Frequently Asked Questions
We are dealers in antique and period jewellery, a family run business, resulting from over fifty years of experience and expertise in the antique jewellery trade in London.
We are led by Olly Gerrish, one of London's foremost antique jewellery dealers, and her son Matt, who is responsible for developing the AJC into the global brand it is today.
They are joined by Molly Gordon-Craig, one of the leading young lights in the industry and Kate Westlake, a recent graduate of the The Gemmological Association of Great Britain's Diploma Course.
When you phone us you will hear from Molly or Kate directly. If you visit us you will be met by either Olly, Molly or Kate - who will do all they can to meet your needs.
We are based over two floors in a beautiful 18th Century townhouse, a stone's throw from New Bond Street in London's Mayfair.
Our address is:
49 Maddox Street
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We do not have a conventional shop, but an office/showroom, where you can arrange to view items in person, should you wish.
You are welcome to view any items you like, but please note that all meetings are strictly By Appointment Only. This is entirely intentional as we prefer to offer our customers the privacy of a 'one-on-one' experience when making their purchase decisions.
You can book your hour time slot by simply filling in our booking appointment form.
Appointments are available weekdays between 11.00am - 7.00pm, unless otherwise stated.
We look foward to welcoming you into our antique jewellery time capsule, in the heart of Mayfair, with a cup of coffee or a glass or champagne!
Yes! Our founder, Olly Gerrish, is a veteran of over fifty years of dealing in antique jewellery in London. A highly-respected and reputable dealer, Olly has a near encyclopaedic knowledge of antique jewellery and is at your disposal.
Olly is joined by Molly Gordon-Craig, who in her five years working for us has developed into one of the brighest young sparks in the trade - and Kate Westlake, who recently completed the Gemmology Diploma Course at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).
Our small and knowledgeable team will do all they can to make your experience as worthwhile and fun as possible.
We believe that antique jewellery has an enduring charm and distinction that modern equivalents simply cannot match (don't get us started!).
Antique jewellery is also an investment rather than an expense, with immediate advantages over other ways of investing for the future. It is cheaper to buy and sell through a dealer than an auction house with their spiralling commissions. A dealer's knowledge, experience and passion add value to a purchase which will give life long pleasure.
Our jewellery varies in age from the early 18th Century up until the 1960s and later. We have categorised our jewellery into different periods. Each period has many different designs and characteristics. These periods include Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco, Retro, Mid-Century and Modern.
Georgian Jewellery (1714-1830)
Georgian era jewellery is handmade, making the quality of each piece variable. Needless to say, Georgian jewellery is very rare. Often featuring nature-inspired designs such as leaves and birds, Georgian jewellery frequently includes precious stones.
View our Georgian Jewellery →
Early Victorian, Romantic Jewellery (1839-1901)
Like jewellery of the Georgian era, early Victorian era jewellery features nature-inspired designs. Frequently, these designs would be delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular everyday jewellery during the early Victorian era whereas colored gemstones and diamonds were worn during the evening.
Mid-Victorian, Grand Jewellery (1860-1880)
Because the Grand or Mid-Victorian era corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, many jewellery pieces have solemn, grave designs. Known as mourning jewellery, the pieces feature heavy, dark stones. Jet, onyx, amethyst, and garnet are frequently found in jewellery from this period. The jewellery also became especially creative during this period. More colorful designs were born featuring shells, mosaics and colorful gemstones.
Late Victorian, Aesthetic Jewellery (1885-1900)
During the Late Victorian or Aesthetic period, jewellers used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, and spinel. Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were also popular.
View our Victorian Jewellery →
Art Nouveau Jewellery (1890-1915)
Inspired by Rene Jules Lalique in France and other jewellers in America, Art Nouveau jewellery features natural designs such as flowers and butterflies.
View our Art Nouveau Jewellery →
Edwardian Jewellery (1901-1914)
The Edwardian period was born when Queen Victoria died and her son Edward became king. During this period, expensive gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies and elaborate designs were the fashion.
