How to Build an Antique Jewellery Collection

Antique jewelry, like art, property, or automobiles can also serve as an investment. The items that you amass over the course of building your collection will come to define you. Whether you’ve been collecting jewelry for years, or are just starting to get your collection together, there is a lot to consider. From the type of jewellery you are after, to the different occasions it can be worn on, what your budget is, and who and where you are purchasing from, these are all major things to keep in mind.

Remember to be patient, pick pieces that make you feel great about yourself, and to buy from reputable dealers. Whatever stage you are at in jewelry collecting, this guide will help you narrow down some of the best shows nationwide to find the antique jewelry you are after.

Winter Antiques Show

Now in its 17th year of operation, the Winter Antiques Show is one of the most highly regarded fairs in America. Held in New York City’s historic Park Avenue Armory, it features over 70 experts in a wide range of fields. From antique jewellery, fine art, furniture and more, this is the show to attend when searching for the must have items. This year’s fair also featured a mini exhibition from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art entitled “Collecting for the Commonwealth/Preserving for the Nation: Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018.”

Antique Jewelry a la Vieille
Source: Winter Antiques Show

Some of the most sought-after jewelry this year could be found at the A la Vieille Russe, Inc booth which specializes in American and European antique jewellery, Russian decorative and fine arts and more. The Winter Antiques Show took place from January 19-28, 2018.

Original Miami Antiques Show

This is the largest indoor antique show in the US with over 600 vendors spanning the globe from 28 countries. Whether you are looking for key pieces to add to your collection, or to meet the movers and shakers of the antique world, this is one of the premiere events to attend.

Antique Jewelry - Jacobs Estate Jewelry
Source: Jacob’s Diamond Estate Jewelry

The show features a wide range of objects ranging from the Renaissance to the Art Deco periods. With a focus on vintage engagement rings, 19th and 20th century, Victorian and Edwardian jewellery, Jacob’s Diamond & Estate Jewellery will be offering up some of the best pieces at this year’s fair. Over the course of the four-day show, over 18,000 people will attend. This year the fair will be open from February 9-12, 2018.

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show

Now in its 15th year, this show has become a standard within the antiques world. This year’s show will have over 170 vendors from around the world, as well as an exciting lecture series. There will be a wide range of objects to feast your eyes on, as well as pieces from some of the most elite jewellers.

Antique Jewelry - J.S. Fearnley
Source: J.S. Fearnely

One stand-out vendor this year is J.S. Fearnely. With a wide range of jewellery to choose from ranging from the 19th century, to modern there is a mix of beautiful, unique pieces to suit everyone’s taste. This year’s fair will be held from February 14-20, 2018.

Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

Antique Jewelry - Aaron Faber
Source: Aaron Faber Gallery

This is the largest show in the US to cater to just antique jewellery and watches! If you are looking for that unique item to complete your collection and haven’t been able to find it yet, then look no further. With close to 400 vendors who will be part of this event, there will be many jewelry options to choose from. Be on the lookout for pieces by Cartier, Tiffany’s, David Webb, Harry Winston, Patek Philippe, Van Cleef & Arpels and more. From the various stunning collections on view, you will be able to find unique pieces from the Renaissance through Modern era.

Be sure to check out the Aaron Faber Gallery which is based in NYC. From contemporary studio jewelry pieces, classic new and old works, and collectable vintage timepieces, this seller has you covered for whatever you may be seeking. The show will happen May 31- June 23, 2018.

The New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

Rounding out the list is the New York Antique Jewelry. Similar to the show in Las Vegas with a focus on just two kinds of items, the New York leg offers a more intimate experience with a little more than 100 of the world’s more seasoned jewelry and watch experts. Despite its size, this show has an array of items from many eras. Keep your eyes peeled for one of kind pieces by Cartier, Tiffany & Co., David Webb, Harry Winston, and many more. The show is also shorter than the others and will occur July 27-29, 2018.

Whether you are after nostalgic, delicate rings and necklaces from the Art Deco Era, chunky, modern pieces from the 1970s through today, or a mix of both, you will be sure to find something for all taste levels at each of these shows. When you are browsing, remember to do your homework beforehand on the vendors and the pieces you are interested in. This can help save you time in the long run and can help you better organize what you are after, keeping you within your budget.

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About the Author:

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.