Jewelry History

Antique Jewelry Periods

Georgian jewelry (1714-1837) is handmade which causes the quality of each piece to be variable. It often features nature-inspired designs such as leaves and birds. Georgian jewelry is very rare.

Early Victorian (1837-1850) Similar to the Georgian era, early Victorian jewelry features nature-inspired designs delicately & intricately etched into gold. Lockets & brooches were popular. Colored gemstones and diamonds were mostly worn in the evenings.

Mid-Victorian (1860-1880) the Mid-Victorian era corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband which inspired more solemn, grave designs known as mourning jewelry. The pieces feature heavy, dark stones like jet, onyx, amethyst, and garnet.

Late Victorian (1885-1900) During the Late Victorian or Aesthetic period, jewelers used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, and spinel. Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were very popular.

Art Nouveau jewelry (1895-1915) Dominated by Rene Jules Lalique in France and other jewelers in America, Art Nouveau jewelry features natural designs such as flowers and butterflies in colorful enamel designs.

Edwardian jewelry (1901-1910) The Edwardian period started when Queen Victoria died and her son Edward became king. Diamonds, emeralds and rubies in elaborate designs were the fashion.

Art Deco jewelry (1920-1935) Famous for its geometric designs, sharp lines, & bright colors. Long necklaces & chokers accommodated varying tastes. Bracelets were worn many at a time. Bakelite, celluloid, enamel & doublets were a recurring theme.

Retro jewelry (1940’s) Inspired by Hollywood, Retro jewelry is colorful, bold and elaborate. Commonly worn were large cocktail rings, bracelets, watches, necklaces and charm bracelets.


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