The Edwardian era was one of the most important times in history for jewellery, and its influence can still be seen today. During this period, jewellers experimented with new styles and designs, creating pieces that combined classical and contemporary elements. From intricately crafted necklaces to delicate rings and earrings, Edwardian jewellery remains a timeless classic. In this article, we'll explore the history of Edwardian jewellery and take a look at some of the popular trends from this era.
The Edwardian periodsaw a move away from the heavy Victorian styles of previous decades.
Instead, delicate gemstones and intricate filigree work became popular. The focus was often on intricate detail – with an emphasis on lightness and airy designs. This look was particularly prevalent in the Art Nouveau movement, which was popular during the Edwardian period.
Filigree work, such as delicate wirework with small beads and gemstones, was a key feature of Art Nouveau jewellery.
This style was often used to create floral designs or to depict nature-inspired motifs, such as dragonflies and butterflies. Other popular Edwardian jewellery styles included enamelling and cloisonné work. Enamelling involved heating glass enamel in order to bond it to metal surfaces. Cloisonné work was a technique in which thin strips of metal were soldered together to form compartments, which were then filled with coloured glass or enamel.
These techniques were used to create intricate designs, often depicting flora and fauna. The Edwardians also embraced the concept of ‘dressing up’. Jewellery pieces became more ornate and eye-catching, often featuring semi-precious stones such as turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral. Bold colours were also popular, with vibrant shades of red, blue and green being used to create striking pieces. Pearls were also highly sought after, with many pieces being set with freshwater pearls or cultured pearls.
Pieces often featured multiple strands of pearls, as well as larger pieces such as brooches or necklaces made entirely from pearls. Due to the Edwardian love of detail, jewellery pieces were often encrusted with diamonds or other precious stones. Necklaces typically featured multiple strands of stones, while pendants featured intricately carved designs in gold or platinum. Other popular designs included lockets, earrings and bracelets. Rings were also fashionable during this period, often featuring large ornate settings or clusters of smaller stones. The Edwardian era also saw the rise of costume jewellery.
This type of jewellery was made from cheaper materials such as plastic or glass, and was often made to imitate more expensive pieces. This allowed people who could not afford real gold or diamonds to still have access to fashionable jewellery pieces. The legacy of Edwardian jewellery continues to this day. Many modern jewellery designers have been inspired by Edwardian styles and techniques, creating pieces that capture the essence of this era. From delicately carved filigree work to bold statement pieces encrusted with diamonds, Edwardian jewellery continues to influence modern designs.
Popular Styles & MotifsThe Edwardians had a penchant for ornate designs – often featuring intricate details in gold or silver.
These motifs often included flowers, butterflies, birds or other nature-inspired symbols. The popular ‘Belle Époque’ style featured feather-like designs that were often enameled with vibrant colours. Long necklaces were also popular during this period – often featuring pearls or gemstones in elaborate settings.
Popular Jewellery MaterialsDuring the Edwardian era, gold and silver were popular materials for jewellery. Platinum was also used extensively, especially for engagement rings.
Rose gold was also fashionable during this time, as were pearls and diamonds. Other gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds were also highly sought-after during this period. The Edwardians pioneered the use of platinum for its strength and durability, as well as its white sheen. Platinum was often combined with gold to create a two-tone look. Rose gold was also popular during this time, which was created by mixing gold with copper.
Pearls were used to add a touch of sophistication to jewellery pieces, while diamonds added a hint of glamour. Gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds were also popular materials for Edwardian jewellery. These stones were typically set in intricate designs and often combined with diamonds for an extra sparkle. The Edwardians favoured large stones with bright colours and deep cuts. In conclusion, the Edwardian era was an exciting period of transformation and experimentation in jewellery. Popular materials, styles, and motifs during this time include platinum, rose gold, diamond and pearl combinations, naturalistic motifs, and intricate Art Nouveau designs.
Many of these designs remain timeless classics to this day, inspiring modern jewellery designers to create unique pieces of jewellery that combine classic Edwardian elements with modern techniques.