Jewelry is a chic accessory that has been one of the most popular gifts of all time! The reason being, it highlights one's personality, prestige, and power. Are you planning to buy jewelry for yourself or your loved ones? Well, look no further than Victorian jewelry! Victorian style jewelry is a timeless classic that is highly valued amongst the elites due to its unique craftsmanship and quality. Take a gander at the following guide which will help you learn the ins-and-outs of buying Victorian jewelry whether its genuine antiques or museum replicas like those we offer.
History of Victorian Jewelry
The Victorian Era, hands down has been one of the most influenced and at the same time influential era in terms of antique and estate ornaments. This era was defined by the reign of Queen Victoria, a British monarch.
Before buying any antique or period jewelry, especially Victorian jewelry, it is imperative to understand the history of the piece as it will help you make a smarter decision. With its roots in England, the Victorian era was named after the reign of Queen Alexandrina Victoria, spanning from 1837 to 1901. Jewelry throughout the Victorian era remains famous for its composition and design. Victorian jewelry can often be dated accurately based on the tooling used to manufacture it. With the advancements in industrialization and introduction of machinery, marks change through the period. Machines being machines were faster and therefore replaced the work of a man. For this reason, Victorian jewelry can be divided into three periods: The Romantic period, the Grand period, and the Aesthetic Period. Let us delve deeper into the history of these periods wherein each period consisted of different materials, motifs, and important types of jewelry.
The Romantic Period (1837-1861)
The Romantic Period celebrates love, romance, and marriage of Queen Victoria with Prince Albert. Upon engagement, the prince gifted the queen with a serpent ring set made of Emerald stones. A serpent symbolizes eternity and has been a popular motif ever since. Paired with coral and turquoise, some of the other common decorative motifs were of flowers, hearts, and birds. During this era, acrostic jewelry along with lockets of cupid or a loved one's face became very popular. Industrial revolution picked up steam causing the jewelry to be made less by hand and more by machines. This in turn led to jewelry being layered and stacked like never before. Due to its romanticism, this was the beginning of an era filled with happiness and new beginnings.
The Grand Period (1861-1885)
Following the death of Prince Albert, the Grand period became famous for its jewelry depictions of sorrow and grief. The queen, stricken with grief, went into a state of mourning. As a result, everything she wore including her jewelry was black.
Mourning became a theme chosen by the Victorian artisans to design jewelry and clothing to be worn in the months following a relative's death. Most of the jewelry of this era was made of black onyx(symbolizes grief), jet, and seed pearls(symbolizes tears). As travel and exploration of ancient sites inspired a period of "Revivalism," Victorian jewelry started imitating the designs of Egyptians, Etruscan, and Renaissance. Victorian mourning jewelry is romantic and made to honor the memory of the departed.
The Aesthetic Period (1885-1901)
The Aesthetic period is an era wherein the Queen and her subjects embraced the future with open arms. Common motifs of the late Victorian jewelry included jeweled animals, crescents, flowers, and stars. With renewed respect for hand craftsmanship, jewelry became lighter and smaller in comparison to earlier Victorian styles. Diamonds along with semi-precious gems soared into popularity following the Queen's sixtieth anniversary. The use of gems for their beauty rather than worth was something the artisan jewelers of the Aesthetic movement became fond of. It was the beginning of an ideology that later inspired the Art Nouveau jewelry. Jewelry in the late Victorian era of Aesthetics reflected hope, peace, and prosperity.
Victorian Jewelry Buying Tips
Being aware of its history, now we can move onto the bigger battle of assessing its authenticity. Before you buy your next piece of jewelry, a Victorian classic antique, it's important to enlighten yourself about what makes a piece authentic and/or valuable. This includes its age, condition, markings, and materials. We have compiled a list of tips that will help you in purchasing a genuine antique piece.
Tip #1: Hallmark
Hallmarks determine the origin and authenticity of a piece. Not just that but it also reveals the year it was made in. Victorian jewelry is often stamped with, '18ct' or '15ct' to indicate the usage of a gold carat. This observation can be utilized to gauge the genuineness of the piece wherein no hallmarks are present, further indicating whether the piece is antique, vintage, or modern.
Tip #2: Type of Metal
Apart from gemstones, the other important factor that helps identify authentic Victorian Jewelry is the metal used in the manufacturing process. Copper, gold, silver, and steel were the metals commonly used in this era. Although rare, you can also find Victorian jewelry pieces engraved with Platinum. As a rule of thumb, your safest bet in terms of obtaining a genuine antique piece would be to purchase it in gold.
