If you love learning about antique jewelry like I do, finding excellent resources is just as fun as actually reading them. When I was at GIA in Carlsbad, California I made sure to take full advantage of their extensive library. One of my favorite newly discovered resources while I was there was GIA’s quarterly print journal called Gems & Gemology. A neat feature is the fact that you can purchase older back issues, which I was excited to do.
I found a really interesting article covering Edwardian Jewelry in volume 29, of Fall 1993.
The article describes all aspects of Edwardian jewelry, describing the garland style and the heavy ornamentation that the jewelry took on during the early 1900s. The role of platinum is fully described–as it was first used in jewelry during the Edwardian Era. New diamond discoveries aided in the “dripping in diamonds” look of this ornate time period. Head ornaments and tiaras were actually quite popular, and convertible jewelry (like a necklace that doubled as a tiara) allowed expensive pieces to be worn in other ways. Stomachers and corsage ornaments were important to the Edwardian lady’s image. The photo below shows Mrs. George J. Gould, a wealthy American woman, wearing her jewels–a pearl and diamond tiara, a diamond and platinum dog collar, three pearl necklaces, a pearl and diamond corsage ornament, and two pearl sautoirs.
Popular ring styles include navette shaped style, gypsy-set rings, two-hearts crowned motif, and the bypass/crossover style which was first introduced in the 1890s. The Edwardian Era is definitely a favorite of mine and having some pieces from that time period is something to be treasured. At the end of the article in Gems & Gemology, a reference guide points you into other directions to help you learn further.