The Victorian Period was named for Queen Victoria, who inherited the throne of England in 1837 when she was only 18 years old. Victoria was young, beautiful, and loved immensely by her subjects. Her tastes in fashion and jewelry were highly regarded and inspired the Victorian jewelry trends of the time. Queen Victoria was married in 1840, and she wore a snake motif ring (a symbol of eternal love at the time) set with her birthstone, a brilliant green emerald, as her engagement ring. In the Victorian era, it was very common for birthstones to be used instead of diamonds for engagement rings. After Victoria’s beloved Albert passed away in 1861, the queen went into the customary mourning period for 18 months, which inspired the gold lockets and black jet pieces commonly seen in this period. Nearing the end of the Victorian period, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa helped popularize diamonds again. Additionally, this historical period is where the very first diamond solitaire engagement rings originated! At the turn of the century, society was at the height of the industrial revolution and the jewelry of the time period reflected the dawning of a new modern age. Queen Victoria passed away in 1901 after a 64 year reign, marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new one when her son Edward ascended the throne, ushering in the Edwardian era.
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