An era of jewelry spanning over a hundred years from early 18th century into the 19th century. Jewelry style was florally sumptuous and heavily influenced by royal aesthetic. Pieces were comprised of high karat gold or silver featuring paste and foil back gemstones accented by rose cut diamonds.
Queen Victoria influenced fashion during her lengthy sixty-three-year reign from 1837 to 1900. This era was broken into three time periods, each curated by their own aesthetic trend. Jewelry production was at an all-time high thanks to the technological revolution and higher demand from the newly formed middle class.
A jewelry style popular during the Georgian era and for the duration of the Victorian era. Early mourning jewelry was coined 'memento mori' or "remember death." Black was used in prominence with urn and skeleton motifs. Later, Victorians moved away from the morbid and chose to celebrate life. Mourning jewelry was brighter and more hopeful, utilizing blue and white coloring. Hair was a commonly used material throughout mourning jewelry.
Arts & Crafts
The start of the 20th century marked a time of wealth and extravagance for the upper class. The invention of the acetylene torch caused platinum to became the metal of choice. Jewelry was opulent featuring bows with lace-like design and scalloped edges lined with old European cut diamonds.
The 1950s emboldened the sleek floral designs from the Retro era, instead of a smooth polished finish, designs were heavily textured and finely rendered. Designs welcomed dramatic energy, and diamonds were now marketed to every class due to DeBeers' "Diamonds are Forever" campaign. This ushered in the age of the four C's and diamond engagement rings as an important relationship milestone.