Black jewelry can be found in abundance at flea markets, estate sales, and antique stores. Identifying what the black material is, can make a big difference in determining when it was made and how much it could be worth. Black jewelry has been made of plastic, glass, stone, jet, gutta-percha, crepe stone, bog oak, and bakelite Good tips. Another way to get info about the date of a piece of fine antique jewelry is the cut of the stones. AlleyCatLane 4 years ago. Congrats on your LOTD! Well deserved. Thanks so much for this information Wonderful information. I often scour thrift stores for vintage jewelry to upcycle into my own designs. This is good information to use when looking for items for that purpose. I would hate to deconstruct a valuable piece.
A directory of jewelry stores! Here are links to my, my , and my . Have fun, and please let me know if you find anything fabulous! Location: 223 Haverford Avenue Narberth, PA 19072 and Price range: $$$-$$$$ Description: In their own words: “Our specialty is fine antique jewelry, ranging from the Georgian and Victorian eras all the way up to Retro, Vintage, and Estate pieces.
We also have a special collection of Art Deco and Edwardian era engagement rings, and we love meeting brides-to-be on a regular basis and helping them find something completely unique. The owner has been in business for over 30 years now, and has amassed a really wonderful collection of every imaginable type of jewelry: lockets, pendants, fobs, rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, cufflinks… even a few tiaras!
While we have a lovely following of locale clientele, our website has allowed us to connect with customers around the world.” Personal experience: Wonderful in person and online. They have a large collection of beautiful pieces, some of which are really unusual and spectacular – and excellent website photography, which you know I appreciate.
I have a spectacular antique chain from A Brandt + Son; both the quality of the piece and its price were just right. Aged and Opulent Jewelry Location: Price range: $-$$ Description: A large, colorful, varied selection of vintage and antique pieces, mostly costume. There are usually a large number of festive brooches and several Art Deco filigree necklaces in this shop.
Personal experience: I almost always have a few pieces from this shop bookmarked in my Etsy favorites. The seller has an excellent eye and the photography skills to prove her pieces are worth a second look. Bert’s Jewelers Location: 5520 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, DC 20015 Price range: $-$$$ Description: With a small selection of jewelry, this family-owned store is mostly a repair shop. The employees are very friendly and appear knowledgeable.
Personal experience: Bert’s repaired Mr. DitL’s watch. They seem to have done a good job, but it took multiple phone calls and quite a few weeks to get the watch back. I brought them an Edwardian bracelet which they were unable to resize because it was too delicate. (They’d warned me this might be the case and they explained it logically.) However, they had my bracelet for two months.
They claimed to have called me, but if they did they didn’t leave a message. So: they seem to do know what they’re doing, but they’re not good communicators. Blackheath Jewelry Location: Blackheath, Australia and . Price range: $$-$$$$$ Description: Blackheath is an antique jewelry store specializing in pieces from the Georgian to Art Deco periods.
Their selection is quite good, and they also offer repair and restoration of antique jewelry as well as custom work. Personal experience: I’ve emailed some with the lovely folks of Blackheath jewelry and found them to be delightful, although a review of staff pleasantness is probably not what you’re looking for. Blackheath has an impressive collection of antique jewelry listed in an informative way.
I especially admire their collection of mourning pieces. The photography isn’t perfect, but the images are large and plentiful. The website is definitely worth a visit, even just for your browsing enjoyment.
Boone and Sons Location: 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington DC 20036. Also Chevy Chase and McLean.
Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: Moderately-sized fine jewelry store offering new, custom, and estate jewelry. Also offers appraisal, repair, alterations, watch repair, and insurance replacements. Personal experience: I often visit their Farragut North store’s windows (and occasionally go inside to ogle). The selection is not enormous, but it is lovely and they do have some nice estate pieces. They’re friendly enough if you’re browsing in your business casual but a tad snooty if you’re asking about jewelry repair in your gym clothes.
Stopped by here early in the engagement ring browsing process and they were pushy. BW Art, Antiques, and Jewelry Location: 108 N Fayette St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Price range: $-$$$ Description: The compulsive organizer in me thrilled at the layout of this place.
Scores of huge chests of drawers, all of them taller than me, organized by color. I was actually overwhelmed. Large and varied costume selection, small but lovely fine jewelry selection. Personal experience: I had a great time browsing here and took home a large, glamorous ametrine cocktail ring that I passionately adore. I’ll be back. Era Gem Jewelers Location: and 12000 NE 8th St, Suite 101, Bellevue, WA 98005.
Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: Era Gem is one of those versatile estate jewelry treasure troves where you can find all kinds of jewelry from truly antique to more recent pre-owned pieces.
