Perfect Edwardian Pearls

Dec 20, 2013

The Edwardian era is one of my favorite epochs in the history of jewelry design. Sandwiched between the time of Queen Victoria of England and the Roaring 20s, the Edwardian era (roughly 1901 through 1920) was characterized by social upheaval, World War I (also referred to as The Great War), and some of the greatest works of literature ever written by authors like H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton, Beatrix Potter, and J.M. Barrie.

But the jewelry -- the jewelry is what makes this period so interesting to me. Women's Edwardian fashion was opulent, if somewhat uncomfortable, and incredibly feminine with its use of lace, feathers, and silk. Jewelry was made with delicate filigrees using both precious metals like gold and silver as well as metals like brass. Edwardian jewelry was small but intricate, and the gemstones of choice for Edwardian jewelers were diamonds and pearls.

Pearls used in Edwardian jewelery were used to symbolize purity, wisdom, honesty, and integrity, and Edwardian jewelers and fashion designers loved them for their understated elegance and their natural beauty. Pearls worked perfectly with the popular motifs of the day that included styles adapted from the ancient Greek, Roman, and French Baroque periods of history. Pearl jewelry could be seen throughout the courts of King Edward of England, and on the wives and daughters of the newly wealthy railroad and automobile barons in the United States.

If you're a fan of steampunk jewelry, you know that pearls are often the perfect touch to soften the hard "industrial" look of watch gears and other components. Many of the more romantic aspects of steampunk jewelry can indeed be traced back to the styles of the Edwardian era, when romance and elegance were closely associated with dramatic industrial development. This was the era that brought us the development of electricity and the automobile, yet still wanted to retain a sense of softness and decorum.

The editors of Beadwork and Jewelry Stringing magazines have put their heads together and created 12 brand-new jewelry making projects, all inspired by the romance of the Edwardian era. Elegant Edwardian Jewelry: 12 Designs Inspired by England's Gilded Age will show you how to create understated, romantic jewelry making projects using pearls, crystals, and modern filigree components that look like they just walked off the set of a certain hit British television show. Best of all, the digital eBook format means that you can download your copy and be heading to your bead stash in just minutes to get started on your Edwardian jewelry creations!

What's your favorite element of Edwardian jewelry design? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,


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Elegant Edwardian Jewelry: 12 Designs Inspired by England's Gilded Age

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Pattern Compilations

Discover 12 timeless jewelry designs inspired by the hit drama series Downton Abbey. Sophistication meets style with beautiful bracelet, necklace, and earring projects.


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