Vintage Jewelry Styles
Learn about Vintage Jewelry with Northeastern Fine Jewelry
With classic styles and beautiful details, vintage jewelry is more than just antique. Each piece is a capsule of vogue characteristics of times passed. Different eras of jewelry show off what society accepted as the most fashion-forward details of their time. These fabulous looks have been preserved in heirloom pieces and vintage-inspired pieces alike. Our team at Northeastern Fine Jewelry has put together a helpful guide to popular vintage jewelry styles.
Lasting from the mid-1700s to 1837 and named after the monarchs in England at the time, the Georgian period involved many fine details, from hammered repoussé to embroidery-like filigree. Many Georgian jewelers' metal pieces from this time seem quite contemporary, so it is difficult to find authentic items from the period. Exploration of personal touches and methods such as enamels and glasses within the jewelry compensated for the difficulty of finding a more diverse range of gems at this time, although there were still quite a few made into beautiful pieces.
Named for Queen Victoria, this period in society and art refers to the time of her reign in England: 1837 to 1901. The massive colonization and innovations throughout the Industrial Revolution meant more resources for precious materials, and jewelry could be mass-produced instead of made by hand. Lockets with a strand of hair and a cameo were symbolic of the Romantic Period, which persisted through her early reign, and then into the Grand Period when diamonds dazzled on tiaras, pendants, and hair combs. The end of her life brought back more somber attire within society as she mourned the passing of her husband, Prince Albert.
Meaning “new art,” Art Nouveau is a French style that persisted from 1895 to 1910 and contrasted with the popularized Edwardian jewelry of the time. Its brief moment in time has left a resounding influence on style. A reaction to the mass production of jewelry, these flowing pieces utilized more unusual gems and materials to explore more natural themes. Music and literature from the time helped fuel this countercultural reaction that was delicately developed until the beginning of World War 1.
The final jewelry movement defined by the English monarchs, the Edwardian period lasted from around 1895 to 1910. Unlike Art Nouveau jewelry, which worked in different metals and materials typically associated with fine jewelry, Edwardian jewelry is saturated with platinum and diamond pieces. Jewelry was a symbol of status in upper society, with diamond chokers, pendants, and dramatic drop earrings decorating every person of stature.
The Art Deco’s era lasted from 1920 to about 1935. Clean lines and geometric shapes or patterns set this style apart from the Art Nouveau styles. Colorful gemstones created vibrant motifs with stunning diamonds and platinum settings. Multiple cuts of diamonds were created during this time. It was a time of exploration and innovation, and the jewelry that lasts from it, or was inspired by it, is still loved in today’s fashion-forward world.
As the Art Deco period ended, the Retro period of jewelry, from the 1930s to 1940s, took off with innovations and ways to improve traditional methods. Convertible jewelry, like necklaces that can also be bracelets, became popular along with techniques to make settings lighter and jewelry even easier to wear, such as the snake chain used often during this time. Clip brooches that could be attached to a necklace, bracelet, or hair clip as well as be worn by themselves were also prominent. Palladium became a substitute for platinum as war efforts were coming together.
Shop Vintage Jewelry Styles at Northeastern Fine Jewelry
Explore our incredible selection of the finest selection of vintage-inspired styles in our Northeastern Fine Jewelry showrooms. With pristine and relaxing locations in Glen Falls, Schenectady, and Albany, we know that one of our jewelry stores near you in the Empire state will assist you on your journey. Our professionals look forward to helping you find the perfect piece for your collection.