Vintage Jewelry Styles
Learn About Vintage Jewelry With Morgan Jewelers
When it comes to jewelry styles, the term “vintage” includes several eras and unique styles. Cultural, political, and religious influences are but some factors that have played a part in forming the jewelry styles typical of each of these periods. Our experts at Morgan Jewelers have put together this guide to the vintage jewelry design elements that characterized these distinctive periods.
This period covers the reign of five English kings, four of which were named George. Jewelry during this period was handcrafted via incredibly labor-intensive processes. Thus, Georgian pieces were characterized by supremely detailed metal work achievable only by hand. Popular motifs during this period included flowers, ribbons, bows, leaves, and vines.
Beginning and ending with the reign of Queen Victoria, the Victorian era saw massive shifts in culture, fashion, art, and jewelry. During this period, whimsy, lightheartedness, and sparkle were incorporated into many jewelry styles. Collections of jewelry often featured crescent moons and stars, bejeweled insects and animals, as well as mythical creatures like dragons and griffins.
Styles of this period originated largely from France and other parts of Europe, ushering in more modern design elements like flowing lines and muted tones. Mass-manufacturing of jewelry had become more prevalent, resulting in pieces forged of less precious materials than in the preceding era. Art Nouveau was an answer to the mass-produced content that celebrated mystical and romantic imagery and natural, flowing forms.
The jewelry of this period was designed during the reign of King Edward VII and communicated the era’s focus on elegance and sophistication. Advances in the production of platinum allowed jewelry makers to evoke the textures and appearance of embroidery and lace fabric work into their designs. Milgrain detailing was also used heavily in this era of jewelry.
Art Deco Era
While Art Deco’s popularity peaked quickly, it captured the public’s imagination and remains popular today. This era saw quite a departure from the previous styles of art and was heavily influenced by the geometric shapes of Cubism and the bright, arresting colors of Fauvism. Repeating symmetrical designs and starkly contrasting colors are said to have celebrated advancements in culture and technology.
Most jewelry from the Retro Era was forged in gold and sterling silver because of the lack of availability of more precious metals during WWII. Jewelry was typically large, bold, and futuristic, featuring few gems because of wartime shortages. For this reason, illusion settings that made the stones appear more prominent were quite popular, along with convertible jewelry and other technological innovations.
Shop Vintage Jewelry Styles at Morgan Jewelers
Since our company’s foundation in 1914, Morgan Jewelers has expanded our business into seventeen pristine and welcoming jewelry stores around the country. We are honored to share our passion for jewelry and craftsmanship with our communities. Request an appointment or browse our website to learn more about our fashion and bridal jewelry offerings.