Edwardian jewellery was produced in one of the most iconic design era’s of all time, being strongly inspired by femininity, fluidity and daintiness. In the pre-war era of 1901-1915, before the innovative Art Deco jewellery era, designs featured pretty and flowing details. Towards the end of the Victorian era, jewellery became more accessible to the middle classes, allowing more people to adorn themselves with luxurious jewels.
During his short reign, King Edward VII had a strong love of jewellery which helped to influence pieces at the time, particularly elaborate and intricate jewellery. Common motifs include ribbons, lace, bows, all decorated by the finest gemstones. Although diamonds were most commonly used in Edwardian jewellery, it was in fact pearl jewellery that was the ultimate status symbol. These held a far greater value at this time.
Platinum came into circulation in 1901, and was increasingly utilised in Edwardian jewellery. Cartier, the main supplier of Royal jewellery, were at the cutting edge of Edwardian jewellery design, introducing the almost exclusive use of platinum in their fine jewellery. The increased use of platinum enabled the more intricate and ethereal touch that was fashionable in this era.
Edwardian jewellery was exquisitely made by expert craftsman entirely by hand, hence why they continue to circulate in the immaculate condition that they are today.
Edwardian jewellery was strongly inspired by King Edward VII himself, as a lover of jewellery. He liked to collect and wear elaborate jewellery and worked very closely with the famous jewellery house Cartier.
The Edwardian era itself became synonymous with romance. It was seen as the final care free golden age before World War I broke out, which was heavily reflected in jewellery from that time in its free-flowing lines and delicate motifs.
As with any piece of antique or vintage jewellery, Edwardian jewellery should be cleaned with care. Create a mixture of warm water and liquid soap, take a soft bristled toothbrush and use the solution to gently clean the jewellery. Once the dirt and build up has been removed from the jewellery, making sure to focus on open settings, rinse the jewellery well and pat dry with a soft cloth.
If your Edwardian jewellery features softer gemstones or pearls, it is best to have it exclusively cleaned by a professional. For any antique jewellery, we would recommend that it is professionally cleaned annually, a complimentary service that Berganza offers with every purchase.
Edwardian jewellery was made in a time before mass production, so each piece of jewellery was carefully handmade by skilled craftsmen. The intricate and decorative designs of the Edwardian era required an exceptional level of skill, and this has helped these pieces to stay in immaculate condition throughout the years.
When you purchase a piece of Edwardian jewellery, it should be from a reputable antique or vintage jeweller, who should provide a valuation for insurance including the details of the materials used to create the piece, and when it was made.