Victorian era was a period of romance that started from 1837 and is known for its romantic and beautiful jewelry. Queen Victoria had a passion for jewelry and she loved wearing it.
She started a new fashion of wearing jewels and designed jewelry for her personal wear and also to give it away as precious gifts to her extended family. Victorian period is divided into early, mid and late Victorian period.
In the early Victorian era, hand-carved semi precious gem and shell Intaglio or Cameo were extremely popular and were quite rare items. Earrings, rings and necklaces usually consisted of carved shell cameos.
The jewels of this romantic era were decorative and ostentatious and were inspired by nature and had motifs of serpent, grapes, flowers, and birds.
The jewelry of the early 18th century were handmade and costly. As a result, only wealthy merchants could afford it. But as time passed, new techniques of making jewelry were introduced and machines were used to make chains and other items. This drove costs down and made jewelry more affordable to the general public.
It was Queen Victoria’s era when the fashion of charm jewelry like bracelets and necklaces became popular. Today, this fashion trend continues and charms are considered to have mystical powers attached to them to bring good fortune.
Diamond Jewelry in the Victorian Era
Victorian jewelry consisting of diamond rings were very popular because they symbolized eternal love, passion and romance. At that time, the old miner cut diamonds and old European cut diamonds were the most popular types of diamond shapes.
Chokers and necklaces with gorgeous stones and tear drop earrings and pendants were also typical Victorian pieces of jewelry.
After the tragic death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, the fashion of jewelry took a new trend known as mourning jewelry. This type of jewelry style had a distinct black color theme and an aura of despotism. For this purpose, black metals and black stones were used.
The materials used for making this type of jewelry were fossilized driftwood and black gems that were studded in the articles. After the loss of her love, Queen Victoria spent the rest of her life wearing black dress and black jewels.
Today, many companies re-invent jewelry of the Victorian era according to the modern fashion and we have seen an upward trend of acceptance in the younger population.