Edwardian Era Jewelry
The Edwardian Era was named after England’s King Edward VII and was considered to be one of the shortest eras in history lasting only from 1901 until 1910. This was the era in which the advancements in manufacturing made the cost of jewelry reduce so more people could afford to adorn their bodies.
Even though this was a new era, many of the jewelry pieces seen during the Art Novueau and the Arts and Crafts era were still popular during the reign of King Edward VII.
The fine jewelry found during this era used gold, platinum, and diamonds. Platinum had been used previous but it had been very hard to work with to produce beautiful jewelry pieces. The advancements in manufacturing and technology brought platinum on the table as one of the most popular precious metals to use to create delicate and beautiful pieces. The overall style of jewelry still used fabrics of lace of silk, which brought the use of Millegrain and invisible setting and new stone cutting techniques. Millegrain would use the platinum or gold and secure the edge of a stone with ridges of tiny beads or grains surrounding the gem. Platinum and gold were both used to create what was called Knife-edges or openwork designs. This produced lightweight and inconspicuous settings for the precious gems.
Motifs were popular and the most common during the Edwardian Era were crescent moons, insects, serpents, and stars.
The most popular jewelry styles included the dog collar necklaces, bar brooches, bead and pearl sautoirs, spring bracelets, bangle bracelets, chain bracelets, jewelry sets with all clear or white stones.
The most common metals and stones used for jewelry during the Edwardian Era were amethysts, emeralds, opals, pearls, peridots, rubies, sapphires, platinum, silver, gold, and white gold after 1910.
Pearls were very popular but they were also very expensive and only the wealthy could afford to wear them. Queen Alexandra the wife of King Edward VII word seven rows of pearls each 24 inches to 30 inches long to her coronation. Along with the pearls, she wore rows of diamond chokers and several brooches, which covered her dress.
The most popular necklaces of the Edwardian Era include
Negligee necklaces, which were two pendants that hung at the different lengths from the chain.
The sautoir was a very long necklace that would hit just below the waistline. They were often created from beads and had tassels on the ends.
A lavaliere was a pendant necklace that was suspended from a small thin chain.
Brooches were very popular and they worn on various places over the body. There was no wrong way to wear a brooch during this era in time. During this time, it was not uncommon to find unique brooches with motifs depicting sports such as fox heads, golf clubs, horseshoes, and riding crops on many of the brooches.
Bracelets of all types were still very popular either worn singly or in multiples.
Other jewelry items just as important as the ones mentioned above include hatpins, stickpins, and watch fobs.