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Victorian Jewelry
VICTORIAN JEWELLERY SETS
Large sets of matching jewellery, sometimes of precious stones but often of coral, pearls or ivory, were the height of fashion in the first half of Victoria's reign.


Victorian Mourning and Sentimental Jewelry
By Andrea Guyot Twombly
Even before Queen Victoria sent the fashion of mourning and mourning jewelry to its peak, wearing a ring or brooch to show a state of mourning was a practice as early as 1649.

Victorian Horseshoe Stickpin. Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques
Jewelry representative of a sport or gaming pursuit was popular with both sexes. Men showed particular interest in horse racing and hunting jewelry.

Victorian Style Fused Necklace. Tammy Powley
Have you ever bought or made a piece of fused glass and then thought, "Okay, now what do I do with it?" Sure, you could hang it from a chain. That would be easy enough. But, there are many other options.

Victorian Era--The Love Affair Begins
The fantastic collection of the British Crown started when the Royal family slowly imbibed the importance of exhibiting a regal look. Apart from the royal regalia the need for further accessorizing was learnt.

Victorian Era Jewellery (1837 to 1901)
The "Victorian era" as it has come to be known, started on June 20th 1837 with the crowning of Queen Alexandrina Victoria (1819—1901) as the United Kingdom's longest ruling monarch.

The George VI Victorian Suite
« Return to The British Crown Jewels
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Victorian
Belonging to the period of the reign of Queen Victoria of England (1837-1901). Jewelry of the Victorian period was highly ornamental.
Vienna turquoise
Vienna turquoise is fake turquoise made by compressing a precipitate of aluminum phosphate (colored with copper oleate).

Victorian & Edwardian Jewelry (1830-1911)
Art Nouveau Jewelry (1890-1925)
Art Deco Jewelry (1925-1940) ...

Victorian Era - 1837 to 1901
Queen Victoria proved to be the champion of beads and charms when her personal interest in jewellery started the next significant phase of charm wearing.

Victorian:
Of or pertaining to or reminiscent of the Victorian era, which occurred during the last half of eh 19th century. The style is characterized by abundant floral patterns and vivid colors, as well as eclecticism and whimsy.

Victorian
The designation given to the period from approximately 1837 when Victoria became Queen of England until 1901 when she died.

Victorian - the period of time between when Queen Victoria first ruled in 1837 until 1901, when she died. The Victorian period was a long stretch of time and is divided into several smaller time spans and several design types.

[Victorian Era bog oak brooch and jet bracelet]
Copal and amber have a similar relationship in that they both originated as resin secreted from trees, but copal being much younger is less compact, hard, and stable than is the far older amber.

VICTORIAN ERA
The Victorian era was the time when Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain (1837-1901). Many different styles of jewelry developed during this era.
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Victorian Jewelry - Fit For A Queen
Lucite Jewelry - Valuable And Collectible Plastic From The Past
Costume Jewelry - Glamorous And Fashionable At A Low Cost ...

Victorian nuggets are considered rich-in- gold, which consists at least 95% of gold, or with 23 carats. The rest is principally composed of dissolved silver in the gold. The structure of the nuggets is quite comparable to the composition of the gold originated directly from the quartz reefs.

Victorian Rose Cut Bohemian Garnet Bar Pin
Bohemian Ruby: It is not a ruby but rather a pyrope garnet - deep red in color.
Bolo: A necktie often made of leather that is adorned and fastened with a decorative slide.

Victorian
A style of jewelry popularized during the reign of Queen Victoria of England (1837-1901). The long period included a number of trends that were influenced by events of the time, the life of the Queen, and the taste of the English.

A Victorian style of chain in which the links are rectangular, folded pieces of metal.
Brass
An yellow alloy of copper and zinc.

A Victorian lead mine once home to large, but colourless octahedral fluorite. It is now a show mine open to the public. Visitors may look, but not collect!
Gortdrum Mine, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary.

In the Victorian era in England some necklaces were made so that the central part could be detached and worn as a tiara; in Russia and England a type of necklace could in its entirety be worn as a tiara.

In the Victorian era, 'arsenic' (colourless, crystalline, soluble 'white arsenic') was mixed with vinegar and chalk and eaten by women to improve the complexion of their faces, making their skin paler to show they did not work in the fields.

Book Chain - Victorian style made in gold, gold filled and sterling silver, in which each chain link is rectangular, folded to resemble a book. Often elaborately engraved.
Box Setting - Box shaped gemstone setting with metal edges rolled down to hold the stone in place - aka Gypsy mount.

Also known as "Victorian" or "Edwardian." This style features fluid lines, natural colors, and natural, particularly floral, themes.
artificial pearls
An obsolete term replaced by the term "cultured," since artificial implied fake or synthetic. See pearls.

Victorian: A blanket term for jewelry items manufactured during the reign of Britain's Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The Victorian era is the longest running period in jewelry history.

Legend: In late Victorian times, and early in the twentieth century, demantoid became a very sought after stone. In recent decades, it has been unobtainable and has only been available from antique jewellery.

