Antique Victorian Jewellery


The Victorian era was a time of great change in fashion and jewellery, as the reach of the British Empire grew and manufacturing techniques got more advanced. The innovative Victorian jewellery that came about in this period has remained popular to this day thanks to its effortless elegance and enduring charm.

Browse our antique Victorian jewellery range including rings, brooches, earrings, and more, here.

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Spanning 63 years, the Victorian era saw fashions come and go. The influence of the royal family permeated Victorian culture and three distinct periods of Queen Victoria’s life became markers for cultural shifts which each spanned a generation.

The first, the Romantic period, spanned from 1837 to 1860, the Grand period ran between 1860 and 1880, and the Aesthetic period closed out the era from 1880 to 1901. Naturally, by Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, jewellery designs had evolved fully, and Victorian rings, necklaces, earrings, and brooches are still popular today.

The Victorian era was a time of change and it seems like every facet of culture was affected – including, of course, fashion and jewellery. The industrial revolution was well in its stride, and the mass-production techniques it brought with it made jewellery cheaper to buy.

In Victorian jewellery, gemstones were often set in low-carat gold, allowing the colours of the gems to take centre stage, surrounded with ornate symbolism and motifs.

In a society where etiquette dictated how freely people were able to interact with each other, jewellery in the Victorian era became a way for people to express themselves. Later in the period, during the Grand period after the death of Prince Albert, mourning jewellery rose in popularity. It included black stones such as onyx and jet, but other gems such as rubies and garnets were often set alongside black enamel.

Soon after, as a response to the mechanised age of the industrial revolution, the Aesthetic movement was founded – focusing on beauty for beauty’s sake. Antique Victorian rings of the later period tend to be dainty in comparison with early Victorian era jewellery. Worn mainly at evening events, semi-precious stones such as coral and opals came into fashion, used for their natural beauty.

Today, Victorian era jewellery is still popular amongst antique jewellery buyers because of its intricate and unusual designs. As it was the first era of mass-production, a lot of vintage Victorian jewellery is relatively affordable, with antique Victorian rings rising in popularity as the perfect engagement ring for a 21st century woman.