A Delicate Fashion
Brooches decorating both necklines and waistlines were also very stylish. They varied from small stone brooches set in gold to pearl drops and flowers. Popular stones of the time were diamonds, emeralds, garnets, rubies, amethyst, yellow topaz, onyx, and turqoise.
Compared with today, precious stones had a rougher look as they were not faceted to such perfection due to lack of machinery. The rose cut and the table cut were the most common and while they let the stone keep most of it’s carat weight they both created sparkle because the light was reflecting off the facet and not because the light was passing through the stone. So jewelers set the stones with colored, silver, or gold foil behind them to enhance their color and bounce back a little more light.
Gold was the metal of choice and the higher karat was preferred. However gold was in short supply due to the war and pieces were often thin, layered, or made with a filigree design. Pinchbeck, a metal alloy of brass that closely resembles gold in color was used for costume jewelry. Pewter, silver, and bronze were also used.
Simplicity was the key, anything ostentatious was thought to show a lack of taste and refinement. It suited the style of clothing very well. So it’s surprising to come across portraits with such bold jewelry as the ones seen above. My conjecture is that they were inspired by exotic styles and that they must have had bold personalities.
The lady on the left, the Hon. Mrs. Seymour Bathurst ,was the wife a colonel stationed in Malta for a period of time. Lady Julia Peel, the right portrait, was the wife of the future British Prime Minister Robert Peel during the Victorian era. Her father was a Colonel in an Indian regiment and her bracelets have an Indian look to them.
If you would like the view Georgian jewelry pieces The Three Graces has a wonderful array of antique pieces.
"About Georgian Jewelry." The Three Graces. Web. http://www.georgianjewelry.com/reference/about_georgian_antique_jewelry
"Georgian Jewelry." Georgian Index -- Alphabetical Site Map. Web. http://www.georgianindex.net/jewelry/gjewelry.html
"Georgian Jewelry Influenced by Napoleon Bonaparte and Georgian Architecture." Antique Jewelry Investor. Web. http://www.antique-jewelry-investor.com/georgian-jewelry.html
"Rose Cut Diamond - LoveToKnow Engagement Rings." Engagement Rings. Love to Know. Web. http://engagementrings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Rose_Cut_Diamond