Throughout history there have been some pretty amazing and distinct eras in jewelry and fashion. Each era has its own unique design styles and traits setting it apart from any other period in history. One of the most innovative & luxurious eras in jewelry history was the Edwardian jewelry era which took place from 1901 - 1915.
The Edwardian Era got its name from the English King, Edward the 7th. Edwardian jewelry is the last jewelry period to be defined by a British monarch, so it holds a lot of history compared to some of the other eras in fashion. This was a time when society was at the height of elegance and sophistication. A piece of Edwardian jewelry was the perfect complement to the high class Edwardian woman's ensemble. Women were always "dressed to the nines", so jewelers always made sure their pieces could go along with these elegant outfits.
One of the most recognizable design elements of Edwardian jewelry is the intricate and extensive use of filigree & milgrain work. The filigree work created a lacy, floral inspired look. Milgrain work, which is still used today, gives the edges of a jewelry a delicate beaded or "coin edge" effect. These time intensive and detail oriented designs show the incredible craftsmanship that went into creating each of these pieces. Another fun fact is that the Edwardian Era was actually the first time in history that platinum was regularly used when creating jewelry! Platinum is lightweight yet strong and is still to this day a highly recommended metal choice for jewelry setting.
The Edwardian Era was a time when women were expected to appear put together and seem "lady-like" at all times. Edwardian jewelry is known for representing femininity while incorporating a lot of the color white. Think diamonds, pearls and white metals like platinum and white gold. Diamonds often had an Old Mine or European cut and sapphires were a popular choice for a pop of color.
This era was also a time when diamond engagement rings began to gain popularity in society. Similar to today's styles, Edwardian rings usually featured a large center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds or sapphires on the side or as a halo. They also featured a lot of beautiful and intricate filigree detailing. High class women loved a particular style of engagement ring that stretched vertically down their finger. The Edwardian Era was also a turning point in clothing trends. Necklines were lower which made necklaces and dangle earrings more important in fashion. Pins continued to be a very popular jewelry accessory,adding even more glamour to the fabulous dresses of the era.