Recent History of Jewelry

Georgian Period: 1714-1830

Jewelry designs of nature featuring flowers, leaves, insects, birds, feathers, and ribbons.  Engraved gemstones and intaglios were favored along with agates and cabochon cut stones.  During the early nineteenth century, cameo brooches and earrings became popular.  Garnets, turquoise, amethyst, and particularly pearls were the rage.


Early Victorian Period: 1837-1860

The dominant style of the 1840’s featured scrollwork, floral sprays, animal themes and multi-color gold work. There was a surge of deep religious feelings which gave way to a Gothic Revival Movement. This movement brought about a renewed interest in enameled jewelry.


Mid-Victorian(Grand) Period: 1860-1885

Massive suites of colored stone jewelry became popular. Mosaics, sea shells, fringes, and rosettes were used with increasing frequency. Pieces were set in Etruscans style frames. The death of Prince Albert in 1861 threw the entire population into mourning. Jet jewelry became extremely popular and was often imitated. The 1880’s saw the rise of heavy lockets and chains, cuff bracelets and brooches.


Late Victorian (Aesthetic) Period: 1885-1900

Diamonds gained an all time high in popularity. Bird, insect, and animal themes took on new meaning as genuine scarabs, birds, and claws were set in metal. Many pieces of jewelry featured spring mechanisms. The delicate pendants of colored stones and pearls were very popular during the late 1880’s.


Arts and Crafts Movement: 1894-1923

Arts and Crafts jewelers rebelled against the mass production brought on by the Industrial Revolution. They formed the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888. These jewelers were opposed to any specialization of their craft. They worked mainly in silver using uncut and cabochon stones. Color was very important and many pieces were brightly colored.


Art Nouveau Period: 1890-1915

Art Nouveau jewelers used flowing feminine and fantasy figures, stylized flowers, vines, leaves, scrolls, birds, serpents and insects in beautiful enamels. Plique-a-jour enamel was commonly used which is a transparent enamel with out a metal backing. Cabochon gemstones as well as pearls were incorporated into the designs along with the scrolling gold work. Rene Jules Lalique led the French in Art Nouveau jewelry, while Louis Comfort Tiffany was the American Jeweler best known for his Art Nouveau designs.


Edwardian Period: 1901-1910

Jewelry for this period was strikingly feminine with a lacy and delicate appearance. Common motifs are bows, ribbons, urns, stars, crescents and garlands of small flowers. A common trait of Edwardian jewelry is platinum on yellow gold usually with all diamond trim, giving this period its all white appearance. Large focus diamonds were usually Old European cuts, with smaller diamonds in rose or single cuts for accents. Sometimes large high-quality faceted colored gemstones were used as focal points, but diamonds, pearls and moonstones were the most favored.


Art Deco Period: 1920-1935

The introduction of cubism into the art world after 1925 brought about the strong geometrical patterns and angular shapes associated with Art Deco today. Diamonds and platinum were used without regard to cost. Stones were cut into triangles, pentagons, trapezoids along with oblong shapes and emerald cuts. PavŽ set diamonds were often accented with caliber cut colored gemstones- rubies, sapphire, emeralds and onyx in strong contrasting combinations. The Asian influence can be seen by the carved jade and coral in pendants, bracelets, and earrings, as well as carved rubies, sapphires and emeralds from India. Well known French designers were, Cartier, Bucheron, Van Cleef and Arpels, Fouquet and Mauboussin. For the Americans, it was Tiffany and Company and Harry Winston.


Retro Period: 1935-1949

The late 1930’s and early 1940’s saw Europe going from the Great Depression directly into W.W.II. All of the platinum and much of the gold and silver were needed to fund the war. It was during this period that the American jewelry market finally came into its own. Colored gold (yellow, pink, and green) sometimes combined in bi-colored or tri-colored pieces, was back after several decades of white metal dominance. Designs were three-dimensional and sculptural incorporating ribbons, bows and fabric-like folds. Gemstones were often recycled from older jewelry, diamonds and synthetic rubies and sapphires were combined for a “patriotic” look. After the United States entered the war, 1941, jewelry became less romantic and took on a militaristic look.



Mid-century modernism influenced this period with the use of abstract sprays of diamonds in mixed cuts, starbursts and “atomic” shapes. Textured gold dominated this decade with Florentine finishes, foxtail chain, twisted rope, braided wire, mesh, reeding, fluting and piercing. Gold jewelry without gemstones was worn primarily in the daytime, with diamond jewelry for the evenings. Amethyst, turquoise, and coral were the favorite colored gemstones while cultured pearls were gaining acceptance into day wear.



This “Anything Goes” period had little restrictions. Yellow gold, platinum and silver were all used with natural gemstone crystals and “drusy” gemstones (micro-crystals forming on a matrix). Cabochon gemstones, such as turquoise, were mixed with round brilliant cut diamonds and other faceted gems set in yellow gold. Artists used organic abstract shapes with jagged edges that were incorporated in textured metals.



In the cool and collected 70’s, women began buying their own jewelry. This surge demanded affordable quality and the need for “that something different.” To do this, jewelers used non-precious materials such as rock crystal, exotic woods, ivory and coral. Baguette diamonds were mounted into solitaires, necklaces and bracelets and were worn both at night and during the daytime. Long necklaces remained popular. To accentuate the jewelry, gemstones such as lapis lazuli, coral, and onyx were used.