View our Edwardian Jewellery →
Art Deco Jewellery (1920-1935)
Influenced by African, Egyptian and Japanese themes, Art Deco jewellery is famous for its geometric designs, sharp lines, and bright colors. Bakelite, celluloid, eidl and doublets were used frequently during this era. Necklaces were long and bracelets were worn many at a time. Amber and murano beads were worn as well as chokers.
View our Art Deco Jewellery →
Retro Jewellery (1940s)
Inspired by Hollywood, Retro jewellery is colorful, bold and elaborate. Commonly worn were large cocktail rings, bracelets, watches, necklaces and charm bracelets.
As we develop as a business we hope to focus more on the educational side of antique jewellery, as we feel it is such fun and well worth sharing. Watch this space!
View our Retro Jewellery →
We use our vast knowledge to date each piece based on the item's materials, construction techniques, hallmarks, signatures, and cultural context. Some people may even refer to our ability to identify the age of our jewellery as diamond whispering!
After decades of experience antique pieces just speak to us, and by using our knowledge, experience and network of resources, we can usually identify the age of each item. While we cannot guarantee the exact age of each piece, we can determine to the best of our ability when it was likely manufactured and during which era it was designed.
This is the most frequently asked question and often considered a highly guarded trade secret.
As far as we're concerned, the answer is simple. We work with the best jewellery buyers in the UK to source exquisite engagement rings. These eagle-eyed experts are constantly on the hunt for the most high quality antique and vintage jewellery in the UK and beyond.
It has taken many years to build and nurture these working relationships and fortunately we are now in the position to get first dibs on what we believe is the best supply of antique and vintage engagement rings in the UK.
Our jewellery is in excellent condition, taking into account its age. We pride ourselves on selecting only the finest examples of antique jewellery. In exceptional circumstances when an item is not in excellent condition, we will mention it in our item descriptions.
Of course, please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to see some more hi-resolution images of the item or view the item in person at our Central London showroom.
We are always on the hunt for new treasures and update our website with our Latest Finds on a daily basis.
Yes! Conflict diamonds or “blood diamonds” are illegally traded stones that were mined sometime in the last fifty years. These diamonds originated in countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) or The Republic of Congo, and were used to finance civil wars and deadly insurgencies.
Because we only use antique and vintage diamonds that predate this period, our jewellery is completely conflict free. Initiatives such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme have been created in order to curb the dangerous blood diamond trade, however even this initiative is fraught with shortcomings.
The only way to guarantee that a diamond is conflict free is to reuse vintage and antique diamonds that were mined prior to 1970...which is exactly what we do!
We are constantly looking for fine quality pieces to add to our collection. You can always rely on us to settle instantly and provide maximum discretion when doing so.
If you have jewellery that you are considering selling, whether it’s an entire estate collection or just one piece, please fill in this form.
Please note we only buy items that are antique, ie. at least fifty years old, and in general we do NOT buy costume jewellery, loose coloured gemstones, pocket watches or watches.
We've tried to make purchasing on our website as easy as possible. Navigate to an item you want quickly and easily and click the 'Add to Bag' button. When you are happy to proceed to payment, click on 'Shopping Bag' in the top right of the screen and follow the simple steps, using our secure payment gateway (powered by Stripe).
We accept all major credit cards - Visa, Mastercard, American Express etc. - as well as PayPal.
We also accept bank/wire transfers and cashiers or bank cheques and personal cheques (which will have to clear before the item is sent out).
Yes! We are happy to take card payments over the phone. Please call +44 (0)20 7206 2477 to do so.
We endeavour to dispatch items the same day we receive the order, so long as the payment has been received before 2pm (GMT) that day. However, we cannot always guarantee that this will always be the case.
Please note we are unable to dispatch orders on Saturday or Sunday.
Yes, we do. Our instalment plan requires a non-refundable deposit of 20% and the balance must be paid in full over a three-month period.
