Jewelry Time Periods Part 1

Over the next three weeks, we will be jumping into the past by discussing the different types of jewelry worn through the eras.

jewelry from the Georgian Era

GEORGIAN ERA (1714-1830)

The Georgian era spans the reign of four English kings named George. Due to its age, jewelry from this period is quite rare and mostly seen in private collections. The surviving pieces were handmade using 18 karat yellow gold and sterling silver. Gold was extremely expensive, so most diamonds were set in silver that was backed with gold to protect the silver from tarnishing.

A distinguishing factor in Georgian jewelry is the shape of the stones used. Stones were never cut specifically for a piece of jewelry. The pieces were made to suit the stones that were available. Typically a Georgian piece featured many different sizes and shapes within a single piece. Rose cut and Old Mine cut diamonds were commonly used. Within the design you will find floral, bow or scroll motifs, In addition to diamonds, sapphires, garnets, topaz and amethysts were used quite often.

 

victoria era jewelry

VICTORIAN ERA (1835-1890)

This period was named after Queen Victoria of England who inherited the throne in 1837 at the tender age of 18. Her tastes in fashion and jewelry were highly regarded by her subjects and subsequently inspired trends in jewelry. Victoria became engaged and married her beloved Albert in 1840. For her engagement, she wore a snake motif ring (which was a symbol of eternal love at the time) set with her birthstone, a brilliant green emerald. In this era, birthstones were commonly used instead of diamonds for engagement rings. Elaborate cameos of shell and stone, hearts, flowers and animal themed jewelry set with seed pearls were the styles of the day. When Albert passed away in 1861, Queen Victoria went into mourning which inspired gold lockets and black jet pieces commonly seen at this period.

At the end of the Victorian period, the discovery of diamond reserves in South Africa were discovered, which helped popularize diamonds once again. This is the period where the first diamond solitaire engagement ring originated. Queen Victoria passed away in 1901 after a 64-year reign, marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new one when her son Edward ascended the throne, ushering in the Edwardian era.

 

Come back next week for part two !!!