They have a special love for blue to green sapphire engagement rings. An eclectic, high quality array of jewelry. Personal experience: I’ve browsed Era Gem’s website for years – long before I even started Diamonds in the Library.
Their selection is gorgeous and if I’m ever in Bellevue I’m definitely going to visit! I haven’t been lucky enough to purchase anything from Era Gem yet, but we have emailed a bit and they’re lovely and friendly. Location: and 105 E. Main Street, Purcellville, VA 20132. Price range: $$-$$$ Description: This family-owned gem of a jewelry store in beautiful Virginia wine country specializes in handmade fine jewelry – beautiful swirling settings of gold and silver with hand-polished, carefully selected gemstones.
Personal experience: I love this place. The owners are the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet, and their pieces are exquisite. They have a showroom full of pieces to peruse, but they also specialize in special custom projects. Beautiful pieces at all price points, thanks to their silver line.
I. Gorman Jewelers Location: 1133 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20036 and (info only). Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: This family-owned DC institution occupies a light, well-proportioned space shocking close to my old apartment.
They have a delightful selection of contemporary jewelry, featuring quite a few notable contemporary designers across a range of styles. These include, but are not limited to Todd Reed, Alishan, Kirk Kara, Chris Ploof, Coge, Omi Privé, and Sholt. Personal experience: Mr. DitL and I went to an event here recently to check out their wedding bands (and to avail ourselves of the champagne tasting also taking place there).
To say it was delightful would be an understatement: everyone was beyond friendly and helpful, even before they knew I was a jewelry blogger. The jewelry covered a wide range of contemporary styles and was clearly selected with great care. My only disappointment was that I hadn’t visited this impressive store sooner.
Location: 15 West 47th Street, Suite #305, New York, NYC and . Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: A 35 year veteran of the NYC Diamond District, I.D. Jewelry is a family owned jewel of a store with a specialty in bridal and a reputation for flawless custom design at reasonable prices. They stock leading designer brands as well.
Personal experience: I haven’t made it to I.D. Jewelry in person yet, but anywhere I turn – to social media, online reviews, or just word of mouth – I hear more and more positive things about them. One to remember if you’re ever looking for a custom ring or in the market for bridal. Jantiques Location: 10429 Fawcett St Kensington, MD 20895 Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: A charming, mid-size jewelry store with some truly lovely vintage and antique treasures.
Personal experience: I spent a very enjoyable birthday afternoon browsing in Jantiques and chatting with Jan herself.
Jan was marvelously patient, helpful, and friendly as I tried on half of her stock and then spent an absurdly long time deciding which piece I wanted to take home with me (the winner: an engraved rose gold Victorian ring set with a pearl and two garnets). Definitely going back here. Location: 144 South Broad Street, Grove City, PA 16127 Price range: $-$$$$$ Description: This out of the way store in rural Pennsylvania has some of the best jewelry I’ve ever seen: antique, vintage, and estate/modern.
They say they have everything from $5 to $500,000 and they’re not kidding. Personal experience: I after following them online for years, and holy moly they’re amazing. From sterling silver rings for $100 to museum-quality masterpieces, they truly do have everything – and so much of it.
If you’re looking for something specific, Joden probably has one. They also do a lot of jewelry buying, so if you’re looking to unload some of your own collection, give them a call. Kensington Antique Village Location: 3762 Howard Ave, Kensington, MD 20895 Price range: $-$$$$$ Description: Antique Village’s website describes it as “a shopping mecca with over 48 shops bursting with collectibles and one-of-a-kind treasures.” This is accurate.
It’s huge, and the variety is astonishing. Personal experience: I was there for hours and didn’t see everything.
There are a whole lot of items here that aren’t jewelry, but the jewelry is definitely there – more costume than fine, but some really wonderful examples of both. I found a gorgeous Victorian emerald and diamond ring and my boyfriend found a fabulous mother-of-pearl inlaid tie clip. Bring a friend and wear comfortable shoes. King’s Jewelry Location: 609 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 and (info only). Price range: $$$-$$$$ Description: Moderately-sized, independently-owned fine jewelry store offering new and estate jewelry (mostly new).
Also offers repair and alterations for jewelry and watches. Personal experience: This is a lovely store. A more interesting selection than your standard mall jewelry store, and very friendly and helpful service. I didn’t buy anything here but I had a wonderful time browsing and chatting. Lang Antiques Location: 309 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 and . Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: A well-known and eminently respected jewelry store based in San Francisco, Lang Antiques has a spectacular in-store selection and one of the most fun online stores on the entire jewelry internet. Discovering Lang Antiques’ website was probably what changed me from a person who liked jewelry to a person who needed to rearrange her life to make all about jewelry.
So: literally a life changing selection of jewelry. Personal experience: My love of Lang Antiques is well documented – they even have . They welcomed me with open arms when I visited in person, and even loaned me . I’m a little obsessed with them, if that wasn’t already clear.
