Endless talk of all things sparkly.

Jewelry Time Periods: Victorian Era


The Victorian Era of jewelry, a time of romanticism, begins around 1835 and ends around 1890. Queen Victoria was of whom this entire era was named after–she was not only the ruler of all England at the time, but a highly looked upon trendsetter, admired by everyone. Her marriage and wedding to Albert portrays many attributes of the time–Victoria was presented with an engagement ring that featured a snake with an emerald-set head (birthstones rather than diamonds were used in engagment rings, and snakes were a symbol of eternal love). Her wedding dress featured a large sapphire and diamond brooch, which was given to her from Albert the day before their wedding. With the death of Albert some 20 years later, this tragic event influenced the world of jewelry. Having Queen Victoria constantly wearing black, black enameling became very popular as well as jet beads.

Some motifs and distinctive elements of this time period:

  • Hearts–jewelry was very sentimental
  • anchors, snakes, crosses, birds, clasping hands, flowers
  • Greek, Etruscan, Egyptian revival
  • filigree work of gold–since gold was still limited
  • lockets–which held photos or hair
  • jet, black enameling–after Albert’s death
  • dragons, crescent moons, stars, butterflies, salamanders–late Victorian Era

Important People of the Time:

  • Carlo Giuliano
  • Castellani