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Vintage and Antique Jewelry Styles Guide


There are several methods to determine the origins of your jewelry, but one of the best is to look at the design. By period, these are the most popular jewelry designs.

  • Georgian (1700-1830): The four monarchs of England who governed England between 1700 and 1830 are the inspiration for one of the oldest and most widely accessible jewelry designs, Georgian. This style has been around for a long time, but it is recognized for its elaborate decorations, vibrant precious jewels, and fondness for yellow gold, although it fluctuates. There were a lot of sets of jewelry that included anything from a necklace to a ring to a broach. Many of these items are pretty valuable as a result of their antiquity.

  • Victorian (1830-1900): This jewelry design was named after Queen Victoria, a style icon of her period, and reigned from 1830 to 1900. She wore a snake ring that her husband, Prince Albert, gave her as a wedding gift throughout the first few years of their marriage. By wearing black jewelry encrusted with onyx, garnets, and other melancholy jewels in the wake of her husband's death, the public embraced her manner of grieving.

  • King Edward VII is the inspiration for this jewelry design, which lasted for many decades after his death(1910). Edwardian (1900-1910): Lacy and flowery motifs are reminiscent of the Victorian period but with a more contemporary feel. In addition to garland patterns that included bows and foliage, white gold or platinum was a popular choice.

  • The years 1890-1910 are referred to as the "Art Nouveau" era. Art Nouveau jewelry is a unique style defined by nature-inspired motifs and smooth, sweeping curves and overlaps the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Natural stones like opal, amber, and moonstone are used in the color palette. This period is known for its beautiful sculptures of women with flowing hair.

  •  There is a good chance you've seen the Great Gatsby movie adaptation, which is in the Art Deco (1915-1935) style. Inspired by the burgeoning strength of the flapper movement, Art Deco sculptures were edgy and contemporary. To create this look, jewelers use geometric shapes and vibrant gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds to accentuate the geometric shapes.

  •  War-time shortages pushed jewelry designers to produce Retro designs, popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Consequently, materials like plastic, rhinestones, and glass that are synthetic and low-cost gained popularity. Costume jewelry was born due to this, and designers like Elsa Schiaparelli and others in the high-end fashion industry made it fashionable.


In addition to these classic designs, there are several regional variations on the theme of jewelry design:

  • Sterling silver or leather, turquoise, coral, mother-of-pearl, and malachite are among the most prevalent materials used to create Southwestern jewelry. Native American art, stamped patterns, and feather motifs are all included in the designs.

  • Known as "Black Hills" gold, this kind of South Dakota gold is distinguished by its use of various shades of yellow, pink, and green. The patterns' use of grapevines and grape leaves makes them immediately recognizable and unique. Black Hills gold must come from South Dakota to qualify as such.