High Victorian

After the discovery of the mines of South Africa in 1867 diamonds became the pre-eminent element in formal jewellery, worn in larger quantities and by more women than ever before. The stones are massed together into stars, crescents, bowknots, feathers, Greek key, floral and leaf patterns for head and bodice ornaments, while single stones, large and small are linked together into rivières for the neck.

In Rome the return to the designs of the Etruscans, Greek and Romans reviving the techniques of filigree and granulation, pioneered by Castellani, was so successful that this became an international fashion. The desire for novelty drove jewellers to create jewels in an ever increasing range of themes expressing cultural and sporting interests.

Published on: 5 September 2021