What does Victorian jewelry really mean?

This period of jewelry directly correlates to the reign of England's Queen Victoria, 1837-1901.  Since it covers such a large span of history, the jewelry is often described in more specific movements such as Aesthetic or Romantic.  This was a time period where England saw great technological advancement and a burgeoning middle class who could afford the purchase jewelry.   A heightened romanticism and religiosity meant that lots of Victorian pieces have figurative messages and visual codes that have to be understood to be fully enjoyed.  The long long time span and variety of jewelry that was produced make this a great jumping off point for new antique jewelry collectors.  The jewelry world often describes anything made during this time period Victorian but in truth only pieces produced in or for the British Empire should be described this way.

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