“What type of jewelry is the most commonly produced?”
It’s crossed a good amount of minds at some point in time, even if only for a second.
From boosting the presentation of women’s outfits for the casual date to complementing the neckline and hand sewn details on the ballroom gown, Estate jewelry (or what is oftentimes referred to as vintage or antique jewelry) has long been in existence. Though there is a broad date range of which estate jewelry hails, the most popular and sought after seem to fall between 1714- to modern day, beginning with Georgian and finding itself at Art Organique. Though each is beautiful in its own unique way, we’ll take a closer look at just a few.
Victorian Era (1837 -1900)- Spanning across 66 years, the Victorian period produced three very distinct jewelry types:
Early Victorian (1837-1855)– Also referred to as romantic jewelry, this period concentrated on nature inspired designs carefully etched in gold. Many pieces women from this era fancied were large lockets, brooches, earrings and rings for daytime use and vibrant, colored gems and diamonds for evening wear.
Mid-Victorian (1856-1880)- Corresponding with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, the grand era featured many somber, dark, heavy stones to represent the period of mourning. Onyx, garnet and amethyst were donned along with mosaics of shells and gemstones.
Late Victorian (1885-1900)- The Aesthetic period saw a revival of color with jewelers once again using diamonds, sapphires, peridot, etc. Many of the precious stones were placed into star and crescent designs in elaborate pins and brooches.
Edwardian (1901-1915)- Upon the death of Queen Victoria, Prince Edward ascended to the throne and would reign as King of England until his death in 1910. It was during his rule and the few short years that followed his death that the art of jewelry making began to incorporate more intricate designs, showcasing as many diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires possible. During this era, the focus was on the stones themselves before the craftsmanship of the setting thus sparking the emphasis on the diamonds, rubies, and long strings of pearls.
Retro (1945-1960)- Retro jewelry is said to be inspired by Hollywood itself. The bold, large and vibrant play of color is what dominates this time period, seeing it through to modern day along with the Edwardian and Victorian listed before. The “bigger the better” cocktail rings, chunky bracelets and bangles, to name a few, are what stand out the most when viewing classic films during this 15 year span.
While these are not the only eras to fall into the Estate jewelry, or “heirlooms,” if you will, these are great areas to begin looking into when building a collection as they have remained so popular throughout the centuries.
If you like this article, then you might enjoy other articles in our archives, such as Five Timeless Spring Jewelry Trends
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We are also gold, silver, diamond, currency and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation.