When it comes to jewelry, almost every piece has a story to tell. It is often the significance of a piece that makes it so important to its wearer — an extravagant ring lovingly passed down, a beautiful necklace purchased for a special occasion, or a one-of-a-kind bracelet bought during memorable travels. Even just the knowledge that a piece has its own story lends intrigue, making estate jewelry perfect for the wearer who wants a bit of history and those who appreciate the beauty in a rare treasure. At E.J. Sain Jewelry Company, the decades-old, family-run jewelry store in Green Hills, pieces with the patina of the past, as well as contemporary ones, are on display.
The family’s history of selling jewelry began in 1902, and their reputation for fine jewelry has been carried on for four generations. After more than a century of selling unique styles and exclusive brands, E.J. Sain also began selling estate pieces. Now, the family-owned and -operated store is a widely respected destination for new and old jewelry alike. “Estate jewelry has not always been part of the business, but it has become a good part of what we do,” explains store owner Gennette Norman, granddaughter of E.J. Sain. “Since we have been in business for so long, people knew they could trust us to sell their pieces, and shoppers know they will find quality jewelry of any age.”
Building a collection full of rare jewelry requires a knowledge of how to hunt down timeless finds, and it is essential to buy from a trusted source. Known for their honesty, integrity and expertise, the staff at E.J. Sain is an invaluable resource ready to teach their customers about each piece. They only sell jewelry that is brought to them directly and they will recommend a price for each item. Then, they act as the seller and guide customers in making an offer.
Some of the pieces currently on display at E.J. Sain include a heavy gold necklace with an oval diamond; a pair of sunflower earrings with gold leaves and a chocolate diamond center; a diamond and gold broach originally purchase in Turkey with stones dating back to 1900; emerald and diamond earrings; a gold link necklace; and a diamond ring with a unique selection of stones. While these pieces have little in common visually, they are all classified as estate because they are pre-owned. As a reminder, estate jewelry has been previously owned and ranges in price point, age and style. Jewelry is considered antique if it is more than 100 years old, and vintage jewelry is between 50 and 100 years old.
Most often, E.J. Sain sees estate jewelry that was passed down from parents and grandparents. Because the current owner doesn’t get much wear out of these pieces, they turn to E.J. Sain. Sometimes the original owner knows the history of the piece, but not always. Sometimes the collection includes designer pieces, but again, not always. They never know what someone will bring in to sell, so the selection is ever-changing, and it is always surprising.
In shopping the estate jewelry, Gennette recommends looking beyond the piece as a whole to consider its parts. For example, the oval diamond currently set in the heavy gold necklace could be used to create a custom engagement ring, while the gold could be used or sold separately. Getting creative is encouraged, and that is another area where the staff is willing to lend suggestions.
Housed in a second-story storefront at Grace’s Plaza in Green Hills, E.J. Sain is a destination for fine jewelry and estate jewelry. If you are looking to sell any of your estate jewelry, pay them a visit. They are always looking for good pieces to add to the collection. If you are interested in seeing their current selection, they’d be more than happy to walk you through the assortment.
SB TIP: While you shop, let the experts clean and polish your jewelry (free of charge). The staff will also check the stones and prongs at no cost to you!
This article is sponsored by E.J. Sain. All photography provided by E.J. Sain.