Victorian Earring Styles

When we speak of the Victorian era we are talking of a period spanning over 60 years. Queen Victoria reigned as the head of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth from 1837 to 1901, and she was the leading trendsetter for women's fashion of her time. The Victorian earring styles naturally underwent many changes during such a long reign.

Young Queen Victoria Portrait

Victoria became queen of the United Kingdom less than one month after her 18th birthday. Being so young, she became a symbol of fresh new romanticism in Royalty, and ladies from the gentry to the commoner alike looked to their Queen for style inspiration.

The Romantic Period (1837–1861) The early years of Victoria's reign, until Prince Albert's death in 1861, were considered the Romantic Period. Young and eligible, Victoria was presented with a procession of potential suitors and the public hung on tenterhooks for news of a Royal marriage, which came when Victoria finally married Albert in February 1840. Jewellery of the Romantic Period was sentimental and symbolic. Tiny charms adorned chains and brooches, and lovers' hair was romantically woven into rings and worn in lockets. The industrial revolution saw new techniques that led to jewellery being mass produced with machinery, with gold plating popular amongst the less wealthy, and rare 18 karat gold being the metal of choice for those who could afford it.

Symbolism popular in Victorian Romantic Period jewellery includes:

Hands, eyes, faces and hearts...