Antique Victorian Diamond Pendant Necklace
Antique Victorian diamond bow pendant necklace.
Up to the start of the Victorian period, essentially all jewelry was handmade with expensive 22K and 18K yellow gold and silver. At this point however, with rapid advances in technology, machines could now cut and stamp metal and electroplate gold onto base metals. The expansion of factories meant metalwork in 14K, 10K and even 9K yellow gold could now be achieved on a mass scale using affordable materials - and suddenly jewelry was accessible to almost everyone. Elaborate cameos of shell and stone, lockets of Renaissance Revival, hearts, flowers and animal-themed jewelry set with seed pearls were the styles of the Victorian period.
Victorian: Romantic 1837-1860
The early Victorian era (Romantic Period) was influenced by Classical, Gothic, and Renaissance. Even Ancient Greek and Roman mythology was incorporated into designs. Since religion was a vital part of Victorian life so cross pendants were frequently worn. Additionally, hair combs and pins made of gold with gemstones and enamel were an important part of any woman’s wardrobe. As an anecdote, it is said that serpents were a popular motif after Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a snake engagement ring.