The Regency era was a sub-era of the Georgian era, jewelry from the early 1800s is typically referred to as Georgian jewelry and not defined as "Regency Era" Jewelry. The fashion at the time was minimal, unpretentious and neoclassical. To find out more about neoclassical and Regency Era fashion, check out the fashion blog here.
Necklaces and Crosses in the Regency Era
It is important to note that during the regency era, being flashy with your fashion was considered vulgar. This was reflected in the jewelry worn during the regency era. Many women owned parures, which was a matching set of jewelry items, including a necklace, ring, a brooch, bracelets and earrings. Due to the minimal style of the time, the wearer would seldom wear all items of a parure at once. Typically, she would wear one piece, perhaps two if it was a formal and elegant event.
Crosses and Cameos
Due to the "less is more" approach in fashion at the time, jewelry pieces that had large but singular pendants with meaning such as across or a cameo were favored. In fact, Jane Austen had a topaz cross that she would wear frequently.
Riviere is arguably the most popular style of necklace in the Regency Era. Riviere necklaces are distinguished by stones that gradually get larger as they get to the center stone, typically the largest stone of the piece.
Jewels and Stones in the Regency Era.
Foil back jewels
In the early 1800s we begin to see the growing popularity of foil back jewels. Jewelers would place foil on the back of jewels sometimes to replicate other jewels or to help a stone better catch the light. It was a time before electricity, and rooms at night were lit only by candlelight. This created a dim atmosphere indoors. The light would go through the stone, hit the foil back and reflect back brighter and stand out. On occasion, Jewelers would use different color foils to create a stone with a unique color. This was more affordable than buying different colored gemstones, and/or created stone colors not found naturally.
Paste stones were made from lead glass and cut to mimic real stones. The paste jewels also offered an affordable option that mimicked real gemstones.
Haus of Bennet offers historic replica jewelry, along with bookish themed jewelry. To find out more, click here.