Thursday, January 24, 2013

The History of All-White Wedding Jewelry (Part 2)

Pearl & Diamond Engagement Ring
Copyright 2012 EraGem Estate Jewelry

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

As the populace interpreted these royal mourning customs, the color literally began draining out of the jewelry industry. Colored gemstones slowly fell out of favor, even for bridal jewelry. During this dark season, the rise of diamonds and pearls in bridal jewelry was evident. Brides, primarily restricted to diamonds, pearls, black glass, rubies, emeralds, crystals, and jet, chose the lightest of these choices—pearls and diamonds.

Though opals were popular for engagement rings during the Early Victorian period, after Albert’s death they fell out of favor for a wedding celebration. An article in an 1875 copy of the Young Ladies’ Journal advises, “opals, on account of their signification being ‘sorrow’ are not fashionable for engagement rings.” {Flower, 139}

This same article confirms the popularity of pearls and diamonds: “Any pretty fancy ring may be worn as an engagement-ring. Pearls or diamonds are considered the proper gems. The engagement-ring is not considered after marriage to answer the purpose of a keeper. A keeper should be a chased* gold ring without stones in it. It is worn on the same finger as the wedding-ring.” {Flower, 139}

Though the Queen’s prolonged mourning most certainly hindered the gaiety of the early Victorian period, the growing trend toward all-white wedding jewelry was not necessarily a downer trend. In fact, the elegance, beauty, and simplicity of the designs of the Grand Era call to many women, and these beautiful antique styles remain a solid choice for today’s bride.

*Chased gold is gold that has been embossed.
1. Flower, Margaret. Victorian Jewellery. London: Cassell & Co., 1951.
2. “History of Wedding Rings.” Everything Wedding Rings, accessed January 12, 2013.
3. Prima, Michelle. The Victorian Wedding.” Cape May County Herald Online. February 2, 2010. Accessed January 13, 2013.
4. Stajda, Sharon. “Wedding Traditions & Customs—Historical Wedding Fashions—1850-1950.” Squidoo. Last modified January 24, 2013. Accessed January 12, 2013.
5. “The History of Jewelry.” Brilliance Jewelry, accessed January 12, 2013.
6. “The Victorian Wedding Ring and Victorian Engagement Rings.” Everything Wedding Rings, accessed January 12, 2013.


  1. Pearl jewelry has always been in the trend as it is a beautiful and refined way to add a classic and royal touch to the personality of its wearer. Pearls rings can be a nice gift to give on 30th wedding anniversaries as 30th wedding anniversary is known as pearl anniversary. I also received a beautiful pearl ring with platinum base from my husband which he purchased from Bespoke Diamonds. The ring is undoubtedly so stylish and sophisticated and I am wearing this ring since last two years.


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