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Enduring Style

Photography by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner

The term “vintage jewelry” can conjure up images of Grandma’s bland brooches, but some of the most stylish designs are, in fact, vintage. Carrie and Matthew Imberman are intent on debunking the misconception that old means out of fashion. The sister and brother are the third-generation owners of Manhattan-based Kentshire (kentshire.com), which recently opened a by-appointment salon at Rockefeller Center. “Younger clients are increasingly interested in antique and estate jewelry because they view it as a way to set themselves apart from their peers,” says Carrie. “They want to own something that is timelessly beautiful, defies trends, and can’t necessarily be copied by everyone they know.”

The Imbermans curate a mix of designs that are contemporary in spirit. The 18-karat-gold bracelets (starting at $14,500) reflect their taste. From left to right, they are from the 1970s, 1940, 1945, and 1930.

Their grandfather, Benson Imberman, established Kentshire in 1940 (as the United States Silver Co.). Until last year, the business had a store on Madison Avenue that offered jewelry and decorative arts. Since closing that location, the Imbermans have focused exclusively on vintage jewelry, which they sell at Kentshire’s in-store shop at Bergdorf Goodman and the Opening Ceremony stores in Greenwich Village and Los Angeles, as well as the Rockefeller Center salon.

When they aren’t hunting for antique pieces, the Imbermans help their clients build collections. According to Matthew, every jewelry box should contain “a good pair of elegant antique gold earrings, a hefty retro gold bracelet, and an interesting diamond or gem-set piece that isn’t limited to black-tie affairs.”