CameoPopularized during the Victorian era, cameos are carvings traditionally done with shell or stone. The most popular motifs include the silhouette of a face, the bust of a person, floral, mythological figures, and often pastoral scenes carved in relief with a contrasting colored background.

White agate was used often in Victorian jewelry, mostly as a background. Moss agate has green, red or black dendritic inclusions. Onyx is agate whose bands are parallel. Eye agate has banding arranged in concentric circles. Agate has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.

Their medium- to high-quality pieces included figurals, Victorian replicas, and many different styles. The beautiful Art pin above has delicate enamel work, blue and green cabachon plastic moonstones, tiny, clear rhinestones, a dangle, and a Florentine finish.

metal encircles the gemstone Bijouterie Art of working in gold and enamel Biwa Pearl Freshwater cultured pearl from Japan Blister Pearl Irregularly shaped and hollow pearl cut from the shell of the oyster Bog-oak fossilized oak from peat bogs in Ireland, popular during the Victorian ...

The best known garnets are the dark red varieties which have been used for thousands of years and were particularly fashionable during the Victorian era.

It is a hard, lightweight lustrous black stone that was used in mourning jewelry during the Victorian era (especially after Queen Victoria's husband died in 1861 and she went into long period of mourning, greatly affecting jewelry fashion). Jet is frequently cabochon cut.

Jet is a form of fossilized coal that was revered during Victorian times, and used widely as jewelry to mourn the passing of a loved one. But how do you know if what you have is jet? The preliminary tests are quite simple. First feel the piece - does it seem exceptionally light for its size?

The rarest of all the topaz colors is the rich, intense orange to pink that in Victorian times became known as "Imperial topaz". The little town of Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, is the only locality in which commercially significant deposits of precious topaz are found.

The pale colors are sometimes called "Rose de France" and can be seen set in Victorian jewelry. The deep colors are the most valuable, particularly a rich purple with rose flashes. Amethyst is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina and some African countries.

Garnet, a gemstone used in jewelry for thousands of years, enjoyed great popularity during the Victorian Era. Today, Garnet jewelry is available in every modern style of gemstone jewelry, in addition to many fabulous one of a kind antique and estate jewelry pieces.

French jet Black glass that is made to look like Victorian jet which is black ignite (from the coal family). Victorian jet was used during mourning. Many antique dealers call all black glass "jet". But the real French jet is black glass set in metal backings.

Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. For example a piece marked "1/10 12K G.F." is composed of at least 1/10 12K gold based on the weight of the finished piece.

Gemstone earrings became popular in late Victorian period with sapphire being highly in trend. Ruby earrings, in particular, caught attention in Edwardian period. Its rich color and seductive sheen were perfect to add depth and vividness to fancy elaborate designs of the age.

A slide bracelet (also called slide charm bracelet) is a type of modern-day charm bracelet made from stringing Victorian era watch fob charms together on a double chain - the charms can slide along the chains.

Art Nouveau: A classification of popular jewelry created from the late "Victorian" period through the "Edwardian" period, about 1880-1910, exemplified by a flowing style of jewelry consisting of fluid lines, sinuous curves, floral and nature themes and natural colors.

Chrysolite is a name used for many stones. During Victorian and Edwardian time, it referred to green-yellow chrysoberyl. It can also refer to peridot. Long ago, the name was used to refer to almost any yellowish gem.
CHRYSOPRASE ...

Jet is a black cabochon cut stone used in mourning jewelry in the Victorian era (1837-1901). It is light weight but hard and lustrous. Black glass are sometimes made to look like jet but glass is a more hefty and harder than jet.
FRUIT SALAD JEWELRY ...

Bog-oak - Fossilized oak from peat bogs in Ireland, popular during the Victorian Era
Bolt ring - A finding that is a hollow or partially hollow connecting ring which is drawn back on an internal spring
Borax - A flux used in soldering ...

Belleek - thin, cream-colored porcelain with a pearly glaze very much in vogue in Victorian times (produced commercially at Belleek, Ireland); see Lenox History.
Bisque - ceramic ware that has been fired once for hardening but has not yet been glazed.

Jet was very popular in mourning jewelry during the Victorian Period, but it is rarely used today. If you are looking at antique jewelry, the age, craftsmanship of the piece will affect the price more than the jet itself.

In time, alexandrite became one of the most prized gemstones amongst Russian Aristocracy. It became extremely popular in Russian antique jewelry because it was greatly admired by the old master Russian jewelry designers. Victorian jewelers used the smaller Alexandrite gemstones in Victorian jewelry ...

CORAL (genuine): Skeleton of the coral polyp which was highly popular in fashionable English Victorian circles. Most coral used in Victorian jewelry came from the Mediterranean.

This was a popular technique in mid-Victorian jewelry and is still popular today. Stamped pieces can be designed to imitate hand engraving although, under magnification, the design is much more sharp in a hand engraved piece, with subtle irregularities.

Tourmaline shows the greatest range of colors of any gem and its varieties of composition led the Victorian thinker John Ruskin to write that "the chemistry of it is more like a medieval doctor's prescription than the making of a respectable mineral." ...