More about payments →
Yes, we can hold items for up to 72 hours. Please contact us to let us know if you wish to put an item on hold.
Alternatively, items may be reserved for up to 3 months, with a 20% non-refundable deposit.
Please note that this is offered on a case-by-case basis depending on the item in question.
No. We price our items fairly based on the current market. However, if you can't resist haggling we won't not listen to your offer.
Occasionally we offer promotional deals and voucher codes to coincide with special events. In August we have our annual AJC Summer Sale with discounts on many one-of-a-kind pieces.
All items bought through our website are delivered worldwide, free of charge.
In the UK, we deliver using DHL Express, arriving at the end of the next working day.
For international orders we uses DHL Express Worldwide, arriving at the end of the next possible working day.
All items are fully insured and sent at the risk of the Antique Jewellery Company. Items will be sent out as soon as your money has been cleared. Please note an adult signature is required to receive all packages.
More info about our delivery policy
Yes, we’ll email you your tracking information once your item has been dispatched.
Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us! Your item will arrive in plain, generic packaging without our name present on the package.
We offer a 'no quibble', 30 day full money back guarantee on all engagement ring purchases. Items must be returned in the same condition we sent them in.
Alternatively you have 60 days to exchange/part-exchange an item.
Returns are free in the UK and for international orders the buyer pays return postage and any customs duties and sales taxes that may be incurred.
Please note the cost of any re-sizings (£72.00) will be deducted from the refunded amount.
Yes, we do offer sizing.
Sizing can generally be done in 2-3 working days, depending on the workload of our jeweller.
You have one free sizing per ring purchase - by one of the best jewellers in the trade - and it is valid for up to one year. Thereafter, ring sizings are charged at £72.00 (£60.00 + VAT) each.
More info about ring sizing
The vast majority of our rings can be re-sized up or down, at no additional cost.
A small minority of rings with particularly intricate shanks or stones running the whole way around cannot be re-sized as any alterations would affect their design integrity. We will clearly state if a ring cannot be sized on its product page.
No, we only work on our own items.
Generally not. If you have a Victorian or Georgian ring that is close backed or foil backed, then you probably shouldn’t submerge it in water. Very few of our rings include this detail, but if you are concerned, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Appraising items in-house would present a conflict of interest. If you would like your item appraised, we can secure an appraisal from a third party certified appraiser.
Though we aim to provide accurate colour/clarity grades and carat weights for our diamond jewellery, this is not always possible. In order to be accurately assessed, diamonds have to be physically removed from their settings which risks causing damage to the item. For this reason, we tend to give approximate colour/clarity grades and carat weight estimates.
The AJC offers a six-month warranty against damage to items purchased through us that is not due to wear and tear and/or negligence subsequent to purchase.
We specialise in the sale of antique and vintage jewellery, which (due to many different factors) may require special care. We stress the importance of choosing jewellery that is appropriate for your lifestyle. Certain materials and styles of jewellery are not suitable for everyday wear.
If you experience any problems with your purchase please contact us to discuss this. Depending on the nature of the issue, we will either repair the item for you free of charge or provide you with a repair quote from our trusted jeweller.
Within the first six months after purchase, we will replace side or accent stones that go missing if we feel that the stones or settings were in some way defective.
After six months any missing side or accent stones will be considered wear and tear and will be replaced at the expense of the customer. Please note that you will be responsible for any shipping costs related to the repair.
Any repairs or work not done by the AJC will void our warranty.
It's important to protect yourself against your antique jewellery being lost, damaged or stolen. We recommend contacting your existing household insurers – many will already insure for up to £3,000 worth of jewellery worn at any one time, anywhere in the world. Ask them exactly what they would need in order to insure against the ring and how they assess the value of replacing an antique piece of jewellery.
We advise that the best solution for protecting your jewellery is to cover the cost of finding ‘equivalent’ pieces rather than providing modern reproductions, which lack the original appeal of old pieces. We provide all our clients with a proof of purchase so that your insurers know what you spent on your jewellery.'
Any more questions? Contact Us