The trends of the French Court prevailed, with neoclassical designs emphasizing Rococo, Greek and Roman styles. Pastel gemstones mounted on fine gold sheet in foil-back settings, long chains and large, dangling earrings were also fashionable.
The ornate jewelry of this period includes engraved lockets, delicate cameos and finely wrought black jet and onyx mourning jewelry. As new cutting techniques were developed, fine gemstones came into greater vogue, making for some lovely jeweled art.
Art Nouveau, 1880-1915
The flowing lines and vibrant enamels of this period celebrate nature in all its forms. Brooches, earrings and pendants shaped like birds, dragonflies, lilies and other flowers are representative of this era.
Edwardian, the Belle Epoque, 1890-1915
Edwardian jewelry has a mannered and splendored grace influenced by Faberge and French ornamental styles. Platinum was the metal of choice, owing to its tensile strength, which was perfect for knife-edge openwork in lace and trellis patterns Diamonds were beautifully cut and pearls were popular with just about everything.
Roaring 20s/ Art Deco, 1920-1939
Emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds are characteristic of this delightful period, as are semi-precious onyx, jade and corals. Shapes were unusual and dramatic, often geometric and abstract in form, marking a bold move into contemporary times.
For the Past fifty years, jewelry has reflected a vast range of styles and materials. The Retro look of the 1940’s and 1950’s epitomized Hollywood glamour with its gold and bold designs. Many of today’s designs imitate trends of the past, from delicate, romantic silver and pearl earrings to chunky gold chokers studded with gems.