Antique and vintage jewellery has been popular for a long time, and there are many different years where the jewellery is still in vogue even today. If you have a passion for jewellery and want to better understand where your favourites pieces have come from, below is a summary of the most popular ears for jewellery.
The Georgian Era from 1714 to 1830
The Georgian era is named after the British kings George I, Gorge II, and George III, spanning from 1714 up to 1830. During this era, jewellery was predominantly worn by the upper classes and is more about the size and cut of the stones, rather than the intricacy and beauty of the jewellery itself. As such, many Georgian pieces were broken and reused to create other pieces of jewellery, which makes what survived highly collectable.
The Victorian Era 1837 to 1901
The Victorian era was also named after the British monarch, Queen Victoria, and it is said that the style of jewellery at the time often mimicked her life. Popular during this time were hearts, bows, birds, as well as flowers, and during this time, it also became fashionable to wear darker coloured jewellery which incorporated black enamel, fossilised coal, as well as black onyx.
Art Nouveau Era 1880 to 1910
The Art Nouveau era did not last for very long, but it did have a big impact on jewellery design which can still be seen today. The era is famous for getting inspiration from nature and also for using new types of material such as horn, copper, or shell. The popular precious stones for this era were freshwater pearls, amethyst, amber, opal, and citrine.
Art Deco Era 1920 to 1939
Within this era, symmetry was embraced which is reflected in the geometric designs that became popular during this time. You can see some excellent examples of Art Deco pieces such as vintage watches from Kalmar Antiques. Bigger and brighter stones were used during this era with rubies, sapphires, and emeralds being popular.
Edwardian Era 1901 to 1915
During the Edwardian era, the most popular materials that were used for jewellery are diamonds, platinum, as well as pearls. The style was thought to be the epitome of sophistication with its white on white design. The jewellery designers of the time would often look at Ancient Greek, Roman, and Napoleonic art for inspiration when designing their jewellery.
Retro Era 1939 to 1950
The retro era is the final one in antique jewellery, and the jewellery that was created in this time is also known as cocktail jewellery. With films being extremely popular during this time, the demand for Hollywood style fashion also grew. Many of the stones that were used were oversized while keeping a playful feel. It was also a time when many synthetics were introduced, and alloys became a more popular choice for the metals used.
If the history of jewellery is something that sparks your interest, then you may also wish to read the History of Jewellery.
These are the different main types of antique jewellery that you find in the marketplace. There will always be some jewellery which is not really classifiable but is still an antique and beautiful.