Sep 6, 2018 1:20 am
Antique jewelry lovers might already know a thing or two about this particular period in American history where certain distinctive types of jewelry were in vogue. But whether you’re an avid vintage fashion lover or just starting to read up about antique jewelry, there could be something new to learn about this particular type of jewelry, specifically Georgian jewelry.
The Georgian Period
The period between 1714 and 1837 is known as the Georgian period because of events happening in Great Britain: namely, the rule of kings George I, II, III and IV during this time. It was a time of tumultuous change and rapid growth. There were several wars that took place, most notably the Seven Years War between 1756 and 1763.
The Treaty of Paris ended the revolutionary war in the United States, and was when Britain acknowledged America as an independent, sovereign nation. Soon after, the first U.S President, George Washington, was elected in 1789. This was also the period of the Industrial Revolution which was driven by massive advancements in manufacturing processes, and which spurred national growth and wealth.
During this period, the wealthy were known to wear fine jewelry. This Georgian jewelry was of exquisite handcrafted quality and highly prized possession at the time, and even now. These pieces were typically very ornate, with intricate, hand cut designs. Diamonds were very popular at the time, and the choicest cuts were the rose cut and the old mine. In the mid-1700s however, colored gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires became more prevalent. Metals often used in crafting this jewelry included silver for gemstone settings, 18 karat or higher yellow gold, steel, iron, and a substitute gold material called pinchbeck.
One of the popular types of jewelry were called cameos. Cameos are antique carved pieces showing subjects like Greek gods and goddesses, are usually in an oval shape, and can be made into brooches, worn as pendants, or even placed in tiaras. Emperor Napoleon’s wife Josephine is credited for starting an international fashion trend of cameos with her variety of accessories, including her most elaborate gold tiara set with pearls and large cameos telling the story of Cupid and Psyche.
Cut Steel Jewelry
This interesting idea for jewelry came about initially in France in 1759, when they were worn as a substitute for the confiscated jewelry during King Louis XV’s campaign to fund the Seven Years War. Cut steel jewelry, made from tiny faceted and polished steel studs, were crafted to look like gemstones and fixed onto a backing plate. The earliest cut steel pieces were made from recycled steel nails; however, as demand grew the designs became increasingly more intricate, and sometimes were set with pearls and jet.
The Value Of Antiques
If you believe you own a piece of jewelry dating back to the Georgian period, there is a high chance that it might fetch a decent sell value for you. Unless you definitely wish to keep the item as a family heirloom, it would be interesting for you to get a valuation to see what your jewelry is worth. Global Gold and Silver is always happy to speak with you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!