This fascinating era of Jewellery is one of the most talked about period of Jewellery, styles and designs. It is also one of my favourite topic of interest. The era officially started in 1837 with the coronation of a very young Queen Victoria and ended with her death at the age of 82, in 1901. Looking at designs and Queen Victoria’s love for jewellery, I feel that this period is unique. She designed jewellery, wore it, and gave it as gifts. Here’s a glimpse into the themes that flourished during the Victorian period. She wore a snake motif ring (a symbol of eternal love at the time) set with her birthstone, a brilliant green emerald, as her engagement ring. In the Victorian era, it was very common for birthstones to be used instead of diamonds for engagement rings.
During the Early Victorian period, the Industrial Revolution surged ahead. Factories opened at an unprecedented rate, and trades and industries flourished. Mass production meant jewellery was no longer made strictly by hand. Jewellery was now also for masses and people appreciated and wore more.
Romantic Period jewellery was very sentimental. It often reflected the new love of a young couple. Jewelleers frequently used 18k gold for their creations.
Brooches fabricated during the Romantic Period had their pins extended past the body of the brooch. The fasteners had simple “C” design clasps.
Gemstones were often set in claw-like prongs or collet settings, metal that encircled the outer rim of the gemstone.
Queen Victoria popularized the charm bracelet and charm necklace, as we know it. She had a series of charms designed and produced to give as gifts to her extended family and circle of friends every New Year.
In 1861, Prince Albert died, and again Queen Victoria influenced the direction of jewellery design and production. She went into permanent mourning- only wearing black clothing and black jewellery for the rest of her life. For several years all of England followed her example. Jet, a fossilized driftwood, suddenly became the material of choice for jewellery.
This was a short glimpse into Victorian jewellery. Hope you found it informative. Do give your feedback.