Saturday, November 12, 2011

Victorian rings

Queen Victoria was young, energetic, filled with youthful vitality and very much in love. This was reflected in the taste of the court. Jewelry was bold and striking. It was gaudy, rich, lush and ornate. It was more a reflection of wealth than taste. Matching suites, cabochons of four or more pieces were in. Ivory, tortoise shell, seed pearls and coral were in demand.

Victorian Gold Tourmaline Mine Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Victoria's serpent motif was popular. Rings were ornate and had space to put hair or a photo of a loved one. The lid of the ring could be raised. The lid was covered with minute multi colored gems. Granulating gems with grains of gold, made famous by the Etruscans were hugely popular. Rings were huge and eye catching in the first half of this period. The rings followed a fixed style. Floral and Fauna motifs were used. A huge leaf encircled with small diamonds or a three leaved flower, or a sheaf of wheat in pearls were made into rings. Huge gems were flaunted. It was a time for color and luxury.

Simple, yet beautiful Victorian ring in medallion style
The self absorbed nature of the Victorians, started waning during the later half of the era. Social consciousness had a huge setback on jewelry. Big started getting smaller. Delicate, less gold, softer forms, gentle colors became the trend. Stud was invented. Rings became delicate looking. Gems got smaller. Large, huge baubles got replaced by South African diamonds. Mauve, yellow, tender greens encircled a diamond. 

Stunning Victorian ring, circa 1870, with beautiful deep blue sapphire


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