The following is a guest blog written by Main Line Antiques Show dealer L&Z Antique and Estate Jewelers.

By Janet Dunayevich G.G.
GIA Certified Insurance Appraiser
Accredited Jewelry Professional

Laura’s and my passion for fine jewelry and art had developed at a very young age. As sisters, we were both brought up with many fine objects in our parents’ home. Our visits to the best European museums were a common form of entertainment. We both loved reading history books and through our appreciation of history and art, we developed a truly tailored taste for fine antique jewelry.

We have built our business on a love for beauty.

Jewelry is a luxury, not a necessity. We feel that by acquiring a new piece of jewelry, one feels joy and pleasure. Sharing this feeling with our customers is our main goal.

How do we choose our pieces?

When we are buying a piece of jewelry to add to our collection the first and most important aspect that we look for is QUALITY. Knowing the structure of the item is very important. Expert workmanship is truly what makes a piece of jewelry so special.

Secondly, we make sure that the item is authentic and has had no modifications done to it. We ensure that all of the gems are original and that the quality matches its manufacturer. For example, jewelry by Tiffany & Co. and Cartier cannot possibly have mediocre quality diamonds. Their jewelry always has the highest quality of polish and superb finish.

Third, and not the least important, is that we have to love each piece of jewelry. We have to be able to see our customer’s excitement as we share and present these items to them.

A majority of antique jewelry items were created as custom pieces.

In the antique jewelry industry we have a phrase: “if only this piece can tell its story.” When it comes to antique jewelry, a majority of the pieces were custom created. Important jewelry pieces, with large expensive gems and massive metals, were affordable exclusively to the elite class. Delicate and super precious filigree engagement rings and pendants were desirable to young brides. Fine gentlemen’s jewelry was also once very important. (In today’s market only cuff links continue to be popular while tie or lapel stickpins are highly collectible, but not worn as much.) Every piece of jewelry was well-thought of and designed to reflect an era of customers’ particular tastes. Mass produced items in antique jewelry were never acceptable.

Purchasing an antique piece of jewelry is like acquiring a piece of history.

On every buying trip we always have one or another customer in mind. We get a good feel of what they might like.

In our 34-year career we have met the most interesting people. Last year, we participated in one of New York City’s finest antique shows. A very pleasant woman stopped by our case and inquired about a pair of earrings in our display. She had said that her late grandmother wore a very similar pair of earrings. I went over the history of the earrings and their origin. She felt very nostalgic and decided to purchase them. As the transaction was taking place she had noticed some other pieces of jewelry that we had. It was a collection of a more recent, popular jewelry designer. She asked me about the designer. I was so excited to share with her everything I knew about him. I exclaimed that by far he is one of my favorite designers of modern time. The woman smiled and said that she also thinks very highly of his art. She then asked me to read her last name on the check she was writing. Turns out she was the wife of the designer about whom a minute ago I was singing songs of praise and admiration! We exchanged many warm words and had a great laugh.

Our business takes us to so many amazing cities and introduces us to people from all walks of life. These are the people that share our love for antique and estate jewelry.

This year at The Main Line Antiques Show we will share some great finds.

We have acquired an amazing bracelet in platinum with radiant rubies and stunning diamonds. This bracelet was made by the French design house MAUBOUSSIN circa 1924. In the jewelry industry it is considered to be a very important piece of jewelry.

Another bracelet we’re very excited about is also in platinum with gorgeous sapphires and diamonds. It has fine filigree work that is a great example of the true Art Deco era.

A third item that we adore is a diamond “Bee” brooch.  It is completely hand made with lovely high-quality diamonds and articulated wings.

We exhibit across the US and internationally.

We participate in many national and international antique and jewelry shows such as the original Miami Beach show, a Baltimore show, a Houston show and many more. In the past we had traveled as far as Genoa, Italy, to participate in an antiques fair there. We bought many European antiques and sold many American antiques.

What we would like our customers to know about us is that in time, most of them become our dear friends. We are always looking forward to sharing our travel stories and listening to theirs.

The Main Line Antiques Show supports a great cause, Surrey Services for Seniors.

We also admire the cause behind The Main Line Antiques Show, Surrey Services for Seniors.  Being able to mingle with the most generous and amazing people is truly a highlight of our Show participation.

The Main Line Antiques Show is a showcase of true quality antiques.

The Main Line Antiques Show is by far the most amazing showcase of true quality antiques. We are thrilled to see our customers who followed us from the great days of the famous Atlantic City Antique Show. We have developed a wonderful following in the few years since we started participating in The Main Line Antiques Show.

The Show’s promoters bring a superb quality of dealers. My children, who made their home in Philadelphia, have bought some amazing antiques for their new home. They have also introduced many of their friends to the Main Line Show. Our ultimate goal is to encourage a younger generation to appreciate antiques and to enjoy these items from the past that possibly can be an excellent investment in their future.

Gorgeous Platinum Brooch, Circa 1940

Hand made and hand engraved 18 karat rose gold brooch is a very good example of Retro era. Circa 1940. Over 6 carats of lovely diamonds hand set in the white portion of the brooch.

Cameo earrings set in 18 k gold, circa 1960

Stunning natural aquamarine and diamond earrings