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Antique Fashion Blog

Vintage, Antique Or Estate?

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With the advent of the internet, certain phrases or descriptions have a habit of taking hold and entering everyday usage, despite the fact that the usage may in fact be entirely wrong. Did you know, for example, that email and other “spam” as we know it today isn’t actually spam, it’s velveeta. We’ll let you Google it to find out the details!

But whilst most such adaptations and changes are harmless, when sellers and even designers of jewelry use the wrong word to describe their wares, it isn’t quite so innocuous. Describing  a retro engagement ring as vintage – and maybe hiking the price on the back of it – is both misleading and dishonest, and even fraudulent. So what does each phrase actually mean? Read More

Wire Work Jewelry

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Wire work – or wire wrap – jewelry has its origins in ancient times, with evidence that the craft dates back to about 2000BC.

Wire work is unique in several different ways. No external influence such as heat or foreign substances is used in the manufacture even when setting stones, all pieces are made by hand and all pieces are, by their very construction, unrepeatable. It differs from filigree, in that no soldering or other setting techniques are used, and the piece is held together by the positioning of the wire and the manner in which it is twisted into place. Also, an entire wire worked jewelry item is usually made using just wire and decoration whereas filigree is but one element of a larger piece. Read More

Why Everybody Loves Cartier Panther Rings

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Cartier and the Panther have been linked since 1914, when Louis Cartier first introduced the symbol of the big cat to the Cartier brand by way of a painting by George Barbier. Later the same art was used in Cartier advertising and, since that day, the two have been inextricably linked.

Surprisingly, given Cartier’s incredible ring heritage, the first Panther ring wasn’t introduced until 1935, under the direction of legendary Cartier head of design, Jeanne Toussaint. Indeed, it was Toussaint who kept the Panther line in the Cartier catalogue in the preceding years, earning her the nickname “La Panthére” in the process. Read More

What Is Invisible Set Jewelry?

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In most cases, stones are set in jewelry using prongs or bezels, which can easily be seen with even a cursory inspection. These methods are preferred because of the relatively simple work required in creating the setting, and because they are very reliable. But there’s a third way known as invisible setting which is, as you might expect all but invisible to detect without a very through inspection. Read More