Georgian Jewelry 1714–1837
Georgian-era jewelry is handmade and rare. This era often featured nature-inspired designs, such as leaves, birds, and precious stones. Memento Mori jewelry was also popular at the time. The phrase Memento Mori means “remember that you will die.” Memento Mori jewelry contains heavy usage of skull and coffin motifs.
Early Victorian, romantic jewelry 1837–1855
Early Victorian-era jewelry also featured nature-inspired designs, similar to jewelry of the Georgian era. Frequently, these designs were delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular in daytime jewelry during the early Victorian era, whereas colored gemstones and diamonds were worn during the evening.
Mid-Victorian, grand jewelry 1856–1880 Because the Grand or Mid-Victorian era corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, many jewelry pieces have solemn, somber designs. Known as mourning jewelry, the pieces feature heavy, dark stones. Jet, onyx, amethyst, and garnet are frequently found in jewelry from this period. Compared to previous periods, Mid-Victorian-era jewelry feature highly creative, colorful designs using shells, mosaics and gemstones.
Late Victorian, aesthetic jewelry 1885–1900 During the Late Victorian or Aesthetic period, jeweler used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, and spinel. Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were also popular. Some scholars believe the aesthetic era began sooner, in 1875, and ended as early as 1890.
Edwardian jewelry 1901–1915
The Edwardian period began upon the death of Queen Victoria, when her son Edward became King. During this period many of the Edwardian-designed pieces incorporated more expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies in elaborate designs.
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