Romantic Era Jewelry
The Romantic Era or the early Victorian Era is from 1837 until 1860 The Victorian Era received its name for Englands Queen Victoria who ascended to the throne at the age of 18 in 1837. She had a major influence of the fashion as well as the jewelry worn during this time.
At the beginning of the Romantic era and the ending of the Georgian era, Ferronieres were very popular. These types of jewelry were chains or ribbons adorned with a single jewel, which was to be worn on the forehead.
Clothing fashion changed along with the type of jewelry worn. During the Romantic Era, multiple bracelets were worn as well as brooches, earrings, rings, and necklaces. The most popular bracelet during this time were once that were at least 1 inch wide or wider which were either solid hinged bangles or ones of gold chain, pearls, and gemstones.
Earrings were also very popular except for the years during 1840 until 1890 when bonnet ribbons were worn.
Lockets were very popular sentimental jewelry of the Romantic Era. In these lockets were small tokens of affection such as locks of hair or small photographs. These were always worn under clothing to protect the special token inside and to keep away gossip.
Brooches were seen worn in various ways on the shoulder, on the neck, in the hair on the waist, and on ribbons worn as bracelets and necklaces.
Religious symbols were still the main theme for all types of jewelry. Some of the most popular were crosses, doves, ivy, Greek letters, and snakes, which at the time was a symbol of eternity.
Symbolic jewelry was worn with meanings as follows:
Dogs – faithfulness
Pearls – Tears
Fly – modesty
Butterfly – Soul
Daisy – virtue
Fern – attraction
Mistletoe – A kiss
Doves – domestic
Bluebells – reliability
Wishbone – Wish and Hope
Lilac – Constant Love
Flaming Heart – passionate desire
Forget Me Nots – Remember me
Arrows – Love
Crowned Heart – victorious love
Ivy – Friendship
Clasped Hands – Friendship or Lasting Love
Lizards – Passionate Love and desire
Roses – had several different meanings.
Precious gems also had symbolic meaning such as:
Diamond – Constancy
Amethyst – loyalty
Emerald – optimism
Ruby – fervor
During the Romanic Era, Victorian jewelry was found to be most popular with the stones such as agate, diamond, onyx, glass, carnelian, emerald, amber, coral, opal, peridot, ruby, sapphire, turquoise, garnet, and pearls. Jewelry was create out of such materials as bog oak, enamels, cut steel, human hair, ivory, tortoiseshell, pinchbeck, very small tiles known as micro-mosaic, silver, gold, and the cameos were often made from shell, stone, lave, and gemstone.
The best jewelry or fine jewelry during the Victorian Era was a sign of wealth. It was used to show the social standing and the status of the person wearing the jewelry and of course their family. Not all jewelry was appropriate as in Europe unmarried younger women were only allowed to wear chains, crosses, pearls, or mourning jewelry. Only married women as an appropriate age were allowed to wear such items as gems or diamonds.