In this period makers of jewellery across the world would exchange their ideas and improve on them.
As the 1900s dawned the Arts and Craft movement gave way to designers and craftsmen seeking new inspiration and looked back to earlier times and outwards to more exotic cultures Inspired by medieval cultures, semi precious stones adored metal jewellery and with the designs of flowers and botany inspired by nature.Peacocks, butterflies, entwining leaves and foliage, dragonflies and of course the “femme fatale” images were liberally used in the designs of this period.Rationing and the war effort made jewellery more popular than ever. Patriotic jewellery made of materials that was low cost were used.Bakelite, celluloid, wood, shell, military badges, buttons and coins It was during the thirties that jewellery designers started to use enamel again in inexpensive silver and costume pieces.Many different materials were used to make jewellery including human hair, tortoiseshell, agates, glass, horn, bone, ivory, amber, bog oak, coral, Berlin iron and jet Scottish pieces made of silver, granite and agate, became popular because Queen Victoria brought the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.
On Prince Albert’s death mourning jewellery of a black colour, usually of jet became a staple part of every woman’s jewellery box.The romantic era came in when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert.Mizpah or sentimental brooches with their symbolic messages became fashionable.Victorian Era (1837 – 1901)With Queen Victoria reign came the industrial revolution and new cheaper designs in jewellery.Paste – glass mixed with white lead oxide and potash. Nowadays old clear rhinestones tend to also get called paste, but this is incorrect.Jet is a black fossilized wood and one of the richest sources was in the UK at Whitby.