To understand Edwardian jewelry, you need only look back to an era dominated by elegance, sophistication, high society, and material wealth.
The History of Edwardian Jewelry
The Edwardian Era (1901 – 1915) gets its name from England’s King Edward VII, who shared a love of extravagant, lavish jewelry with his wife.
As trendsetters, their passion for expensive jewelry caught on and made an everlasting impact on the jewelry industry.
Remarkable and essential to note is that Cartier, a household name during this time, became the supplier of the king’s jewelry and pioneered the use of platinum in Edwardian jewelry.
At The Turn of The 19th Century
Because necklines on dresses were made lower, neck jewelry and dangling earrings became more critical, especially for women who needed to appear well-dressed and lady-like at all times. Pins and brooches became embellishment for the dress’s lower neckline.
Feminine pastels and white-colored women’s clothing became the trend to complement white-on-white jewelry.
The fashion and jewelry era has evolved tremendously. Through all the changes, intricate styles, and glamour, no period has been as inventive as the Edwardian jewelry era.
How Was Edwardian Jewelry Crafted?
When you think of the Edwardian era, you think about “white-on-white” jewelry – diamonds, pearls, white metals such as white gold and platinum, and the widespread acclaim of Edwardian diamond engagement rings.
As a lightweight metal, platinum was used exclusively in Edwardian jewelry and gave professionals and artisans the ability to craft delicate pieces for wealthy members of Edwardian society.
Additionally, stones such as sapphires, amethysts, rubies, among others were, used to add color.
A fun fact about the Edwardian era is that pearls were worth more than diamonds and symbolized prestige. As a part of the “white” jewelry trend, many Edwardian pieces combined diamonds and pearls.
Filigree And Milgrain Work
Filigree is a form of intricate metalwork using yellow or white metals. It consists of tiny beads or twisted metal threads – sometimes both – artistically soldered from one end to the other and handcrafted into beautiful filigree designs.
Milgrain is a technique that applies metal bead textures to the edges of jewelry to give it a vintage feel.
The extensive milgrain detailing and lace-like filigree design was possible because of the strength and resilience of the platinum.