Victorian Jewelry

Posted on June 9, 2016 Under Jewelry History


The Victorian Era is one of the most extensive jewelry periods, stretching from 1837-1901. Bright yellow gold, jet beads, cameos, and pearls, just to name a few, are popular features that you will find in jewelry from this Era. Queen Victoria was a jewelry lover herself, being the main trend-setter of this time period. Sadly, many of the styles from this period are a result from Victoria’s mourning of her mother’s and Prince Albert’s death in 1861. For years, the queen expressed her grief through her fashion, adorning herself in black clothes and jewelry. The jewelry was comprised of fashioned onyx, jet beads, locks of hair, and lockets. Since photography was not relevant then, things like locks of hair were braided and inserted into brooches, pendants, and rings, to help Victoria and other members of society remember their loved ones in a tasteful, symbolic way. As photographs became more widespread, people began inserting photos of their loved ones into their lockets. Aside from the “mourning jewelry”, we do see some pops of color from the early & late parts of this era. Slide bracelets set with bright turquoise, pearls, and colorful enamel-work, shell cameos set in yellow gold, opal rings, and star shaped diamond pins, are the must have pieces from this period.