Styles of Splendor

Renaissance Jewelry (14th – 17th century)

Although many pieces can be seen in paintings from the Renaissance worn by wealthy women who had portraits painted, actual pieces of jewelry that still exist intact today are rare. An important feature was the use of gemstones for their color. Hence, colored stones were more popular than diamonds due to diamonds’ lack of color. Modern cuts for gemstones had not been developed at this time, and metal working tools were also crude at this stage, therefore, gemstones were cut into cabochons (half-domes) and were bezel-set with few designs or embellishments on the metal. Pearls were very popular and were widely used in combination with colored stones and enameled gold.