Tip #3: Fastenings
In the Victorian era, we witnessed significant development in the process of fastening from the Georgian era. Barrel fastenings, bolt rings, c-shaped clasps, and dog clips were the most common types of fasteners used in the Victorian era. Any fastening apart from the ones mentioned can be a clear sign of reproduction.
Tip #4: Too Good to be True
'Patina,' a word used by the sellers for the burnish that occurs on the metal over time. Most of the dealers sell antique jewelry in as-it-is condition. Even the best of Victorian jewelry in mint condition isn't shiny. This is a sign that your gut instinct can answer easily, if it's too good to be true then usually it is!
Tip #5: Paying Attention to the Manufacturing Method
The methods used for manufacturing different kinds of jewelry vary drastically. In the case of Victorian jewelry, use of hand-cut gems, such as the rose cut is fairly prominent. While making your next purchase do pay attention to such details.
Tip #6: Know your Seller
It is of utmost importance that before making any purchase you must investigate the seller. Do a lot of research before making the final call. Remember the authenticity of both the seller and the jewelry is of equal importance. Always, keep in mind that such antique pieces are always one-of-a-kind.
Women have always been adored for their beauty and elegance. It is not wrong to say, that they are luckier of the lot when it comes to wearing jewelry of all sorts. Earring being the most celebrated one, it adds an extra essence to a woman's overall appearance. From Victorian earrings to gothic earrings and everything in between, the right pair will add a funky, classy, or flirty touch to your whole look. Earrings are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. At the Museum of Jewelry, we have the largest collection of artisan earrings that are both handcrafted and unique. Buy a set of Victorian earrings, Gothic earrings, or just plain simple earrings inspired by the Queen, with a collection of over 3000 designs, you can be certain there's an earring for you. Make a style statement by owning or gifting a set of Victorian style earrings!
A Victorian necklace is probably the most elegant and the most feminine jewelry a woman can wear. It is a real eye-catcher; make a statement just by choosing a Victorian piece to go with your outfit. Not only does it adds that extra edge to your overall look but it also highlights and enhances the most beautiful part of a women’s body; neck and décolleté.
Mistakenly believed to be of modern times, gothic jewelry very often reflects Victorian styles. Jewelry from that time was hefty, and zonked, while carrying a sort of symbolic content. Still dubious of what gothic style is? Let’s break it down. Modern-day gothic jewelry is largely about heavy chains, crossed pins, and all sorts of dark-colored jewelry (especially black onyx). Gothic style usually highlights the aggression and feistiness of its owner. But sometimes gothic jewelry also adds a romantic character to its ornaments.
A Museum of Jewelry
We at the Museum of Jewelry, are your one-stop destination to shop for artifacts, antiques, vintage pieces and replicas of period jewelry. We have a wide range of Victorian style jewelry pieces listed on our online store. With a vision of providing our customers with new designs and styles, we constantly are adding to our selection. Want to own a replica based on a genuine Victorian piece that is both rich in history and eternal in its style? Want your royal collection to be all the way more enchanting? Your hunt ends here!
The world has witnessed any number of times a women’s propensity to wear delightful items on her neck, fingers, and arms. Women love Jewelry. To them, it is much more than just an ordinary piece of accessory. Women consider it as an integral part of their style and fashion. Their passion for jewelry is a product of the femininity it brings along with it and also the social status. Jewelry helps boost confidence in women, making them look all the way more beautiful. It has the power to highlight the personality of a woman and bring out the best in her when wearing the right piece on the right occasion. For a women, jewelry is undoubtedly the most divine item. The fact that they love wearing it since ages itself defines its importance in their lives. Every special and auspicious occasion is incomplete without jewelry. Its charm is not confined, be it Birthdays, Anniversaries, or even Weddings, there isn't a better gifting option. Over time its popularity and craze has only been increasing. Even though many new styles and designs are being launched in the market every day, the love for antique style jewelry remains the same in the hearts of the true jewelry lovers.
While the process of buying jewelry is always fun and exciting, you only get one chance to perfect it right? Well, guess what? This is certainly not the case with us. The Museum of Jewelry, not only delivers the best deals and the best range of products all year around but at the same time, we have the best return policy! Just in case, if our customers are unsatisfied with the piece delivered to them, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked. In all honesty, you don't need an occasion to buy jewelry. It is not just a sign to flaunt your wealth in society. Jewelry is one such accessory that can be bought as an investment as well due to its acceptability amongst the masses and can be liquidated easily in times of need.