Art Deco, Victorian or Edwardian? What is My Jewelry Style?

Jewelry design periods exemplify the tastes of the time. Design styles, manufacturing methods, and metal as well as gem selections tell the story of societal changes and increasing affluence. Themajority of vintagejewelry collectors fall in love with one era that speaks the most to their tastes. If you are just starting out with your vintage jewelrycollection, and you are not certain what it is that you are looking for, this explanation of the different jewelry periods might come in handy.

What are the most important periods and whom do they generally appeal to? (By the way, if you are thinking of buying a vintage jewel as a gift, this is a handy bit of information to readbefore making the purchase!)

Victorian era. 


The Victorian era divides more accurately into three distinctperiods. Running from 1837 to 1901, it is famous for its exotic animal themes as well as reproduced floral sprays. Scrollwork and large pendants are iconic. Later Victorian pieces include rosettes and lockets with Etruscan themes. Victorian jewelry holds much charm for those who enjoy the look of ornate jewelry with symbolic messages.

A word on Victorian Revival. 

There is no regular Victorian Revival period. The term refers to a loosely grouped collection of jewelrythat embraces theVictorian style. Modernartisans who createVictorian-inspired pieces orreproductions of knownVictorian jewels are saidto create Victorian Revival jewelry.

Edwardian era. 


Short-lived, theEdwardian era characterizesthe British jewelrystyle from 1901 to 1915. Itfeatures many lateVictorian style elementsbut popularizes the use of filigree work. Select this era when you love to wear carefully worked gold jewelry that shows off filigree details.

Art Nouveau. 


Lasting from about 1895 to 1915, the Art Nouveau style exemplifies the use of curves and floral ornamentation. A French movement, it delights in the depiction of dragonflies. Consider thistype of jewelry when naturalthemes and twisted vines hold more appeal than geometric shapes.

Art Deco. 


Ifwe were to take a poll of our customers, the majority would expresstheir love and admiration for the Art Deco period. It ran from the 1920s to 1935. Characterizedby jazz tunes and a move away from “old-fashioned” curlicues, the Art Deco jewel is a marvel of geometric shapes. Platinum is a favoritemetal. For the collector who appreciates clean lines, this is the era to consider.

Retro Modern. 


Pinpointing the emergence of retro modern pieces is difficult. It is fair to say that this design period engulfs the decade between 1935 and 1945. Althoughoccasionally showinggeometric designs, retro modernjewelry has a decidedly three-dimensional design influence that combinesthe display of elaborate folds with painstakingly worked floralstyle elements.
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