Jewelry, specifically antique jewelry, reflects the time period in which it was made and is available in an endless range of styles. Artisans and jewelry makers have also created and reinvented fashion jewelry in the styles of antique jewelry; these pieces have continued to be well-received by the public and worn as a fashion statement and tribute to a given style of antique jewelry. These antique fashion jewelry reproductions have changed how these pieces are authenticated and identified.
Popular Periods of Antique Jewelry
In the Georgian era, it was common for wealthy aristocrat to wear jewelry as a status symbol. The jewelry from this time period is typically rough and crafted out of silver, as access to gold was limited. Single or flat cut gemstones, including topaz, coral, diamonds, pearls, and garnet, were used to embellish the precious metals and silver-foiled backings were used to improve the color and sparkle of the gemstone.
The Victorian era was heavily influenced by Etruscan, Indian, Moghul, and Egyptian culture. This brief time period resulted in a variety of exciting motifs; natural and animalistic subject matters were typical of this time period and many pieces featured floral designs, linked hands, and reptiles. England’s Queen Victoria was a key figure during this time period and at the time of her brother, Price Albert’s, death, she used fashion and jewelry to express her grief. Black was the color of the day and accenting one’s attire with jet black glass, and enamel was considered the height of fashion. Some chose to embellish their pieces with amethyst, coral, garnet, seed pearl, and opal gemstones. Rose and yellow gold was also gaining favor during the Victorian era, and towards the end (1880-1901), pieces became more refined and silver gained preference.