The 1980’s saw women gaining equality in the workplace. The televisions shows such as “Dynasty” and “Dallas” created a demand for glitz and glamour, while Princess Diana’s wedding triggered a graceful, refined fashion emergence. Colored pearls were fashionable in long or short strands with diamond clasps that could be worn in the front or back. In the 1990’s, tanzanite became popular along with aquamarine, and retro designs from almost every period. Jewelry designs could be large and chunky, elegant and sophisticated, or stark and minimalist. Silver gained tremendous popularity, as did toe rings and body jewelry. Pierced ears with four or five earrings started a whole new fashion craze.



As with every era, the new millennium ushered in new designers and new techniques. Colored diamonds hit unprecedented levels of popularity with enticing names such as chocolate, cognac and champagne. Alternate materials including rubber, plastic and stainless steel started appearing with diamonds and pearls.

French Jewelry Design

French Jewelry – Everyone has individual preferences regarding the jewelry.  French Jewelry, however, is particularly popular. Known for its exquisite curves, unique artistry and attention to detail, the jewels of France is a luxury all over the world.

The history of French jewelry
From the manufacture of jewelry is one of the oldest professions in the world, the French have been perfecting their craft for over a thousand years. In medieval times, French royalty wore jewelry as a status symbol. In fact, when farmers and commoners tried to use the jewelry itself, several laws were passed that forbade them to use some pieces of luxury. These were known as sumptuary laws, which basically meant that the French nobility wanted the privilege of wearing jewelry to be completely alone.
With ordinary citizens left out of the market, jewelry manufacturing in France had held for centuries. However, in the 19th century, Napoleon changed all that. As part of its new French Empire, Napoleon was focused on the creation of a tribunal to draw up, fantasy. Display of wealth and prestige became the norm, and the manufacture of jewelry was recovered soon. The French jewelry market was back in full swing!
Since then, France has created the entire name in the jewelry industry worldwide. Not only has created several unique styles, but their jewelry companies are among the best in the world.
Art Nouveau
France is the cradle of Art Nouveau movement. In jewelry, art nouveau means that parts are organic lines, elegant, often leading to majestic forms, such as birds or flowers. Unfortunately, this style eventually became so popular that his pieces were mass produced, making it look cheap. However, some purists still go and admire the Art Nouveau jewelry of today, inspired by artists such as René Lalique.
Art Deco
Is supposed to represent modernity and functionality, Art Deco emerged in France around the same time as the art nouveau. His influence on French jewelry was negligible, and eventually came to be seen as representing a “false” the form of luxury. Like the art nouveau, which fell out of fashion, although it has undergone several brief resurgence during the last century.
Modern French Jewelry
Before the Second World War, dominated European art and jewelry in the world. In the decades following the war, however, the French were gradually replaced by American culture. As such gems, the French lost some of its prestige between 1940 and 1970. Since then, seem to have made a comeback.
Led by newcomers like Lorenz Baumer, who sees her jewelry as “an experience” French modern jewelry is presented in exhibitions around the world. Incorporating many unique styles and focuses on color and creativity.
French jewelry firms
In addition to the famous art movements, France is home to some of the best jewelry designers in the world. Famous for their pins, necklaces and watches, Cartier SA was formed in 1847 in Paris. Other companies, including Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, are also world renowned. In the past, customers of these companies jewelry included kings, queens, and Hollywood celebrities. Today is one of the most prestigious jewelry companies in the world with over 200 stores worldwide.
French jewelry prices
This prestige has a price. To wear the same jewelry as royalty, should also have as much money as they do. Consequently, the French jewelry can be some of the most expensive in the world. As with anything, prices vary according to the subject cut, clarity, color and design. However, like most strong brands, which often pay more for the name, then you make the quality of the actual product.
Jewelry mysterious French – the Hope Diamond
You can not have a discussion in French jewelry, not to mention the famous Hope Diamond. Originally called “Le Bleu de France,” the Hope Diamond is known for both its size and supposed curse. A 45.52-carat diamond weighs approximately 9.10 grams.
However, the Hope Diamond was supposedly carved from a mysterious stone, the larger called “The Blue French”, which was 67 carats. That stone belonged to several members of the French royal family, like King Louis XIV and Louis XV. However, there was a period in history where the huge diamond disappeared. While “The French Blue ‘was not found again, the Hope Diamond is strongly believed that half of this famous piece.
After being transferred between several states and individuals, the end of the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian, where he is currently on display.
Was there ever any truth to the curse of the Hope Diamond? Despite rumors of numerous publications and the curse that seems to be completely false. A newspaper article, for example, said the owner of the Hope Diamond was tragically killed in a mysterious shipwreck. Further investigation, however, revealed that someone of the same name, had died, not the real owner. Over the years, the supposed curse is built on stories like this, each of them is less certain than the last.
The Taj Mahal diamond necklace
Another famous French jewelry piece is the Taj Mahal diamond necklace. Originally given to the wife of Shah Jahan Mogul of India in the 17th century, this exquisite diamond necklace by Cartier was redesigned into a beautiful diamond necklace. The piece became especially popular after the actor Richard Burton gave to his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, for his birthday party for forty years, after which he became known as the Taylor-Burton diamond. When asked about the gift made, Burton said she wanted to buy the actual Taj Mahal, but it would have been too costly to transport. Today, the work belongs to the famous Frenchman Robert Mouawad.

French jewelry
has come a long way since medieval times. Despite being eliminated at various points in history, the French designers have always found ways to innovate and expand. Finally, all this hard work has given the nation a recognizable name, powerful in the jewelry industry. With numerous awards, prestigious companies, and creative designers, France is without doubt one of the best jewelry producing countries in the world.
*** Article from Get Beautiful