The Victorian Era spanned Queen Victoria's rule of England from 1837 until 1901. During this time, a middle class began to emerge, sparking a demand for jewelry in the mass market, jewelry trends often reflected the tone of current events. The era is usually divided into several subsections: the Romantic Period from 1837 to 1861, the Grand Period from 1861 to 1880, and the Aesthetic Period from 1880 to 1901.
During the Romantic Period jewelry also featured nature-inspired designs, similar to jewelry of the Georgian era. Frequently, these designs were delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular in daytime jewelry during the early Victorian era, whereas colored gemstones and diamonds were worn during the evening.
During the Grand Period jewelry , because the Grand or Mid-Victorian era corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria's husband, many jewelry pieces have solemn, somber designs. Known as mourning jewelry, the pieces feature heavy, dark stones. Jet, onyx, amethyst, and garnet are frequently found in jewelry from this period. Compared to previous periods, Mid-Victorian-era jewelry features highly creative, colorful designs using shells, mosaics and gemstones.
During the Aesthetic period, jewelers used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, and spinel. Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were also popular. Some scholars believe the aesthetic era began sooner, in 1875, and ended as early as 1890.
Opal is a gemstone that is known for its unique and stunning appearance. It is composed of microscopic cristobalite spheres arranged in layers within an amorphous hydrous silica jelly, which gives it its unique crystal habit.
One of the most striking features of opal is its play-of-color, which is the way that light is refracted by the microscopic spheres within the gemstone. This refraction creates an array of vivid colors, ranging from red and orange to yellow, green, blue, and purple. The play-of-color is what makes opal such a beautiful and desirable gemstone, and it is one of the main reasons that it is so highly prized.
There are many different types of opal, including black opal, white opal, and fire opal. Black opal is the most valuable and sought-after type, as it has the most intense play-of-color. White opal is less valuable, but it is still prized for its beauty and is often used in jewelry and other decorative objects. Fire opal is a type of opal that is characterized by its deep orange or red color and is often used in jewelry.
Opal is found in a few different locations around the world, including Australia, Mexico, and the United States. It is a relatively soft and brittle gemstone, and it requires careful handling and protection to preserve its beauty. Despite its delicate nature, opal is a popular and highly valued gemstone that is used in a wide range of jewelry and decorative objects.
The round brilliant cut is a type of diamond cut that was developed in the early 1900s and is now the most popular and widely used diamond cut. It is characterized by a circular girdle and 58 facets, which are small, flat surfaces that are cut into the diamond to create a specific shape and enhance its sparkle and brilliance. Unlike the old European cut, the round brilliant cut does not have a culet (the bottom edge of the diamond).
The round brilliant cut was designed to maximize the fire and brilliance of a diamond, and it has become the standard cut for diamonds. It is known for its bright, sparkling appearance and is often used in engagement rings and other high-end jewelry. The round brilliant cut became prevalent during the Art Deco and Retro periods and is still widely used today.
Round brilliant cut diamonds are typically more expensive than diamonds with other cuts because they require more labor and material to produce. However, they are considered the highest quality and most desirable type of diamond cut, and they are a popular choice for those who want the highest level of sparkle and brilliance in their jewelry.
14k gold is a popular choice for use in jewelry because it is durable, yet still relatively affordable compared to higher karat golds like 18k or 24k. It is made up of 58.5% pure gold and is mixed with other metals to make it harder and more durable. 14k gold is available in a range of colors, including yellow, white, and rose, and is commonly used in a variety of jewelry pieces such as rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. One of the advantages of 14k gold is that it is more resistant to wear and tear than pure gold, which makes it suitable for everyday wear. However, it is still softer than other alloys such as stainless steel or platinum, so it may require more maintenance to keep it looking its best. Overall, 14k gold is a popular choice for those who want the look and feel of gold, but at a more affordable price point.