Go to their website right now. Lawrence Miller & Co. Location: 121 S Royal St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314, and (info only) Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: A small, beautifully laid out store with incredible treasures to behold. Estate and new jewelry. I’m ashamed to say I looked at nothing except for the antique engagement rings, because I fell in love with one of them and then I had to leave.
Personal experience: I had dreams about a 1930’s diamond cluster ring I tried on here. For weeks. Actual dreams, while I was sleeping. Staff was friendly, helpful, and patient. Legendary Beast Location: 1520 U St. NW , Washington, DC 20009 and (info only) Price range: $ – $$$ Description: A quirky and unique store; Legendary Beast is only open a few days a week and is run by one fabulous woman.
Stock ranges from $10 vintage earrings to $200 Victorian necklaces and vintage Kenneth Jay Lane. The owner is a treasure: she’ll always slip your boyfriend a business card and is quick to pick up on shoppers’ preferences and help you find tucked away pieces you didn’t know you wanted.
Be sure to ask her about the times that Madeline Albright and Catherine Deneuve came into the shop. Personal experience: The majority of my vintage and antique costume jewelry can trace its way back to this store.
I visit every few months and rarely leave empty handed. Be sure to check their hours before you go. Location: Price range: $$-$$$ Description: Lillicoco is an exceptionally good source for fine vintage and antique jewelry in lower price ranges – I’m talking wearable, collectible, lovable little treasures that often hit in the $500 – $1,500 sweet spot. Utterly perfect for the collector who likes a good selection but doesn’t want to spend buckets of money.
Personal experience: I haven’t bought anything from Lillicoco, but I’ve loved every interaction I’ve had with the store’s lovely owners, Simon and Stacey.
They’re true antique jewelry lovers and they do a fantastic job with their store. Location: 320 E. 11th Street, NYC and . Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: Lori Mclean stocks vintage and antique jewelry, her own gorgeous line of designs, and jewelry by a selection of other designers. They also do a lot of custom work. Personal experience: I haven’t made it to Lori’s NYC boutique yet, but I had the pleasure of meeting its proprietress and her lovely wares at the and I was impressed.
This place is high on my list for an in-person visit the next time I’m in the area. Location: Etsy store () Price range: $-$$$ Description: This cheery store specializes in vintage and antique jewelry, mostly costume pieces. The constantly-changing selection is always fresh and fun, from the many sparkling costume pieces the the smaller selection of always beautiful fine jewelry pieces. If you love something, pounce on it: Maejean Vintage has many loyal followers who are quick to buy the prettiest pretties.
Personal experience: I discovered this store through their marvelous Instagram account and, since then, it’s responsible for half of my Etsy wishlist at any given time.
Location: New Hampshire and Massachusetts, or . Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: A store with a truly staggering selection of jewelry, from antique to estate and original to refurbished. Some of my favorite pieces of theirs are antique settings with new stones; MS Jewelers isn’t afraid to go outside the box on gemstone pairings and I love it. Stunning pieces, beautifully photographed. Well worth your browsing time, even if they’re outside your budget.
Personal experience: Lots of ogling and some very friendly and information communication about various pieces I’m considering buying. Haven’t pulled the trigger on anything yet, but that’s only for lack of funds, not lack of confidence or desire. Location: 1700 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006; 1900 Mervis Way, Tysons Corner, VA 22182; and 1775 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.
. Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: A family-owned diamond importer and jewelry store that offers ethically sourced diamonds. There are some lower-priced pieces, but pretty much anything from here will put you in triple digits. However: that’s because it’s the real deal.
Personal experience: Attending at Mervis Diamonds has basically become a for me. I also visited here during the engagement ring search and our associate (Kris at the Rockville location) was as down-to-earth, patient, and informative as we could have wished for.
Location: Bucks County, PA; and Boca Raton, FL. . Price range: $$$-$$$$$ Description: A 30 year veteran of the jewelry industry, Oakgem specializes in high quality estate jewelry, from Georgian to contemporary. Their eclectic selection is fascinating; they are also a great source for extremely high end pre-owned signed pieces. Personal experience: I have yet to visit Oakgem in person, but I love browsing their extensive collection online!
It’s also high on my to-visit list. Location: (online only) Price range: $-$$ Description: DC-area artist Rachel makes edgy, fun, modern pieces using a variety of metals and stones, particularly druzy, brass, and oxidized silver. Personal experience: Just browsing so far. Location: (online only) Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: A lovely little Etsy store with an excellently curated selection of vintage and antique jewelry.
