What is a “transitional” piece of jewelry?

  • By Fred Durnbaugh
  • 07 Oct, 2017

Our appraiser Kent D. Anderson of Maple Leaf weighs in

transitional jewelry

A ‘Transitional” piece of jewelry is simply a piece of jewelry that contains at least 2 elements of a style more clearly identified or easily recognized as jewelry from a specific time. Some common jewelry periods are Mid Century Modern (MCM), Edwardian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Turn of the Century and most time frames are associated with approximately 10-20 years.

Edwardian and Victorian jewelry often overlap and exhibits elements of both Edwardian and Victorian styling. For example, an Edwardian piece be overly fussy with lots of scrolls and Acanthus leaf motifs while a Victorian piece might have more filigree work, open cut work and attached dangles. When a piece contains elements of at least 2 overlapping jewelry time frames, it is often referred to as ‘Transitional’.

Jewelry designers are not bound by common popular styles and are often pushing the boundaries of their jewelry and styles, and many transitional pieces are simply an organic creation of a jeweler’s imagination and skill. Modern jewelry pieces that exhibit two or more elements are often described as ‘retro’ or ‘historic recreations’ or simply ‘avante garde’, but with time and exposure the actual elements themselves become clear and are categorized and recognized more easily. Thus, vintage and antique pieces are more often referred to as ‘Transitional’ over more contemporary pieces.

The liquidation professionals at Auctionspear.com know how to identify a transitional piece of jewelry and every other type of jewelry. Auctionspear.com has the ONLY dual certified Personal Property Appraiser in the entire state of Texas and reviews every auction to ensure accuracy. Their independent Appraiser also has a GIA-AJP (Associate Jewelry Professional) designation from the Gemological Institute of America, the preeminent industry leading gem training school in the world since 1934!

Now with practice and exposure, you will be able to dissect the elements associated with transitional jewelry pieces and more easily ascribe a time frame to a piece of jewelry. Practice makes perfect. Happy hunting!

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