If there is one passion that the 21st century man shares with his Stone Age predecessors it is his love for jewelry. This can be seen from the antique jewelry that is today displayed in museums across the world. The jewelry shows that each culture and civilization created its unique and distinct brand of jewelry.
The earliest known form of jewelry would probably be a string of beads or shells that were worn by tribals living in forests. Most of their designs were simple and drawn from nature. The motifs were generally flowers, leaves, stars etc. Later on as metals and semiprecious stones were discovered the designs became more complex.
The jewelry used in the late 17th century to the early 18th century, also known as the Georgian era, was dominated by floral patterns. Long earrings in the shape of chandelier and pendeloque were common. Diamonds was extensively used during this era.
Most of the jewelry in the Victorian era (1837-1901) was feminine and romantic in nature. It was crafted in the form of birds, hearts and flowers and set with semiprecious stones, a style that gave it an understated elegance. The stones commonly used in this era were amethyst, turquoise and garnets.
The early 19th century saw a complete revolution in the designs and the materials used for making jewelry. Artistes experimented with ceramic and enamel. The designs were intricate and complex. The necklaces and earrings designed were most feminine. Pearl was also used in various settings. This era was known as the Art Nouveau era.
The Edwardian era was marked by platinum jewelry. Most of the jewelry was designed to complement the dresses the ladies wore during those days. The lace strewn dresses were accentuated by platinum and diamond sets. Other than necklaces stone studded bar pins and brooches were also in vogue.
Geometric designs came into fashion in the Art Deco era. Most of the pieces were richly adorned with semiprecious stones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The Retro era was singularly governed by Hollywood celebrities. The era saw the use of flashy and bold jewelry. Bracelets, rings and stone studded watches were the new entrants in this era.