Gesner Estate Jewelry features inventory from the mid to late Victorian (1850-1890), Art Nouveau (1890-1915) and Retro (1935-1949) periods, but the company is regarded as one of the foremost buyers of platinum jewelry from the Edwardian (1901-1914) and Art Deco (1920- 1935) eras, and one of the larg
Tampa, Fla. – Frank Gesner has long owned a keen eye and a deep appreciation for fine art. Earlier in his career, dating back to the 1960s, he was a key member of Sotheby’s, buying extensive quantities of fine art throughout the Southeast
Of fine art throughout the Southeast to sell through the auction house in New York City. Gesner incorporates those same traits with Gesner Estate Jewelry, a company that he founded in 1972 and has rapidly evolved through an international customer base cultivated online.
Gesner Estate Jewelry features inventory from the mid to late Victorian (1850-1890), Art Nouveau (1890-1915) and Retro (1935-1949) periods, but the company is regarded as one of the foremost buyers of platinum jewelry from the Edwardian (1901-1914) and Art Deco (1920-1935) eras, and one of the largest dealers of antique engagement rings.
“For many people, sentiment and nostalgia play a significant role in jewelry selection,” Gesner said. “People like reminders of the past, and the uniqueness of the design for the various periods.
“The engagement rings are often one of a kind,” he added. “They feature classic design not duplicated in anything modern.”
Gesner Estate Jewelry has two physical locations – in Tampa and nearby Largo, Fla. - but the Internet has allowed the company to dramatically grow and attract an international clientele. The company offers certified appraisal services as well as restoration services, and Gesner maintains a vast inventory of fine jewelry. Graydon Gesner, who provides the appraisal services, earned his Graduate Gemology Degree, Accredited Jewelry Professional Degree and a G.I.A. Pearl Grading Lab Degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
Frank Gesner's wife Elaine and his other children Shanel and Matthew head up the Largo, Florida offices and are responsible for all of the internet and web activities. Elaine Gesner has been deeply involved in the business from the beginning and without her guidance and support none of this would have been possible.
A history enthusiast, Frank Gesner is intrigued by the stories behind the different jewelry eras. Queen Victoria was succeeded by her son, Edward VII. During his reign, Gesner explained, there was a return to elegance in jewelry design.
The Edwardian period was defined by designs that were lighter in appearance and more delicate,” Gesner said. “Diamonds, platinum and white gold were especially popular during this time.”
King Edward died in 1910, but in history the Edwardian period of jewelry extends to the Titanic, which sank in 1912. At the time, wealthier passengers were adorned with Edwardian jewelry pieces, and the era reached an end around the arrival of World War I.
Originated in France, Art Deco evolved in the United States as the Roaring Twenties arrived.
“Art Deco jewelry reflected the lavish times,” Gesner said. “Color combinations in gemstones were bold and bright. Rubies were set next to emeralds in massive brooches; and coral and lapis lazuli or jade were frequently used together.”
Gesner Estate Jewelry acquires pieces from all the major auction houses, and it also generates inventory from families who inherit pieces from relatives. Gesner was raised and educated in Venezuela, where his father worked for an American oil company, so his contacts there are extensive.
“An expansive amount of antique jewelry can be traced to Europe around World War II, when Jewish families fleeing the Nazis,” Gesner said. “Many families immigrated to South America, and the only thing they could take with them was jewelry. There is still an ample supply of vintage pieces in South America.”
For more information about the history of jewelry and the inventory and services that Gesner Estate Jewelry offers, visit www.gesner.com.