you are having a conversation with someone they are looking directly at you, and the first piece of jewelry they will notice on you are your antique earrings. The antique historians Ms. Mascetti & Triossi expressed it much more eloquently than I ever could, when they wrote: Gold, Rock Crystal, with inset Diamond

Gold, Rock Crystal, with inset Diamond, (giving a three dimensional effect) Day and Night earrings (Detachable Bottoms) signed Maboussin circa 1945

'There is indeed something magical about antique earrings, which is not matched by any other kind of antique jewelry. Uniquely, they move with a life of their own, voluptuous yet pure, cold yet provocative. Ancient civilizations gave earrings to their goddesses and today they remain the most demanding and the most rewarding exercises of the antique jeweler's art. Antique earrings are fascinating as far as art-historical research, but this can not disguise the fact that they have a romance all to themselves.' Victorian fringe drop earrings

18kt. Gold, Victorian fringe drop earrings circa 1870

Though antique earrings have been worn since prehistoric times, and through all the following centuries styles have changed from different precious metals made into small globes, to having carvings decorated on them. They have then developed into different shapes, with crescents and shield shapes being used. There are antique earrings which drop, antique earrings that are set with diamond or other precious gems, suspended from the ear with either posts or hooks for safety. Later on in the 1940's and 50's earrings were designed with spring clip closures, which had two practical purposes. No two earlobes are the same and with a clip fitting the earring could be moved on the ear to fit 'in exactly the right place' a movement that cannot be found if the earring has to fit into the position where an ear has been pierced. But there was also another advantage, when a lady was on the phone she could slip the clip earring off very easily to speak, and then put it back on just as easily.

Diamond flower clip earrings

 

18kt. Gold, Ruby & Diamond flower clip earrings circa 1945 (Maybe use as main picture)

The contemporary woman until recently has valued convenience when it comes to earrings, and there has been a predominance of diamond studs being worn. However at Beverley R Antique jewelry in Chicago, we carry an extensive range of different earrings. Many have the same wearability as diamond studs, and have the convenience of being worn as both day and night attire, but they are all different and unique. We have long and short drop antique earrings, earrings that have both post, hook and clip fitments, from the antique periods right through to the 1940's and 50's. We have only gold, gold and platinum diamond and gem set, so many choices that can be seen on our web site, and even more if you come to our shop.

Gold Engraved Disc earrings with Diamond center 18kt. Gold Engraved Disc earrings with Diamond center circa 1860

So ladies if you want an antique earring that you cannot get anywhere else, that frames the natural shape of your face bringing out your finest features, please come visit us. Beverley R Jewelry, 172 E. Walton Place, Chicago, Illinois 60611.