Common Time Periods of Antique Jewellery

In order to appreciate historic jewellery pieces, understand first where their design influences came from.

If you’ve developed a passion for collecting antique or vintage jewellery, then you’re probably somewhat familiar with the time periods from which they were made in. This isn’t your typical custom jewellery from Toronto. Rather, these are historically preserved items that contain great value.

So whether you come up on some authentic vintage engagement rings, or the more rare antique jewellery pieces, take a step back into history to see the artistic approach. This feature will break down some of the more common periods and styles as each one of them contributed in the growth of jewellery design.

Georgian Period (1700s to early-1800s)

The Georgian Period was named after the four English Kings, George I to George IV. During this time period, these four kings reigned over the British Empire and greatly influenced the customs of the colonies – which gave way to elaborate decorative jewellery styles. Rococo was the prevailing style during the early-1700s. These patterns gave way to the Gothic Revival, which took inspiration from medieval structures. Following this was the Classical Western artistic canon, in which designs emphasized purity in them – clean, fluid lines.

Edwardian (early-1900s)

This time period marked a mix of multiple styles. Everything from the Victorian era, to the Art Nouveau age, these designs were created in delicate filigree of diamonds and platinum. Much of these pieces looked to be “light and airy”, which the upper class favored at that time.

Art Deco (early-1900s)

From around 1920 to 1939, the Art Deco movement came. The distinctive styles of their jewellery were borrowed heavily from other Modernism movements at that time. The Art Deco period was an American phenomenon and profoundly affected the commercial fields of graphic arts and jewellery design. Art deco rings and other jewellery pieces can be easily recognized by the use of clean lines, stepped edges, and arched corners. Their designs tend to come off as relatively “bold”.


If you come across an antique ring or other piece, be sure that you take it to a jeweller that has experience in the field. Jewellers like Cynthia Findlay, of Cynthia Findlay Antiques, will dissect each part of your jewellery piece and consult with you the value and label of it. Not everybody is knowledgeable about vintage or antique pieces so be sure that choose a seasoned one to avoid being duped.