Antique is the most commonly used word to describe vintage jewelry design. For us At M.J. Reed Jewelers, antique jewelry is described best by jewelry that exhibits vintage motifs, fine old world details, like hand engraving, hand milgraining and intricate filigree work. Antique jewelry must be at least 100 years old to be considered antique, and made before the 1940s.
Victorian-era jewelry features nature-inspired designs that are delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular in daytime jewelry during the early Victorian era, whereas colored Gemstones and Diamonds were worn during the evening. Diamonds and feminine, bright Gemstones such as Sapphire, Peridot, and spinel were used in this design era. Star, crescent, feathers and other nature motifs were common in Victorian designs.
The Edwardian period began upon the death of Queen Victoria, when her son Edward became King. During this period many of the Edwardian-designed pieces incorporated more expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies in elaborate designs. Dangle earrings were very popular during this time and very intricate details were added to designs. Edwardian jewelry was made to look as light and delicate as possible, reflecting the femininity of the Edwardian lady.
Art Nouveau (1895-1915)
Art Nouveau expresses the natural world with romanticized forms. From flowers and birds to mythical beings, an Art Nouveau piece freezes a moment in time. When creating a piece the elements of hand forged filigree was almost a must. Using gemstones in a sculptural way, carving them into various geometric art works using diamonds and other faceted gems as punctuation rather than the main focus.
Art Deco (1920-1930)
Art Deco jewelry motifs are characterized by geometric designs, diverse combinations of color, and abstract patterns. In 1922, the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt inspired another Egyptian revival. Art Deco era jewelry is recognized for its use of bold symmetry and geometric patterning.
Contemporary jewelry moves away from the excessive ornament details associated with estate pieces and focuses instead on framing the natural beauty of gems with clean design and modern shapes. The American Abstract expressionists dominated the art world in the 1940s and 50s. Artists saw themselves as pioneers, liberating the world from the bonds of tradition.
Like the word, this style of design focuses on earthy beauty. With curls, whimsical petals, vines, and feminine details, organic style jewelry pulls inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Interpreting the natural world with metal and Gems.
M. J. Reed Jewelers utilizes a range of textures, finishes, as well as black and rough cut gemstones to achieve a very rustic, down-to-earth aesthetic. With precious materials appearing closer to their natural state, rustic wedding jewelry defies traditional notions about ‘perfection’ yet maintains a chic appeal all the same.