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Jewellery Insurance

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How Should You Insure Antique Jewellery?

Q Report Team
Updated on October 06, 2022
3 min read

The roaring comeback of antique jewellery has designers clamouring to create contemporary designs with a vintage feel. From cocktail rings studded with gemstones to Art Nouveau necklaces and bracelets, the vintage look is everywhere.

But what if your antique jewellery is truly antique? How will you protect it from theft or loss? And what about the everyday perils of wearing expensive antique pieces? 

In this article, we first discuss what makes a piece of jewellery antique, and then we dive into the question: how should you insure antique jewellery?

What Makes a Piece of Jewellery ‘Antique’?

Technically speaking, antique jewellery is any piece of jewellery that is about 100 years old or older. Therefore, many Art Deco pieces from the 1920s now qualify as antiques, but they’re the babies of the bunch. 

Other popular antique jewellery styles include Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Edwardian.

Victorian (1837-1901)

Queen Victoria reigned for a very long time, so antique dealers usually divide this period into three eras: the Romantic Period (1837-1860), the Grand Period (1861-1880) and the Aesthetic Period (1880-1901).


During the Romantic Period, jewellers incorporated motifs from Ancient Greek and Roman mythology into their pieces. For example, Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a serpent engagement ring.


But after Prince Albert’s death in 1861, the Queen adopted mourning garb, and fashion followed. Jewellery from the Grand Period focused on jet, onyx and black glass. 

Aesthetic Movement

Later on, the Victorian Aesthetic Movement emphasised a return to refined artistic taste and smaller, lighter jewellery. Women felt less comfortable about flaunting their wealth, and diamonds were considered too much for daytime wear. Instead, they made their appearance in hair accessories at evening events. 

Arts and Crafts (1890-1910)

Arts and Crafts jewellery (1890-1910) marked a rejection of the machinery of the Industrial Revolution. Instead, pieces were entirely handmade using enamel and semi-precious stones. Other hallmarks of the period include simple designs and intricate metalwork.

Art Nouveau (1890-1910)

A short-lived trend, Art Nouveau drew upon designs from nature, such as birds and flowers. Art Nouveau also featured new materials like enamel, moulded glass and ivory, and diamonds took a back seat to agates, garnets and aquamarine. With its elegant, curvy lines and serene compositions, this style became a bedrock for future jewellery trends.

Edwardian (1901-1915)

During the reign of King Edward, jewellery was light and delicate, and diamonds took the spotlight. Edwardian jewellers relied heavily on platinum as a strong foundation for all the precious gemstones nestled in festooning ribbons and floral designs. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires often provided a gorgeous contrast to the diamonds. 

Art Deco (1915-1935)

Blending glamour, luxury and the era’s incredible technological developments, Art Deco was inspired by several contemporary art movements, including Cubism’s geometric forms and Fauvism’s bold colours. This was also a time marked by a new wave of feminism that reinvented women’s styles. Baggy and bright tunic dresses were a perfect backdrop for elaborate earrings and piles of bracelets.

How Should I Insure Antique Jewellery?

Antique jewellery requires extra special care. And if you want to extend its life through generations to come, you’ll need specialised jewellery insurance

But how do you go about securing the type of insurance that will thoroughly protect your antique piece?

1. Start with a Quote

The first step is to get a quote for your piece of jewellery. Many people insure their jewellery at the point of purchase. That way, it’s protected right from the moment you walk it out of the store.

But with antique jewellery, you might purchase it at an estate sale, buy it from an antique dealer or maybe even inherit it. So you might not have a recent purchase price or receipt. But don’t worry. Our jewellery experts can provide you with a valuation.

2. Gather Documentation

If you have any documents related to your antique jewellery--receipts, diamond certificates or valuations, for example--make copies of them for the underwriter. These items will help ascertain the amount of insurance necessary for a complete restoration or replacement.

3. We’ll Handle the Rest

We’ll liaise with underwriting and deliver an agreed value policy that allows you to return to your chosen jeweller in the case of a claim. Your policy includes a complimentary annual revaluation, so you’ll always know you have enough cover. Additionally, your insurance remains in force everywhere you go, even while you’re travelling. So you can wear your antique jewellery with confidence and peace of mind. 

Whether you’re wearing an amethyst-and-silver Edwardian filigree necklace or a diamond-and-platinum Art Deco bracelet, you need the kind of insurance that will ensure that beauty’s survival.

To learn more about insuring your antique jewellery, ring us at 1300 882 018, or fill out our quote form online. Our experts will be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions. Talk soon!

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