Bold and Beautiful: How to Wear Estate Jewelry

Bold and Beautiful: How to Wear Estate Jewelry

In the 1950 film All About Eve, Bette Davis lands what the American Film Institute called one of the top 10 movie quotes of the 20th century: “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” It’s a film of Hollywood elegance and glamour that seems to have all but vanished. But for a newer generation of women, recapturing that vintage look is as easy as embracing one-of-a-kind estate jewelry. But once you do, fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a glamorous night!

The first thing to know is that you don’t wear estate jewelry to be subtle. You will make a statement. And you will get compliments. So, go big! It matters little how a piece would have been worn in its time. Now’s the time to layer, stack, and combine!

Layer and Mix Bangles & Bracelets

Start with one or two bracelets you really like and really want to wear. Once you’ve established the base, more is better! Combine styles and textures, and look for the pop-colors. The more unique the contrast, the more interesting the look. As you add, try to keep a certain commonality with the original base elements. You get the best of both a unified look and an eclectic mix. And there’s nothing wrong with enhancing the estate jewelry with some costume pieces.

Brooches Combine Beauty and Function

A fashion piece that’s not seen nearly as often today as it once was is the brooch. Estate brooches can replicate looks in top fashion, but can now be placed unexpectedly. For example, consider “pinning” a brooch on your favorite necklace. It will bring a new-but-vintage look to your ordinary necklace. You can also skip the necklace entirely and wear one or two brooches off center on your cardigan or jacket. Finally, a brooch is also a fine adornment to your favorite straw hat this summer.

Layering Necklaces

Just like you stacked your bracelets and bangles, you can layer lots of necklaces. One key tip is to have one necklace up closer to your face. This makes you appear taller and slimmer, brings balance to longer necklaces, and brings the focus back to your face. A little bit of mixing…and a little bit of matching, and you’ve really upped your necklace game!


Wearing estate jewelry guarantees you are wearing something no one else is wearing. The big trend today is to mix modern rings with an estate piece adding a flair of character and style to your look. Estate rings are both elegant and feminine and have a way of bringing in a surprise hint of sparkle to your look.

Here are a few of our favorite estate pieces from Schiffman’s downtown estate collection:

Ruby and Diamond Necklace

18K yellow gold necklace featuring 29 round rubies weighing 16.10 total carats and round diamonds weighing a total of 1.48 carats. The necklace is 17 inches long.

Diamond and Pearl Pendant

Diamond and pearl pendant platinum and white gold filigree pendant necklace featuring 3 marquise diamonds, 9 rose cut diamonds, 90 round diamonds weighing a total of 2.75 carats, and a baroque pearl.

Chinese Zodiac Bracelet

This bracelet measures approximately 17.1mm and is a fantastic silver gilded Chinese Zodiac bangle.

Pampillonia Designs Moonstone and Sapphire Ring

A 14-karat gold ring with cabochon moonstone weighing 5.89 carats and 14 dazzling sapphires weighing 2.00 total carats.