All of our antique Edwardian jewellery featuring gemstones and/or diamonds are accompanied with an independent gemstone and diamond grading report card and/or certificate in addition to free, insured, global shipping.
AC Silver offer a 14 day return policy, and include a free ring sizing service.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years experience within the antique industry, handpicks all the Edwardian jewellery for sale.
The Edwardian period was led by the influence of King Edward VII, who during his short reign displayed his love for expensive items. This reflected over to jewellery, and the Edwardian era was a time of frivolity and wealth for the upper classes.
Edwardian era jewellery is delicate and crafted using long-lasting materials such as platinum and diamonds. While taking a step back from using machine-made jewellery the expertise of hand-craftsmanship was back in fashion and the jewellers drew inspiration from the 18th century; thus a return of bows, garlands, ribbons and lace designs. These lace designs were achieved using a variety of filigree style settings and ‘invisible settings’ allowing the gemstones to appear like they were ornaments to the skin – a preference by society women favouring the ethereal style. The use of millegrain decoration around the edge of the setting and gemstones allowed for a softer appearance to settings, all adding to the swirling and floral Edwardian style.
For some time during the Edwardian period pearls became a high-status symbol, and their price exceeded that of diamonds. The white colour of the pearl was highly important to the pieces, and often paired with diamonds to create a luminous elegance.
Whilst Kind Edward VII’s reign ended in 1910, the era and hedonistic fashion choices continued until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
Edwardian jewellery and Art Deco jewellery whilst having a subtly overlapping timeline have many visual differences. Edwardian pieces benefitted from curvilinear formations, including floral designs, scrolls and ribbon style loops, whereas Art Deco is typically comprised of straight lines and distinct geometric shapes.
Art Deco jewellery also became more cost effective due to the commercial sale of white gold in 1912, which reached popularity in the 1920s. For items produced between 1912-1914 it’s often referred to as “late Edwardian transitional” or “transitional early Art Deco”.
When discussing antique jewellery, the Edwardian period is generally defined as being from the very start of the 20th century up to 1910. One of the shortest reigns in recent memory, the Edwardian period managed to have a vast variety of new styles and manufacturing processes that continued to push the production of jewellery forward.
The Edwardian period is frequently seen as one of lavish extravagance - a time where the ruling classes lived excessively in a pre-war Britain. This luxurious standard of living came to a sharp end at the inception of World War I in 1914. It is largely due to this indulgence, however, that we still have so many well-maintained pieces of Edwardian jewellery to examine; the quality of materials used was a big step up from previous eras.
Platinum first became a common metal used in the production of jewellery in the Edwardian period, often combined with diamonds to create pieces that last several lifetimes. This use of hardy materials also led to the creation of the white-on-white jewellery trend, wherein platinum was used in conjunction with diamonds to create jewellery that was dazzling in its brightness and lightness.
The use of platinum also allowed for some revolutionary design and production advancements. Due to the strength of platinum, new settings such as the filigree setting and the invisible setting were able to be utilised.
In the filigree setting, the metal is used to create a pattern similar to that of lace, keeping jewellery delicate and intricate in its appearance – well-suited to the fashions of the Edwardian era. Invisible settings allowed the gemstones of a piece of jewellery, usually in diamond jewellery, to appear as though they were sitting directly on the skin of the wearer, with nothing between them. These kinds of settings are only possible with a strong, well-made combination of metals, hence the popularity of platinum.
Another common element of Edwardian jewellery that came with the use of platinum is millegrain designs. Platinum was used to create very small balls that create ridges along the edges of a piece of jewellery.
The popularity of diamonds, platinum, and pearl jewellery were omnipresent features of Edwardian jewellery. Although floral jewellery was popular even throughout the Victorian period, in the Edwardian era it found new popularity. With women’s fashion more oriented towards exaggerating the hourglass figure of women, floral jewellery – referred to as garland jewellery – was also intended to highlight the curving shapes of feminine figures.
Lace-like materials were imitated with Edwardian jewellery, made to appear light to match the silks and satins widely used in women’s clothing of the time. Although these designs directly contrasted with the Victorian period’s larger, heavier pieces of jewellery, some themes remained popular throughout both eras. Bows, for example, can be commonly found in both 19th and 20th century jewellery. Draping bow designs, accented with diamonds and millegrain, were very popular in the Edwardian era.
This delicate ornamentation made Edwardian jewellery appear softer to the eye and remains a very appealing design feature today. The fashions of the Edwardian era were generally daintier than the Victorian era that had come before. Women’s fashion called for lighter fabrics in lighter colours, with upper class women becoming more mobile citizens, rather than being largely contained to their homes. The delicate designs of Edwardian jewellery were not only fashion-forward, but they were also more practical than the larger, bulkier, and heavier pieces of the Victorian period.
Today, Edwardian jewellery is widely admired for its durability as well as its intricate beauty. A modern movement away from the Victorian and towards the rapid advancement of the 20th century, Edwardian jewellery can be a wonderful time capsule from a different time.