Estate and Vintage Jewelry: Jewelry Design Eras Throughout History shares some information on the most common design periods for jewelry. When buying vintage jewelry, it may be interesting to know the story behind the piece. Knowing a little bit about jewelry design periods can help you find the perfect vintage piece for your collection.

The Georgian era (1714-1837) encompasses the reigns of Kings George I, George II, George III, and George IV in the United Kingdom. Popular materials are high karat metals and the use of foil backed diamonds, topaz and garnet stones.

The Victorian era (1837-1901) jewelry pieces are easier to find with rose gold, garnet, amethyst, turquoise, pearls and diamonds as popular materials.

The Edwardian period (1895-1915) also known as the Belle Époque era falls between the more delicate motifs of the Victorian Era and the clean lines of the upcoming Art Nouveau era.

Art Nouveau (1890-1910) movement was inspired by Siegfried Bing’s gallery Maison de l’Art Nouveau and featured a mix of the elaborate styles of the past and the modern styles to come.

Art Deco era (1920-1940) jewelry is modern and streamlined. Emerging after WWI, it often features diamonds with emeralds, rubies and sapphires, along with jade, onyx in 18K white gold and platinum enamel settings.

Retro era (1935-1950) jewelry often favored flower shapes and colorful stones. Rose gold became popular due to metal scarcity at the start of WWII.

Modern jewelry (1950-contemporary) or today’s popular jewelry designs, are eclectic and luxurious. Jewelry features unique cuts, shapes, and a popularity with designer names like Van Clef & Arpels, Tiffany, and Cartier.

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