The victorian era jewelry They were based on the personality of Queen Victoria, hence her tastes and ideas were taken into account to elaborate the different designs that reflected the beauty and art of jewelry, impregnating each jewel with the sensuality, virtue, piety and sentimentality, which the queen felt for Scotland. Therefore, we will know a little more about the jewels of the victorian era and its history that inspired jewelry. Join us!

During the years of the reign of Victoria of England, the industrial revolution reached its maximum degree of development. This had repercussions on the way in which jewelry was worked, making this sector more dynamic and achieving an important evolution. Thus, with the development of large-scale production technologies, manual work is replaced, dispensing with many workers, generating great advances and benefits.

This is how the manual energy used to stamp a metal stamp was gradually replaced by steam, gas and hydraulic power. This resulted in the elaboration of diverse forms in a much faster way, with a precision never seen before and with production in large quantities, which causes a reduction in the hours of work of the artisans and consequently in the final price of the jewel. .

As a result of technological progress, and the advantages and benefits in production, more creative designs were developed, with greater precision that gave it greater beauty and quality. In the same way, a considerable reduction in costs is observed, which allowed a greater number of people to acquire jewelery and watches, so that the nobility and the richest merchants were no longer the only people who could afford a selection of jewelery for themselves. accentuate your wardrobe.

This series of advances in turn allows the emergence of large Swiss watch-producing firms such as Lengones, Patek Phillipe, Cartier, Omega, Tissot, Tag Heuer, Audemars Piguet and Movado; and to further massify the production of jewelery and watches that reached a greater number of people with fewer economic resources, due to several decisions that reduced costs, such as what happened in 1854 when it was legally allowed in Great Britain to lower the leagues of 15K, 12K and 9K gold, as well as the introduction of the doublet, which consisted of covering an inexpensive metal with a gold sheet.

In another order of ideas, it should be noted that this style of the victorian era jewelry It is eclectic, and brings with it a revaluation of the old, since the designs have a great interest in figurative motifs and sentimental themes, highlighting the flowers, trees and birds, which were shaped by the goldsmiths of the Victorian era using techniques such as embossing and interweaving work done in filigree twisted threads. It should be noted that the most renowned goldsmiths of the time were Castellani and Giuliano, the latter being considered the greatest goldsmith of the 19th century.

With reference to the materials used in the production of jewelry, it is important to mention that there was a large production of jewelry where human hair was used as the raw material, giving rise to creations of rare beauty and great skill in weaving them. Also, iron jewelry was very popular, coming from when the Germans gave up all of their steel jewelry to fight Napoleon.

As for the semi-precious and precious stones used in the designs, agate, malachite, carnelian and onyx stand out, which were used for nocturnal jewelry, with turquoise becoming the most popular stone since 1860. However, victorian era jewelry of the afternoon they had beautiful and brilliant precious stones, such as: emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds and Australian opals, while large pearls were also part of the jewelry and were put in necklaces and earrings.

All these stones and materials were inserted into designs with certain Victorian symbols, so jewelers made brooches and medallions in the shape of hearts, horseshoes and anchors, which were symbols of love, luck and loyalty.

In addition, sports, animals and nature reflected the art of the victorian era jewelryhighlighting the use of butterflies, doves and flowers, which became popular elements in hair accessories, while the snake was used in bracelets and rings, becoming very popular during the reign of Victoria, which is considered to be It went through three periods.

Firstly, the early or Romantic period (1837-1860), which identifies the young queen, happy and in love. During this time, jewelry was defined by the use of designs inspired by nature, using gold in all its forms, sometimes accompanied by enamels, or with colored gems. During the day, cheaper jewelry made of ivory, tortoiseshell, coral, or baroque pearls was used, and at night, gold and gems were the stars.

The second period is the Middle or High Victorian also known as the Great Period (1860-1885), it is a time marked by mourning. With the death of her beloved husband Albert in 1861, she adopts mourning until the end of her life, and this is how black is also introduced in jewelry with faint, austere and somber designs, which in turn denoted elegance, distinction and seriousness, being highly valued by the elite and the citizens of that time.

Thomas Benjamin Kennington (Artist). 1898. Queen Victoria [Óleo en lienzo]. Art Renewal Center

Also, heavy and dark gemstones began to be used, particularly jet, as well as onyx, amethyst, and deep red garnets. The romanticism derived from the couple’s love and the subsequent mourning of the queen after her death, made the victorian era jewelry They took another course in terms of their designs, since the predominant motifs were mourning, melancholy, the memory of deceased loved ones, so they also included designs of mourning bracelets with miniatures and hair of the loved one.

Similarly, the use of box-shaped charms that treasured the memory of a loved one close to the heart, could contain a lock of hair or the first examples of photography (daguerreotypes) in secret compartments. and bracelets with locks with emblems under the cover of friendship, love or mourning, which included various black materials, such as: black glass, onyx, black enamel and leather.

Finally, in the late Victorian period or Aesthetic Period (1885-1901), the discoveries of diamond mines in Africa make them very accessible gems and they are adopted for jewelry, accompanied by pale colored or colorless gems, such as opals or moon stones. Women wear less jewelry, and in smaller sizes. The rule: “less is more”, was adopted in the jewelery of this period, gradually giving way to Art Nouveau.

Therefore, the victorian era jewelry they are framed in a world of feelings, passion, romanticism and mourning, which allowed the elaboration of designs that evolved according to the circumstances, leaving a significant legacy to modern jewelry.