Personal experience: haven’t bought anything from here yet, but I have exchanged some lovely emails with this store’s fabulous owner, Mara. She has great taste and a passion for jewelry. Location: 113 N Fairfax St Alexandria, VA 22314 and (info only) Price range: $$-$$$$ Description: A marvelous store with a great selection of vintage and antique jewelry – Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and more.
Everything is beautiful and in beautiful condition. Go there. Personal experience: I spend hours at this store whenever I go. I’ve only bought one piece here so far, but it’s lack of funds, not lack of love, that keeps me from buying more. It’s a treasure trove, and the owner and employees are all so friendly and helpful you’ll want to stay just to hang out with them.
The Hour Cocktail Collection Location: 1015 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 and . Price range: $-$$$ Description: The Hour offers everything you need for cocktail hour – glasswear, napkins, serving implements, and bright, splashy, fabulous cocktail rings, many of them vintage. Costume jewelry at its finest, sparkly and fun.
I also enjoyed their selection of vintage Whiting and Davis bags, which are a weakness of mine. Personal experience: This store rocks. I didn’t want to leave. So many amazing items. I adopted a 1960’s cocktail ring with a huge pink stone and miles of rhinestones.
Friendly staff and sparkly jewels. The Watch Pocket Location: 10113 Colesville Rd Silver Spring, MD 20901 and (info only) Price range: $-$$$ Description: A selection of jewelry and watches and excellent repair services.
Personal experience: This has been my family’s go-to jewelry and watch repair store since I was a child. When I was 5 or so, I broke my favorite locket. My mom took me to The Watch Pocket and they repaired it for free, saying they could tell it was a “special treasure.” This (and their quality work and friendly attitude) endeared them to us forever.
I have never had a watch battery changed anywhere else. Location: 1147 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC 20036 and (you can’t shop online but you can browse) Price range: $$$ – $$$$$$$ Description: Tiny Jewel Box is one of DC’s most well known jewelry stores. I often steam up their windows if I’m passing by that stretch of Connecticut Avenue. A high-end, beautifully laid out jewelry store. Mostly new pieces – featuring high end designers like Stephen Webster – but some wonderful estate and vintage.
Also offers custom designs. Personal experience: I had a lovely experience visiting here with a friend who was looking for engagement rings a few years ago, and an even lovelier experience finding my own engagement ring here! Beautiful selection, impeccable service, infinite patience.
I visited 5 times in a week to visit the ring I was considering and I never felt pressured, judged, or rushed. TJB’s goldsmith did a supernaturally perfect job sizing my antique ring (I’m a size 4.5).
Best of all? I found out after getting engaged that my dad bought my mom’s engagement ring at TJB as well. I couldn’t recommend them more highly. Location: . Price range: $$-$$$$$ Description: A well-established online jewelry store with a reputation for a selection of exquisite quality and variety.
They specialize in jewelry over 75 years old, but they have some pretty fantastic newer pieces as well. Their website is browsing heaven, with gorgeous photos and multiple filtering options.
Personal experience: I’ve had the honor of watching Lisa Stockhammer-Mial, the owner of The Three Graces, shop for stock at antique shows more than once over the years and let me tell you, this lady knows her stuff. What you’ll find here is a beautiful selection of pieces carefully selected by someone you can trust.
I can’t make a much higher recommendation than that. Location: Price range: $-$$$$ Description: Trademark Antiques is a well-known and greatly-respected online purveyor of glorious antique and vintage jewelry. The majority of their inventory tends to range from Victorian to Art Deco, with some occasional newer or older pieces.
They are particularly known for their conversion rings; which are rings made from elements that were originally other kinds of jewelry, like brooches or buttons.
Personal experience: I haven’t bought anything from Trademark Antiques, but I’m an avid follower of their inventory. I’ve also had the great pleasure of antiquing with Jason and Jessica, the husband and wife duo behind Trademark Antiques, and I can personally attest to how extremely nice they both are in addition to being knowledgeable and having a great eye for jewelry.
Shop Sparrow Location: 12 Annapolis Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 and . Price range: $$ – $$$$ Description: A tiny, carefully curated shop above a clothing boutique, Shop Sparrow offers a small but delightful selection of jewelry: mostly very delicate pieces with an edgy, somewhat spiritual feel (moons, snakes, etc) and extremely versatile, wearable everyday pieces – tiny, subtle diamond necklaces and studs, that kind of thing.
They sell a small selection of their own line, but the pieces are mostly other designers like EF Collection, Amanda Hunt, and Communion by Joy. Personal experience: I recently visited Shop Sparrow for their 1st birthday celebration and I had a wonderful time! The owner is friendly and fabulous, and the jewelry is beautiful. If you know of a store I should check out (or if you own a store and want to be on this list), please and we can talk about it.
best dating antique jewelry store - Best in Antiques
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Chinese investors look to profit from British antique jewelry