Victorian and Edwardian Fine Jewelry
Victorian jewelry was created during the period that Queen Victoria reigned over England while Edwardian jewelry was created during the rule of King Edward VII. The Victorian era is roughly divided into the Romantic Period, lasting from 1837 to 1861, the Grand Period, lasting from 1861 to 1880, and the Aesthetic Period from 1880 to 1901, and each made their own fashion statement. When the queen died, more handmade jewelry was seen during the Edwardian period.
How do you choose antique Edwardian jewelry and Victorian silver pieces?
- Consider personality - Edwardian and Victorian silver antique pieces should match the wearer's personality
- Look for details - Edwardian and Victorian antique pieces should show creation details.
- Learn the story - Many Edwardian and Victorian antique pieces come with fascinating stories.
What was Victorian silver like during the Victorian Romantic Period?
Queen Victoria fell in love with jewelry designer Prince Albert whose favorite medium was Victorian silver. He made many beautiful bracelets, necklaces, lockets, earrings, and a special brooch for her to wear. A popular Victorian motif on diamond rings was a snake with its tail in its mouth standing for eternal love. Many wedding rings were acrostic rings with diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and topaz spelling out the word dearest. Often stacked one above another, big gold and Victorian silver bracelets were everywhere as were sterling silver locket-style necklaces often containing stones.
What was jewelry like during the Victorian Grand Period?
When the queen lost her husband, she wore mourning jewelry for decades. Many chose to wear black stone Victorian necklaces, earrings, and brooches and even diamond rings made of fossilized coal, garnet, vulcanite, French jet, or bog oak. Others embraced Revivalism with motifs of peacocks, doves, and falcons adorning enamel earrings, bracelets, belt buckles, and rings. Blue sapphires, garnet, opals, turquoise, and diamond stones along with pearls were found on many enamel pieces, including engagement rings, lockets, earrings, and brooches.
What was Nouveau jewelry like during the Aesthetic Period?
While some necklaces, earrings, lockets, and engagement rings were still made of sterling silver, the Industrial Revolution and the discovery of gold in many places allowed women to buy gold pieces during the Nouveau era. Filled gold pieces called hollow work became popular on charm bracelets and brooches as pieces became simpler and smaller.
What are brooches?
A brooch is an ornament fastened to clothing. When Prince Albert and the queen were married, he gave her a sapphire and diamond wedding brooch. When their daughter was married, she received a silver brooch, and on the queen's jubilee, she received a brooch. Special sterling silver brooches often containing pearls were given on holidays with many being available as antiques today.
What was Edwardian jewelry like during the Edwardian era?
Called the playboy king, Edwardian jewelry took on playful tones during the Edwardian era. Elaborate strings of pearls often adorned dangling necklaces on Edwardian women. During the Edwardian period, handmade silver and gold engagement rings became fancy leading to many Edwardian jewelry antiques today.