|Etruscan Style Wedding Band|
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Image used with permission.
The Grand Victorian Era, also known as the Mid Victorian period, was marked by greater wealth among the upper and middle classes. This allowed for more opportunities for men and women to travel abroad, which in turn led to more exotic influences in design.
While on these “Grand Tours,” as they were called, the wealthy brought all manner of trinkets home from places like
As the years marched on, the styles and techniques of these exotic treasures,
many of which were various jewels, were then emulated by leading jewelers of
Handcrafted by artisans in
London, Etruscan revival designs featured
ornate engravings, subtle geometric lines, and alluring gemstone combinations
including pearls, coral, shell, and turquoise. Intricate filigree and
scrollwork settings began to emerge, heavily influenced by travel to Greece, and the newly discovered tombs of Egypt inspired
gemstone-studded wedding bands fashioned into curling serpents.
Grand Victorian Era engagement rings are best characterized by their silver, rose gold, or 18k gold settings designed with more sophistication and less ornamentation than in the 1840s and 1850s. The most popular style of wedding bands were the three-stone or five-stone half hoop rings made of 18k yellow gold.
These elegant rings featured blue sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and/or diamonds. Popular combinations included three-stone rings with a colored center stone flanked on either side by diamonds, a five-stone ring featuring one colored stone (typically ruby or blue sapphire) alternating with old-cut diamonds, further accented by tiny diamond points.
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