Does the woman in your life have a fascination for all things Victorian? If so, consider getting her a Victorian Era style engagement ring when the time is right to propose. The Victorian Era occurred when Queen Victoria of England was on the throne. She was quite influential and a trend-setter in many respects. Victorian was on the throne from 1837 until her death in 1901.
During this period of time, some of the most spectacular and inimitable jewelry was produced. Those who love antique pieces are often drawn to the Victorian style because the pieces are quite beautiful.
The Victorian era is divided into three periods, including the first period between 1837 and 1860, which is referred to as the Romantic Period. The second period, called the Grand Period, occurred between 1861 and 1880. The last period, called the Aesthetic Period, was from 1881-1901.
During each period, specific styles of jewelry were created to reflect the tenor of the nation (England) at the given time.
Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were passionately in love, and that was no secret. Jewelry produced during the first period of the Victorian Era, the Romantic Era, was more than a passing nod but rather an open acknowledgment of the deep love between the queen and her husband.
Jewelry fashioned during this time has romantic characteristics, including detail work and elaborate engraving, serpents and snakes, representative of eternal love, as well as birds, vines, flowers and leaves. Shell-carved rings and brooches were in vogue during this period. Human hair was often used in the creation of jewelry during this period of time.
The queen’s husband died from typhoid fever in 1861. This was the start of the Grand Period and reflected the queen’s state of mourning. She chose black colored jewelry, and others followed. Revivalism took part turning this period, prompting the design of jewelry made using geometric patterns and mosaic practices. During this time, gemstones and gold were much sought after. People started wearing audacious and bigger jewelry.
During the last period of the Victorian era, the Aesthetic Period, jewelry design was influenced by other countries, such as Egypt, Italy, Greece and Japan. The pieces became more one-dimensional and smaller. The designs became more antique looking. Pearls and sapphires were the ‘in’ stones.
So you are convinced the woman in your life would love a Victorian style engagement ring.
What precisely do you look for when you go shopping?
Many Victorian style rings are made of yellow or pink gold. Pewter and white gold settings are also incorporated into this design. The shape of setting and the stone or stones vary. Diamonds were introduced as an engagement ring during this time, because the diamond mines in Africa were discovered. The diamond or gem stone can be round, square, pear-shaped or princess shape. Usually, there is one centerpiece jewel, such as a diamond, surrounded by smaller stones.
Pearls were quite popular during the Victorian Era so expect to find ‘antique’ looking rings featuring a pearl, although the modern emphasis is on diamonds because they wear better than pearls.
The ring may feature one large stone surrounded by other gemstones or a row of diamonds. Some Victorian rings consist of three stones in a row or may incorporate bows, serpents, hearts, the couple’s initials or bird.
Ask the jeweler for guidance. He/she can lead you to a Victorian style engagement ring that is going to make your intended’s heart flutter.