Acrostic jewelry will feature multiple gems, where the first letter of each gem will spell out an endearing word. For example: Lapis, Opal, Vulcanite & Emerald = LOVE.
Hair jewelry was popular during the Early Victorian Era. Human hair would be woven into extremely intricate designs and set behind glass, as a memorial. Other times, bracelets and necklaces would be composed entirely of woven hair.
Circa 1880, the price of silver was lowered when silver was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada. This led to a renewed popularity in silver jewelry where large, heavy, silver lockets and necklaces were produced. Lockets and brooches were often engraved by hand, or machine stamped, with monograms, dates, mottos, or other decorative motifs.
Doublé d'or, or rolled gold plating, allowed for a thin layer of gold, 10 karat or finer, to be mechanically fused to a sheet of base metal. The karat gold layer makes up less than 1/20th of the total weight. These bonded sheets were then cut or stamped into jewelry items.
• Beaded Granulation • Die Stamping
Die stamping and gold plating were developed during this time, allowing for inexpensive jewelry to be mass produced and sold to the rising middle class. These mass produced pieces were often engraved by hand and then finished with a taille d'epargné enamel technique.
TYPES OF JEWELRY WORN • Mourning Jewelry • Wide Bracelets • Heavy Necklaces • Large Pendants • Large Brooches • Memorial Jewelry • Rectangular Bar Pins • Rings • Earrings • Lockets • Tiaras • Tortoiseshell Combs • Micro Mosaic Jewelry • Hair Jewelry
Overall, jewelry became larger and more opulent during The Grand Period. Bracelets became wider, necklaces heavier, pendants larger, etc.
Bracelets with buckle designs were very popular during The Grand Period, as were wide, mesh bracelets and wide bangles.
Micro mosaics were being assembled throughout Italy in Venice, Rome and Florence.
Hair jewelry remained en vogue during The Grand Period.
Gems were often hammer set (bezel set) or pavé set in Grand Period jewelry, using minute prongs that are nearly invisible.
Old mine cuts and rose cuts continued to be used, as well as cabochon cut gems.
Circa 1870s, opals became popular when a large opal source was discovered in the British territory of Australia. Prior to then, opals were thought to have brought bad luck. This is likely due to a story in the novel "Anne of Geierstein", written in 1829 by Sir Walter Scott, that contains a story of an opal hair ornament that brought bad luck to its owner.