There are 3 time periods inside the Victorian era. First, the earliest one, the Romantic period, which spanned from 1837 to 1860 wand was covered in traditions, natural motifs in silver and gold, clear stones were only being worn during the day and colored gems in the night.
The second being the Grand or mostly known as Mourning period, which corresponds with the death of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, who died in December 1861 from typhoid fever, later assumed to be wrongly diagnosed and in reality, it was some sort of progressive cancer. Queen Victoria was devastated by this loss. This period of Victoria's mourning was included with large, dark, sober, yet dramatic jewelry, with a lot of black onyx, amethyst, garnet and gold’s. This era lasted until the 1880s when the aesthetic period of jewelry began.
The Late Victorians returned to the natural, floral and celestial designs, with more depraved stones, such as sapphire, ruby, and of course diamonds, lasting until the spin of the century. The Victorian era of jewelry includes many activities found around the world, including revivals such as Egyptian as well as the Art Nouveau design movements which directed into the beginning of the twentieth century.
By all means, Queen Victoria was very much in love with Prince Albert, and that love story was imitated in the jewelry of the early Victorian period. Even in this period, Victorian necklace designs often feature birds, bows, flowers, and hearts, as well as snakes, which were seen as a representation of eternity. The engagement ring that Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria featured a serpent with emerald eyes (Victoria’s birthstone were emeralds).
Increased global trade intended that new assets of colored gemstone options were available to jewelers. Some of the very popular gemstones include amethyst, garnet, topaz, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and turquoise. Just like Queen Victoria, you can give your bridesmaids or family, gifts of brooches shaped like birds or flowers covered in turquoise or any other colored gemstone. Pearls are also very admired stone, and often many small pearls were used to handcraft intricate and feminine designs.
The discovery of a huge supply of diamonds in Brazil, and afterward another one in South Africa, made diamonds further available than ever before. Nevertheless, these gems are still pretty much rare and expensive and worn for the most ceremonial occasions. Rose-cut diamonds are frequently seen in Victorian diamond jewelry, other than that in today’s time, the round brilliant cut is common.
Motifs and colors used in Victorian jewelry are often meant to convey definite meanings. The Victorians believed in a “language of flowers,” and each flower designs in jewelry carries symbolic meaning. Roses are associated with romantic love, mimosas with chastity, lilies with beauty, and lilies of the valley with a return to joy. Likewise, gemstones are supposed to have special meaning, for example, garnet symbolizes loyalty and fidelity.
During the early decades of Victorian fashion mostly had women covered up from neck to wrist, so brooches, bracelets, and rings were one of the most popular jewelry styles. But in the after decades of the nineteenth century, women’s clothing slightly became less prim, which exposed collarbones and created a demand for beautiful and large pendants. Upswept hairstyles escorted to the renewed popularity of earrings. Handmade Victorian pendants and earrings are often featured as semi-precious gemstones with delicate designs.
If you see a piece in our collections named “antique or vintage style” it often indicates that we have taken vintage gemstones and recreated some of our favorite designs using techniques and styles that were popular in the Victorian era. Our Victorian silver jewelry is something that is a must-have in your jewelry collection and will be admired by everyone who sees it. We take pleasure in re-purposing old rose cut diamonds into handmade diamond jewelry that induces a vintage or antique feel. It is luxury up-cycling at its best. Some of our modern pieces are created with vintage gemstones.
Our collection of jewelry at Gemexi is an epitome of romance and glamour.