Victorian Era (1837-1901)

The Victorian Era covers the span of Queen Victoria's reign of the United Kingdom. The jewelry from the early Victorian Era is very sentimental and romantic with lots of meaning behind each piece. Popular motifs included eyes, hands, hearts, anchors, crosses, arrows, clovers, love knots, garters, buckles, vines, and leaves. When Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a serpent engagement ring with an emerald set into the head, the snake became an extremely popular symbol of eternal love. Carved shell or agate cameos were also very popular at this time. Most stones were rose cut, old miner's cut, or cabochons. Popular stones used included agate, amber, amethyst, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, coral, diamond, emerald, garnet, ivory, jet, malachite, seed pearls, quartz, topaz, tortoiseshell and turquoise. In the Late Victorian Era, hair work jewelry and mourning jewelry became immensely popular, with locks of loved one's hair being used to weave intricate ropes or knots and put in lockets or brooches.