Her admiration for gemstone jewelry is world famous as it was the Victorian period when the glamor of gemstone jewelry was on its highest peak. The parties at the Balmoral Castle gave her a chance to share her gemstone love with others.

Edwardian jewellery was generally less ornate than Victorian, and is still fashionable today, largely because the designs were generally classic and simple.

This was fashionable in mid-Victorian jewellery. The resulting depressions were often filled with coloured enamel. Engraving is also used for inscriptions. Chasing is where the surface of the metal is moved, but not actually carved out.

Fossilized coal used in Victorian mourning jewelry in the late 1800s.
K
keystones ...

White highly reflective metallic element, used in Victorian times for diamond setting, before the development of white gold alloys, and before platinum could be isolated.
Silver Cape
An obsolescent colour grading term denoting diamonds whiter, or less yellow than light cape.

Seed Pearl: A very small pearl or imitation pearl popular during the Victorian period as accents set into gold jewelry or woven into long fringed necklaces called sautoirs.

Antique Stained Glass Windows
Antique Stained Glass Windows from Europe. Victorian to deco antique stained glass windows. Antique stained glass windows delivered anywhere.

The Victorians, too, prized chalcedony for carved cameos and intaglios: its fine texture allows for delicate and intricate workmanship. Jewelry designers today love its glowing translucent tones and its availability in a wide range of colors and shapes, including carvings.

If you like antique styling, consider Victorian-inspired rings with delicate diamond-accented flowers and leaves. You can be certain that whatever style you prefer, we have an elegant diamond wedding band just for you. It's no surprise that men also like the diamond look.

CHALCEDONY Agates, Jaspers, Bloodstone, Carnelian and black Onyx, all make up the Chalcedony gemstones. A form of Quartz, the Romans prized them as seals, and the Victorians carved them into an endless array of cameos and intaglios.

Collar: Consisting of multiple strands of pearls, Collar necklaces were very popular during the Victorian era and are worn high on the neck. Most examples of this type of necklace are 12-13 inches long.

Copper aceto-arsenite, used as a fungicide. It was also used as a pigment in some Victorian wallpaper, giving a significant health hazard.
Pen metal
An 85/13 brass with 2% tin.

PERIOD JEWELRY Articles of jewelry that exemplify the design style of the times in which they were created. Examples of well know periods are Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco.
PINK GOLD Also called rose gold because of its soft pink tones.

A bookchain is a metal chain with rectangular links of folded metal, each of which looks like a little book. This style dates from the Victorian Era, when these chains held lockets.
BORT
Bort is a term for industrial grade diamonds.

Paler shades, sometimes called "Rose of France", were common in Victorian jewelry. Banding - darker and lighter zones of color - is also a common occurrence. Occasionally, amethyst is even found combined with its sister quartz citrine into a single stone called ametrine.

Often confused with Pyrite, marcasite is lighter in colour. Normally rose cut and popular during Victorian era and the Art Deco movement.
Moissanite ...

Various styles of antique jewelry were popular during the Art Deco, Art Nouveau Edwardian, Georgian and Victorian periods.
Aquamarine ...

Metals that are added to gold to provide strength and color variety, e.g., copper added to gold produces a "rose-gold" used widely in Victorian era.
Anniversary Band: ...

Sources -- Many sources throughout the world. Marcasite is often faceted as small rose cuts and was popular in Victorian jewelry.

Jet is also known as gagate and is one of the few organic gemstones being variety of coal called lignite. It is a lightweight lustrous black stone that was used in mourning jewelry during the Victorian era. Most jet is from Whitby, England.

Almandine is the deep-red iron rich garnet and often cut into ovals. If the stone is deep it may appear too dark and has less value. Much of the older Victorian jewelry used these garnets.

George Kunz, on leave as buyer from Tiffany's, was financed by J.P. Morgan to buy all the demantoid he could find. The stone became the darling of the British and French aristocracy in the late 19th century. Many Victorian pieces of jewelry made between 1885 and 1915 possess demantoid garnets.

Pyrope is similar to Almandine, but is lighter in colour and brighter, even though it is translucent. It is often mistaken for ruby. Transparent specimens are faceted or cut en cabochon. It was very popular during the Victorian period.

Master gemologist George Kunz of Tiffany was a fan of alexandrite and the company produced rings featuring fine alexandrite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including some set in platinum in the twenties. Victorian jewelry from England also features sets of small alexandrites.

In Europe, they were worked into jewellery a good deal, especially in the Victorian period. That genuine Bohemian garnet jewellery was traditionally set with a large number of small stones, which were close to one another like the seeds of a pomegranate, with their red sparkle.

Here you will learn all about how Ross-Simons selects pre-owned jewelry for our Estate collection to ensure that you have access to the most distinctive and high quality items. Each vintage piece has a unique history, coming from different periods throughout time - Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, ...

black pearls (gray to black pearls),
freshwater pearls (pearls which form in fresh water mollusks and resemble puffed rice),
Mabe pearls (cultivated blister pearls ),
seed pearls (small, tiny pearls used in Victorian jewelry and sewn on clothing).

See also: See also: Jewel, Jewelry, Antique, Metal, Stone

Jewelry  Victoria diamond  Victorian Jewellery

 
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