Today we are going to discuss history. The history of jewelry to be specific. Now, this may not sound very entertaining, but it is. Because once you finish reading this article you will be able to look inside your jewelry box and recognize the jewelry designs by era. And, according to what most of your pieces look like, you will discover the time in history when you would love to have been born. So get ready and read further to find out which are the main jewelry designs by era so that you better know how to style fine jewelry.

Georgian jewelry

Jewelry designs between 1714 and 1837 are what we call today Georgian jewelry. This was an especially beautiful era of jewelry with lots of handmade pieces that featured intricate designs and nature themes. Creating jewelry was a very labor-intensive process back then, but the results were simply art pieces. Flowers, ribbons, bows, leaves, and crescents were popular motifs for Georgian jewelry designs.


One iconic jewelry piece from the Georgian era (or inspired by the Georgian jewelry designs) are the pendeloque earrings. These are pear-shaped dangle earrings that feature lots of diamonds in silver settings. Silver was a very popular metal for settings back then, but for the backing part, they would, usually, use 18k gold.

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Victorian jewelry

Starting in 1837 and until 1901, jewelry designs revolved around Victorian jewelry. Even though it doesn’t seem like much time, jewelry designs from this period actually fall into three categories: early Victorian, mid-Victorian, and late Victorian. What is the difference? That’s for us to know and for you to find out below.


Early Victorian jewelry designs (or romantic) are similar to Georgian ones. Floral designs and gold filigree are specific to that era. Jewelry makers in the early Victorian era used a lot of 18k gold for their pieces while silver took a step back. An iconic jewelry example from that time would be the cameo, whether on earrings, necklaces, brooches or even bracelets.

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Mid-Victorian jewelry saw a great influence in the death of Queen Victoria’s husband. As a result, the pieces from this time are rather somber with gemstones like onyx, jet, garnet, and amethyst. Post earrings became popular in this period, as well as hair jewelry. A great example of a mid-Victorian jewelry piece is the wide bangle with nature-inspired motifs.

Late-Victorian jewelry designs saw a transition from handmade jewelry to mass production. The pieces became smaller and more subtle to be able to complement the active lifestyle of women at the time. A great example of a late-Victorian jewelry piece would be the solitaire diamond ring.

Art Nouveau jewelry

The Art Nouveau era of jewelry designs started in 1895 and ended in 1915. The jewelry pieces in this period saw a great change in design. Asymmetrical patterns and fluid lines emerged as powerful trends, as well as insects, lizards, and snakes forms. Enamel jewelry is the definition of the Art Nouveau era, as well as jewelry with moonstone, opal, tourmaline, and amber.

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Edwardian jewelry

During this time (1901-1910), jewelry designs were delicate and light. Jewelry makers started to use diamonds are the center stones and other colored gems as supporting stones. Platinum became a very popular jewelry metal and maintained its popularity in the Art Deco era as well. Brooches and collar necklaces are iconic to the Edwardian jewelry era.

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Art deco jewelry

With 1920, a new style emerged – art deco. It lasted until 1930 and gave birth to amazing jewelry designs. Geometric jewelry, multiple pearl strands, and Egyptian inspired jewelry pieces are iconic for the art deco era. The focus was on platinum and white gold, as well as diamonds and pearls. Art deco meant longer earrings and necklaces, as well as the appearance of cocktail rings.

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Retro jewelry

Starting with 1930 and until 1950, it was the time of what we call today retro jewelry. Very much inspired by the Hollywood glamour, jewelry designs from this period feature chunky rings and bracelets, sparkling earrings and oversized necklaces. The retro jewelry era means nothing but sheer glamour.

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As you can see, most of the jewelry designs in the past have found their way to our present. Today we wear jewelry with designs from all those eras and it feels great to have so many options. Besides those antique and vintage-inspired jewelry pieces, we also have access to new and fresh designs and trends, like mismatched earrings, minimal jewelry, and others. When purchasing jewelry it is important to buy pieces you feel comfortable wearing. You don’t have to get a certain piece just to have your jewelry collection show pieces from all the time periods. Your personal style and feeling great wearing that piece are much more important things to consider.

This being said, if you want to see our unique designer jewelry collections, visit Ana Luisa online jewelry shop. Each of our creations is a limited-edition piece to ensure that you get to wear a truly unique jewelry piece.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.