Antique and vintage necklaces come in an array of styles, from the elegant rivière, and the classic pearl necklace, to versatile vintage beads and beautiful antique sautoirs, we have a range of antique necklaces for all tastes.
Throughout the periods, necklaces have remained one of the most popular of jewellery items. Among our collection we have extremely rare Ancient Roman necklaces, intricate Georgian gold chains, and exquisite Victorian necklaces set in silver and gold. The twentieth century saw some extremely fine necklaces set into platinum, showing off gemstones to their best effect.
Antique necklaces can be set with a variety of gemstones from spectacular bright diamonds, to attractive sapphires, aquamarines, coral, amethyst and pearls, but to name a few. Some examples will show a multitude of colourful gemstones beautifully gracing the neck.
Due to being handmade, each antique necklace will be slightly different. A popular aspect of antique necklaces is the elegance in their articulation. Craftsmen made use of articulated links to encourage movement. This enables the gemstones to react with light in a very attractive way, and can make quite a distinctive piece.
The classic natural pearl necklace is perhaps the most timeless and versatile of all antique necklaces. Antique natural pearl necklaces are today extremely rare. We have a selection across different price ranges, all of which are original to the period.
At Berganza we have a range of unique antique necklaces of many styles and set with many different gemstones.
Visit our Hatton Garden store to explore more dazzling antique necklaces designs.
Adorning the neck with flowers, organic materials, beads, gemstones and precious metals has a long history stretching into pre-historic civilizations. Carvings and paintings from as early as 3000 BC, have been unearthed and show gods, goddess’ and royalty and the elite bejewelled with striking neckpieces. Clearly a sign of wealth and prominence in all societies, necklaces have been used as status symbols, ceremonial tokens, protective emblems, symbols of faith, celebratory items and gifts. Ancient Egyptians, wore decorative chokers, collars and neckpieces with bright gemstones and faience details. The ancient Romans favoured colour and added beads of glass alongside twisted gold and precious gemstones. Styles remained quite primitive until technology advanced in the 17th century allowing an array of exotic gemstones to be faceted.
By the Georgian period these advancements contributed to quite elaborate designs featuring precious gemstones, intricate stylised links and fine enamel decoration. The populace became fascinated with the allure of the diamond, thus birthing the rivière diamond necklace. Reserved for the elite in society diamond set necklaces continued to evolve into more decadent designs. The sophisticated construction of necklaces continued well into the Victorian era when memento mori jewellery became fashionable. Jewellers of this period created necklaces donning Whitby jet and dark coloured gemstones with intricate skeletal motifs.
Decorative necklaces became one element in a set of jewellery known as parures, which often included a matching set of earrings, bracelet and necklace all including the same motifs, settings and gemstones. Many of these parures sets were adorning society’s most fashionable ladies in the 18th and 19th centuries. Creative jewellers also designed alterable neckpieces which could be worn a number of ways, converting into tiaras, brooches, bracelets and pendants. New geometric gemstone shapes in the Art Deco period made way for exciting new settings. Geometrically styled chokers, spray necklaces and mixed gemstone neckpieces were embraced and continue to inspire jewellers today.