A Q&A with Walton’s Jewelry about choosing antique and estate jewelry and engagement rings

Some of my favorite details to photograph at a wedding are family heirloom jewelry the bride has chosen to wear on her special day. I love hearing the history of the pieces and who else in the family has worn them. These unique pieces aren’t just wedding day details, they are a celebrated generational connection…a part of your story.

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Recently, I interviewed Julie Walton Garland, owner of Walton’s Jewelry in Franklin, TN. Here’s what she had to say…

HDP: Tell us about your family business, Walton’s Jewelry. Give us a little history. How long has it been in business? 

JWG: My grandmother, Melba Walton, started the store in 1974.  She first got started by selling jewelry on the hood of her car at flea markets, next to the chickens that were for sale! She opened Walton’s in its original location in Carter’s Court, the Franklin shopping destination at the time. In 1983 she purchased our current building at 410 Main Street – the best decision she could have ever made! 

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Julie Walton, owner Walton’s Antique Jewelry

HDP: What is your expertise?

JWG: We specialize in pre-1940’s antique and estate jewelry as well as jewelry repairs and appraisals. 

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HDP: What sets you apart?

JWG: Not only do we sell fabulous, one-of-a-kind jewelry, we take pride in the quality of our customer service. We are a family business and treat any and everyone that walks through our door as part of our family.  Jewelry means different things to different people, but the common denominator is the sentimentality behind it. We care for our customers’ pieces as if they are our own because we understand their sentimental value, not just their monetary value. 

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HDP: I own one of your art deco diamond rings that I fell in love with the minute I saw it. I see so many amazing pieces that I photograph for you every other week. Tell us how you find your beautiful and unique pieces?

JWG: Our inventory is constantly changing and we never know what we may find or come across from day to day.  We purchase our pieces from the general public (anyone can email or call us to set up an appointment).  We also purchase from antique dealers, jewelry shows, estate sales/auctions, and on our travels.

 

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HDP: What’s the best advice you could give a partner searching for the perfect antique engagement ring?

JWG: The biggest concern clients have when shopping for an engagement ring for their partner is wondering if they will like the style they choose. These days, there are many ways to do a little bit of spying on what styles he or she likes, i.e. Pinterest, Instagram, etc. My advice would be to do a little snooping first. Also ask his or her friends. If you can’t find any examples of what they like, first start with the basic shape of the ring (round, oval, square, etc.). Once you have it narrowed down, we can help you from there. And, Walton’s has rings for every budget, from conservative to luxury.

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HDP: What are 5 tips for purchasing estate jewelry pieces, not just
engagement rings?

JWG:

  1. Try on different styles – you may not realize just how much you love a piece till you try it on! 
  2. Because our pieces are one-of-a-kind, know that once it sells, it’sgone. If you fall in love with a piece, don’t hesitate…just purchase it!
  3. Ask questions! We are here to help and are happy to give explanations and clarification.  
  4. You’ll know it when you see it. If a piece takes your breath away, then it’s the one! 
  5. Our inventory is constantly changing – we are putting out new inventory all the time.  If you don’t see a piece you love one day, good chances are that you will the next time you look. You can also follow our social media and website to see our newest acquisitions!HDP-3-28-19Shoot-15.jpg

HDP: What details in estate jewelry set it apart from modern-day designs?

JWG: Antique and estate pieces tend to feel less bulky – the filigree details of the past are always airy and refined. Modern day designs, even those that are “antique-inspired” often feel a bit bulkier.

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HDP: What is your personal favorite style?

JWG: I love all things diamond from the 1920’s.  My style tends to be classic and understated – diamond stud earrings, diamond pendant/necklace, diamond bands all paired with my 1920’s diamond engagement ring. I add a modern twist with my Apple watch!

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Walton’s Jewelry is family owned and operated since 1974 and located in
Historic Downtown Franklin, TN. (615) 790-0244

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