Archaeological jewelry style honors fashionable timelessness by giving it a fresh, modern flair.
Are you a jewelry archaeologist? If you appreciate jewelry from times gone by, you are part of a growing revivalist trend. Whether it’s truly antique or just inspired by it, archaeological jewelry honors the tradition and timelessness of classic designs.
Invoking Victorian Allure
For many people, the first era that comes to mind is the Victorian period. Women wore piles of richly-decorated jewelry in Victorian times, flaunting intricate designs and bold colors. The look typically includes gold, amber, rose shapes, dark jewels, claw settings, oversized designs and overall ornate, encrusted handiwork.
Today’s Victorian revivalist jewelry takes inspiration from the period, adding a modern vibe that’s a bit bohemian. For example, chandelier earrings – those that include large, tiered sprays of jewels – harken back to Victorian times and still look fresh today. Victorian revivalist wedding rings are often made of ornate yellow gold and feature dark gems along with diamonds.
Ancient Egyptian Mystery
Another popular period for the archaeological revival is ancient Egypt. An air of mystery hangs over genuine jewelry from this period, which is unearthed from tombs far underground.
Ancient Egyptian jewelry is usually high-quality hammered gold or copper with inlaid glass and precious stones: emeralds, garnet, turquoise, obsidian, amethyst and lapis lazuli. The metalwork often takes the shape of mythological figures and symbols like scarabs, birds, feathers, lions, scorpions and griffins.
Newly-crafted jewelry that’s inspired by Egyptian designs has many of these same symbols with a clean, modern edge. Egyptian revival jewelry may have an abstract eye shape, for example, to symbolize the Eye of Horus – an ancient symbol of prosperity and protection.
Etruscan jewelry harkens back to approximately the 7th century BC, has influences from Greece and Turkey, and includes techniques from across the Roman empire. It’s usually heavily textured with filigree and scrollwork designs, highlighting brightly-colored gemstones.
Like ancient Egyptian revival jewelry, Etruscan pieces are full of mythology and symbolism. Pegasus, a lion or human portrait may be part of the design. A hallmark of Etruscan revival jewelry is that it has a heavily hand-forged look in bold, hammered gold.
Gothic and Renaissance Drama
For some archaeological jewelry enthusiasts, there’s no time as inspiring as the Renaissance. During this period, master jewelers from around the world enthusiastically embrace a style known for delicate, intricate, feminine designs. Renaissance jewelry is generally lighter and more movement-focused than that of other periods.
A close cousin to Renaissance jewelry is gothic jewelry, which is usually darker, heavier and more ornate. Gothic designs have deliberate spires and points that echo religious architecture of the era.
Both Renaissance and gothic jewelry are typically worn in sets, with matching earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches, hairpins and more. Modern takes on the look tend to pare it down, with just a bold necklace and earrings, or perhaps a matched ring and brooch.
Becoming a Revivalist
Which era in jewelry history sparks your imagination? No need to shell out the bucks to buy an authentically antique piece. A custom jeweler can recreate a revival piece to order, or work with you to design something that takes inspiration or symbolism from a classic look.
In fact, with 3D printing and design technology and custom jewelry design virtually any design from the past or present can be brought to life right in front of your eyes. When jewelry archaeology meets modern technology, any jewelry dream – from any time in history – is possible.
Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler
Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as everyone’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call 317-810-1665 for your private appointment or schedule online, IndyFacets.com/schedule/.