Is Antique Jewellery Worth Anything?

These pieces often carry a unique story and are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike


The timeless charm and allure of antique and period jewellery has captivated the hearts of collectors for decades… Have you ever wondered if these exquisite pieces hold any significant value? Well, the answer is a resounding yes!

Antique jewellery is in demand and can be extremely valuable. For a piece of jewellery to be considered antique, it will be at least 100 years old; anything younger than this, but more than 40 years of age is generally referred to as vintage.

The value of antique jewellery lies in its rarity, craftsmanship, historical significance, and the materials used. These pieces often carry a unique story and are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Whether it's an Edwardian diamond necklace or an intricately designed Victorian brooch, antique jewellery has the potential to fetch substantial prices on the open market. Value will be determined based on the piece of jewellery itself, the age, condition, and composition, as well as the current market trends for similar offerings.

Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian demi-parures and parures contained in the original boxes can be surprisingly valuable. When a piece has provenance, it is likely to achieve higher than the market value depending on the details.


An Early-19th century chrysoberyl parure

An Early-19th century chrysoberyl parure

Sold for £12,000


In July 2023, Dawsons offered an early 19th century chrysoberyl parure, consisting of a rivière necklace, girandole earrings and a buckle. The set was originally a wedding gift for a British heiress and socialite, from her celebrity scientist husband on the occasion of their wedding in 1812; it achieved an excellent result of £12,000 at auction.

Another example of a piece which achieved a significant result, no doubt influenced by the provenance, was a “necklace” offered by Dawsons in August. The Qatar state collar of Independence, which was awarded to foreign heads of state, by Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad in 1978. An example was gifted to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England and can be seen, worn on several state visits, including most recently in 2010 on a visit to the United Kingdom from Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, then the Emrit leader. The hammer fell at an impressive £40,000.


The Qatar state collar of IndependenceThe Qatar state collar of Independence

Sold for £40,000


On Sunday the 9th of May 2021, one lucky enthusiast discovered a centuries old ring using a metal detector. It was later determined that the find was a post-Medieval intaglio ring, made circa 1575-1650. This piece of extraordinary history sold for £14,000 within our auction of March 2023.


 post-Medieval intaglio ring

A Post-Medieval intaglio ring, circa 1575-1650

Sold for £14,000



Moreover, antique jewellery can also appreciate in value over time. As time goes on, these pieces become even rarer as they age, and this makes them highly desirable among those who appreciate the beauty of bygone eras.

In our experience, it is not uncommon to find antique pieces amongst costume jewellery, or tucked away, and forgotten within a dusty, inherited jewellery box, or indeed discovered when sorting through the estate of a loved one who has recently passed… If you think you may have uncovered an antique piece of jewellery, don't underestimate its worth - it could be a hidden gem, whose historical significance and antique beauty combine to make it highly sought after across the globe.


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Do you have any antique or vintage jewellery that you are considering selling?

With a global audience of over 10 million, Dawsons can achieve the best price at auction.

Get in touch with one of our Specialists today for sales advice, we would be delighted to help you:

0207 431 9445 /