3 Key Features of Art Deco Jewellery

There are many different types of beautiful vintage jewellery available on the market today, and the surge in popularity of these items has meant that there is more choice than ever before. As well as specialist offline jewellers, online stores are also now selling these items, and many people like to try and get a bargain online.

With that said, there are certain risks to buying online, and it is wise to exercise precaution when doing so. Regardless, art deco jewellery is available in abundance and there are many stunning pieces for you to enjoy; here are three key features of this kind of jewellery that you need to know about.

Firstly, one aspect of art deco jewellery is the use of colour, which differentiates it from its predecessors that included Edwardian jewellery. Art deco sprung up post First World War in Europe, with the 1920s and the 1930s being key decades of popularity for this style.

The colours used for all kinds of jewellery – from art deco engagement rings to necklaces – include bold and bright shades which were not present in the muted styles that came precedent to this. Precious stones were used, and these were in a variety of colours, including jade, carnelian, emerald, ruby, sapphire and coral.

Black and whites were also used to contrast against colours, and these included the widespread use of onyx and diamonds. Certain colours trends did continue from Edwardian jewellery however, and these include the used of white metals such as platinum and white gold. These help contribute to this beautiful, contrasting effect that the style is famous for.

The next aspect of art deco engagement rings, necklace and bracelets is that these items often featured very distinctive, geometric shapes. These could be very ostentatious in style and again very bold, making a real statement for those who wore them. Examples of popular pieces included bulky rings, statement necklaces and long pendant earrings.

It should also be noted that strings of pearls were popular during this period too. These fit in with the ostentatious, bold look of the jewellery, and also the geometric one. Circles and ovals feature heavily in this style of jewellery, as did rectangles, squares and diamond shapes. Each of these shapes appeared on all different items of stunning jewellery.

In addition to having these geometric shapes, often several items of jewellery were worn together to make a bold statement. This was especially true with bracelets, which were often stacked, but any item of jewellery could be worn with several others of a similar style – as can be seen in images from the era of women draped in plenty of bold art deco jewellery.

The third and final feature of this kind of jewellery is that natural themes and motifs were often present, including the inclusion of birds, animals, flowers and leaves. These added another unusual feature to previously traditional jewellery, and could serve as a interesting talking point for the wearer and her friends.

It should be noted that many of these natural world motifs had been influenced by the preceding art nouveau movement, but simply made the designs bolder, and included a great deal more originality, taking ideas and inspiration from cultures around the globe. An example of this is the prevalence of Egyptian designs, such as pyramids and scarab beetles.

From art deco engagement rings to necklaces and bracelets, there is a huge number of these exciting items on the market today, making it easier than ever to enjoy these stunning artefacts of history. When you shop around however, just be sure to make sure that you seek out a reputable jeweller who can fully inform you and assure you about the authenticity of the piece you plan on purchasing.

Pearl Valuation: A Pearl Buyer’s Guide

Understanding how pearls are graded and valued is crucial before making a pearl jewellery purchase. This guide provides information consumers can use to compare and evaluate pearls and pearl jewellery.

So what is pearl valuation? Simply put, pearl valuation is the term used to describe the quality and value of a pearl or pearl set. It is determined by seven key pearl attributes: type, size, luster, inclusions, shape, matching, and nacre:

Type: – There are many different types of pearls, but the most popular, in order of value, are Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea.

Size: – Pearls range in size from a couple of millimeters to over 15 millimeters depending on the type. The larger the pearl, the more rare and valuable it is.

Luster – is the brightness or radiance of light from a pearl. A high quality pearl will be brilliant and bright, and you should be able to easily see your own reflection in its surface.

Inclusions – sometimes called blemishes, are imperfections in the surface of the pearl. These may be cracks or bumps in the surface. The fewer imperfections, the greater the quality and value of the pearl.

Shape – pearls come in a number of different shapes including round, off-round, oval, baroque, and ringed. Round pearls are the most desired and valuable.

Matching – the ability of a set of pearls to resemble or harmonize with each other is referred to as matching. The greater the matching, the greater the value of the piece of pearl jewelry. Of course, matching only applies to multi-pearl jewellery.

Nacre – is the layers of aragonite and conchiolin that form around the pearl’s centre. The thicker the nacre, the longer a pearl will typically last.

All of these attributes are used to determine the quality and value of pearls and pearl jewellery. By knowing and understanding these, you are in a better position to know what to look for and what you are purchasing.

Of course, many people ask: “What about the rating?” Most pearl jewelers offer a single rating for the pearls they sell. The most common rating scale used is A, AA, and AAA, but other popular ones include “good”, “better”, and “best” and A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. As you can see, because there is no standard rating scale for pearls, the actual rating only has meaning at a single jeweler. What results is an AAAA pearl strand at one jeweler is equivalent to a “good” strand at a second jeweler which is equivalent to an AA strand at a third jeweler. In other words, what is important is not the rating scale used by any particular jeweler but how the actual attributes compare across jewelers. That is the key to buying pearls and pearl jewellery.

Gold and Silver Are Winning the War

As mentioned previously, the centre of gravity for gold demand is continuing to move eastwards. Any splurge on gold in the western world quickly provokes an even stronger purchase response from the East. However the world’s biggest gold consumers are falling out of love with wearing their gold as jewellery.

‘Look at college campuses, Indian girls there are not interested in gold jewellery. My wife has about 1kg of gold jewellery but my daughters are not interested’ Biju Daniel, a Financial Advisor.

Demand for gold bullion and other pure investments in India, soared 83% in 2010 from the previous year. Investment demand is predicted to increase further and potentially surpass jewellery demand in the next 3 years.

Unlike Jewellery, investing in gold bullion retains its value better because fabrication costs are less significant and buyers don’t have to worry about their items becoming dated, making them harder to sell.

Bolivia is the latest country to increase their gold holdings. Many countries are buying their own country’s output and it would therefore seem that the amount of gold becoming available to prospective purchasers may be diminishing by the day. However, higher prices and restricted supply has not yet instigated any significant increase in mined output. This is due to declining grades and end of mine lives, counterbalancing any new output.

The Swiss Franc continues to be weakened against the Euro after government intervention. The Swiss National Bank is keeping it at SF 1.20 or weaker against the Euro. The Japanese Yen may also be prone to more government intervention in an attempt to balance world markets as the Euro fell to a six-month low against the Yen. Many people are choosing to buy gold as, the role of gold as an insurance policy is getting stronger each day and is likely to remain the case for years.

President Obama laid his ‘jobs bill’ before congress. A $447 billion package aimed at promoting hiring in the USA. Markets then tumbled worldwide and gold rose again. However this is not a fundamental plan for the U.S. economy, just another attempt to jump- start it.

Gold has also benefited from muted interest in higher risk assets. European shares fell as Obama unveiled his jobs package, after the Federal Reserve failed to unveil any new measures to stimulate the economy and promote growth.

Ministers from the G7 are under pressure to take action as they prepare to meet over the weekend in Marseille, France, amid mounting bets on a Greek default, but if history is anything to go by, little will come from the meeting. The U.S. can do little more than issue another round of Quantitative Easing and with the Euro being further weakened by the halt in rate rises in Europe; it is not hard to look at the state of the world currencies and see that right now gold and silver prices can only keep climbing in the long-term.

“Weaker developed market growth and the enhanced risk of debt-induced deflation in the United States and Europe materially enhanced the appeal of gold as a safe haven asset.” Say Morgan Stanley.

With growing demand, which looks unlikely to diminish in the near future, the squeeze on precious metals prices looks almost certain to drive the gold price onwards and upwards.