Victorian Jewelry (1837 – 1901)
Victorian jewelry was produced in England around the time of the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837 to 1901.The term is quite broad and includes many different styles and influences.
Victorian times are generally known to be a time of sentimentality and rigid social formalities. Thus, self-adornment with jewelry was often wrought with meaning and secret messages, e.g. eye jewelry, hair jewelry, memento mori, lockets, portraits, etc. At this time many of the revival movements took hold inspired by archaeological discoveries and a sense of sentimentality towards the past. Jewelers such as Giuliano, Castellani and Falize each became known for revival styles and are extremely collectible today.
Victorian jewelry is characterized by the use of old-mine-cut diamonds, rose-cut diamonds, sapphires, rubies, demantoid (green) garnets, enamel, jet, hair, agates, lava, and cameos, set in 15K or 18K gold or a combination of silver and gold.
The period’s main themes and inspiration were animals, insects, flora & fauna, and historicism.