A visit to an antique shop is sure to provide you with a glimpse into the past. Whether you’re sifting through original art pieces or ancient artifacts, you’ll leave knowing a bit more than you did before. A distinctive and colorful history is behind each piece of vintage jewelry. While it’s easy to assume all vintage jewelry can be summed up as “old-fashioned,” there is more to the story of each item. In fact, a number of memorable periods produced beautiful, timeless pieces that are still available for purchase today.
Historical Periods Defined by Exquisite Jewelry
During the Victorian era in the 1840s, a new revolution began in class distinction. Mass production became an accepted form of business, making it easier for common people to get their hands on fabulous jewelry. After Queen Victoria was given a snake-shaped engagement ring, other replicates began to show up in stores and on the hands of everyday women. The styles were gaudy and large, leaving subtlety to the birds. Today, you can still find such pieces in antique shops around the world.
The Edwardian era, from 1901 to 1910, was a time of freedom and liberation. Both men and women were known to have jobs outside of the home, encouraging them to piece together embellished and intricate outfits for work. King Edward was known for introducing the Age of Opulence, which meant jewelry was now being created using more expensive materials like platinum. The most common pieces found from this period are platinum-based and usually feature green and purple gemstones, as these were the colors most beloved by the royal couple.
America in the mid-1930s was war-torn, leaving the jewelry industry with little platinum or white gold to work with because the materials were being used for weapons. Instead, jewelers started to use yellow gold and sterling silver. Vintage jewelry from this period is usually large and chunky with one or two main stones. The goal was to create jewelry that looked more expensive than it was, so you’re likely to find pieces that appear luxurious but come at a fraction of the expected price.
If you’re an avid antique collector in Martinsburg, WV, it’s time you visited Queen Street Gallery. For the last 20 years, they have earned a strong reputation for offering the most impressive range of styles and honest prices. Whether you’re looking for a piece of vintage jewelry to add to your collection or are in the market for custom framing, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the shop. For more information about their products, visit them online or call (304) 263-9495.