antique-estate-jewelry

Early Victorian Jewelry 1837 to 1860

by on November 16, 2011

Much like jewelry of the Georgian era, Victorian era jewelry is inspired by nature in its designs. In most cases early Victorian era designs are delicately and intricately etched into gold. Items like Lockets and brooches become very popular during the era.  Colored gemstones and diamonds are some of the most popular forms of jewelry worn by Royals and a those select people with an eye for fine detail.

During the Early Victorian Era, the jewelry industry benefited from mass production techniques that shaped the industrial revolution.  Machines were created to help stamp jewelry out of thin sheets of metal.  For the first time, jewelry became affordable to all economic classes and was not just a sign of royalty or wealth.

Hair-work jewelry became a way for people to express themselves and was an important part of Victorian era styles. Women of the era would purchase special kits to make watch fobs to rings containing hair. All hair was boiled for a period of time and was then divided into sections of 20-30 hairs each.  Companies offered services that could make a large variety of items from hair strands. They charged fees ranging from $5.00 to $15.00 depending on the item that was produced.  Hair during the Victorian era became more valuable than silver.

Historical Background of the Early Victorian Era

The industrial revolution is underway and Victoria becomes Queen of England in 1837. Many new jewelry making methods are introduced, making it more affordable for a developing middle class.  This was the start of the Romantic Period in jewelry design.

Like most young women of her time Queen Victoria was also fond of jewelry.  Many of the gifts that she gave to other royal members were unique pieces of jewelry.  Even though she was expected to marry for political reasons it was a fortunate coincidence that she was very much in love.  She married her German cousin Albert in 1940.

Victorian Jewelry Featured Items


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