How did jewelry change in the Victorian era?
The Victorian era refers to the reign of Queen Victoria of England, which lasted from 1837 to 1901. Significant legal and social reforms were enacted during this period, closing the gap between the aristocracy and the middle class.
In the late 1800s, gold and gemstone deposits were discovered throughout Africa and the Americas. When mines were opened in these locations, gold and precious gems became much less expensive. As a result, fine jewelry, which was previous owned only by the rich, became accessible to the middle and lower classes.
The Victorian era is divided into the Romantic Period, from 1837-1861, the Grand Period, from 1861 to 1880, and the Late Victorian, or Aesthetic, Period, from 1880 to 1901. These different periods reflected changes in the life of the queen and the influence that those changes had on the art and style of the era.