From Georgian to Art Deco: A Journey Through 200 Years of Antique Jewelry

by Sasha t on Feb 21, 2023

From Georgian to Art Deco: A Journey Through 200 Years of Antique Jewelry - Jack Weir & Sons

Jewelry never goes out of style; its timeless appeal spans century after century and is influenced by stylistic trends that ebb and flow. Let’s take a walk through a timeline of antique jewelry from the Georgian period to Art Deco, with the inclusion of some special Jack Weir & Son pieces. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a little piece of history that you can keep for yourself or gift to a loved one!

The Georgian Period (1714-1830) birthed a whirlwind of blossoming design aesthetics, including Rococo, Romanticism, and Neoclassicism. This exciting era of change resulted in Georgian stylistic influence reaching far and wide, from America to various places in Europe. 

Picture of George I of Great Britain

     King George I of Great Britain 

Before the mid-1700s, jewelry was not widely available and was reserved for aristocrats or high-society individuals. The beginning of the period was categorized by ornate, flamboyant jewelry that was manufactured into complex designs. Large stones and diamonds were the most sought after stylistically. 

FUN FACT: Glass paste was created and sometimes utilized as a substitute for real stones in a response to the high demand. 

Here’s a Georgian piece from our collection:

Georgian rose cut pearl diamond dinner ring on a rose gold setting
Late Georgian rose cut diamond cluster ring on a yellow gold setting
Blue Georgian diamond enamel ring on a silver setting


The Victorian Period (1837-1900) was a time of immense industrialization that created new opportunities surrounding mass production. It began and ended with the reign of Queen Victoria and was most well-known for immense contributions to style, fashion, decoration, and art trends. 

Women in the late Victorian era showing their fashion style

Late Victorian women's fashion

Because of the Industrial Revolution, various craft items (including jewelry) did not need to be handmade anymore. However, more sentimental pieces are often part of the Romantic period, a sub-era reflecting love for Queen Victoria and her husband. Brooches were popular during both the Victorian and Romantic Periods. Popular gemstones include ruby, emerald, diamond, amber, and amethyst. Popular cuts include rose cut (rounded shape), cabochon (rounded top and flat bottom). 

Victorian old mine cut diamond navette ring on a rose gold setting
2.92 carat Victorian diamond clister ring on a platinum setting
Victorian diamond silver rose gold crescent moon brooch on a gold setting
The Edwardian Period (1900-1910) began when King Edward VII took the throne. Reeling from the mechanization of the Victorian period, this era is categorized by a rejection of overly ornate design choices. The Arts and Crafts Movement, which was pioneered by a desire to return to individual craftsmanship, influenced jewelry creation as well as art and design. Coupled with the parallel Art Nouveau movement, which was composed of fine lines and “whiplash” curves, Edwardian jewelry was elegant and whimsical. 


Picture of Art Nouveau whiplash curves

Art Nouveau “whiplash curves”

Here is an example from our collection:

Edwardian Sapphire diamond ring on a rose gold setting
1.40 carat Edwardian diamond ruby target ring on a gold setting
1.37 carats Edwardian round brilliant cut diamond tourbillion swirl ring on a platinum setting

Pastel colors were fashionable at the time, and this new style of jewelry fit the aesthetic perfectly. Changing necklaces birthed a need for necklaces featuring a gemstone, known as lavalliere. 

Edwardian woman with many pendant necklaces and a crown on her head
Edwardian woman with pendant necklace

Pendants were usually circular and coupled with motifs that featured different shapes and garlands. Platinum featuring diamonds and pearls were extremely popular. 

Old Cut European diamonds predate the round cut diamond, which is one of the most popular diamond cuts today. Most were hand-crafted at the time, as this was before the integration of machinery and industrialization. This style was developed in Europe due to jewelers' desire to maximize carat weight. Because they were cut by hand, no two diamonds are exactly the same. This sets them apart from modern day diamonds, which are uniformly cut and produced. Here are some in our collection:

1.56 carats English GIA old european cut diamond ring on a 18k gold setting
1.43 carats art deco old european cut diamond sapphire ring on a platinum setting
1.35 carat art deco old european cut diamond ring on a platinum setting
FUN FACT: This was the last artistic period named after a British monarch!


The Art Deco Period is renowned for its jazzy, spirited fashion and lifestyle trends after periods of industrialization and war. Most people think of the Great Gatsby aesthetic: flapper girls, extravagant parties, gold and black, pearls galore. It was a time of carefree celebration, and the freedom resulted in unique jewelry that is still replicated in design choices today. 

In this period, bracelets became more popular as well as stacking/layering. They would often layer them like sleeves and were incorporated into popular fashion. Here is an example of an Art Deco bracelet you can call your own:

Art Deco french diamond bracelet on a platinum setting
Green, blue and purple art deco opal diamond ring on a platinum setting
2.27 carats art deco old european cut diamond bezel set ring on a platinum setting
Unlike the clean, swirling lines of Art Nouveau, there was an embracement of modernism and change that contributed to geometric motifs we still see in design today. Long, tassel-like necklaces fell from necks and botanical earrings enhanced new, shorter hairstyles. Brightly colored gemstone rings were usually accompanied by tiny diamonds or configured into complex designs. The period was original, bold, and timeless. Onyx was a very popular, soft stone. Because of this, jewelry featuring this stone is still in pristine condition today. 

FUN FACT: Calibre cut stones are faceted gemstones that line up perfectly! They can be configured into different shapes depending on the desired look. Emeralds were commonly used for this technique. 

It is difficult to find authentic, original jewelry pieces like the ones featured in this blog. This is why we recommend working with a trustworthy dealer who can help you find the piece you’ve been dreaming of. Here at Jack Weir & Sons we’ve spent the last 40 years traveling to Europe and all over the world, curating extraordinary estate jewels. JWS is where the old world meets the new world. Celebrate life, preserve history, discover your own priceless heirloom jewel. We offer in-person and Virtual Appointments and are happy to answer any questions about your favorite jewel. 

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- 7 Day 100% Return Policy 
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