Pretty much all Georgian jewellery was handmade and gem cutting was also rather antiquated, especially diamond cutting; table-cut, rose cut and old mine cut were the norm. To keep up with the rising demand for jewellery, reproduced copies of gemstones and a gold substitute known as pinchbeck became commonplace.
During the early Georgian period, diamonds were the most desirable stone, but coloured stones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires, were later brought back into popular fashion. Jewellers experimented with new gem cuts, the most popular being rose cut and stones set in Georgian pieces often had enclosed backs and were set over a foil.
Jewellers in the Georgian era made use of silver, gold and other metals like iron and steel, however, jet and human hair were also popular. Yes, human hair, featured mostly in mourning or memorial jewellery and was intricately woven or braided into beautiful designs. People often wore miniature portraits of their loved ones on jewellery such as pendants and brooches, and Lover’s Eye lockets, lockets with a painting of an eye, were in vogue.
Another important thing to note is that some organic materials, such as ivory and certain types of coral, which are now endangered and their trade is heavily restricted.
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