This term is used to refer to materials previously belonging to an individual's private collection.
“Collection” and “estate” sound fancy - but think Grandma’s wedding ring or the signet ring your great Uncle always wore on his pinky.
We source estate gemstones in two different ways.
Primarily we buy them from dealers who specialize in this area. Ideally the gems are certified as post-consumer recycled by a third party verification organization. Without this certification we need to perform additional due diligence on sourcing.
Sometimes we directly obtain the estate jewelry and remove the stones ourselves. In this case we document the process to maintain an internal system of verification and tracking.
Seen here - an antique platinum wedding set that recently came into our studio. We tested the diamonds and removed them from the settings. The platinum will be recycled and we’ll catalog the diamonds for use in future projects. The large center stone will go to GIA for certification and grading, and will soon be available for a bespoke project or to customize one of our signature designs.
The other type of estate material we source is hardstone (including fossils, petrified wood, etc.). In other words, old rock collections.
In fact, we pick up estate collections of rocks and minerals on a fairly regular basis.
Sorting through a very well-labeled collection we recently acquired.
There are a couple major pros with estate collections of rocks - no new extraction of natural resources and the chance to pick up materials that are no longer available. Some of the challenges include difficulty with identifying the materials and picking up unwanted materials in the mix - like raw asbestos!
Wondering whether the gems or hardstones in your Mercurius Jewelry piece are from an estate collection? We’re always happy to share our sourcing information.