Everyone has been talking about how Kate Middleton, the new wife of Prince William, is a prime example of a young British woman who is not afraid to be ultra-modern and break with tradition. She caused a stir when she refused to wear a tiara on her wedding day. And, not any old tiara, mind you Kate refused to wear the gem-stone studded, solid gold, multi-million dollar tiara that once belonged to Queen Victoria! Personally, it's her choice but I thought she was out of her mind. Then again, who am I to talk she's going to be the Queen someday.
While Kate is ready to take to the world stage as a fashion icon, she is also part of a generation that is embracing new styles in jewelry design. However, the styles remind some of us of days gone by. Just as Queen Victoria enjoyed all things bright and shiny, many young women are coming of age and embracing the jewelry of the past. Jewelry designs of old are acting as the models for today's most collectible bling.
While materials have been updated to satisfy the diverse tastes of young jewelry mavens, today's trendy jewelry takes a cue from Victorian-era necklaces, bracelets, watches and earrings. The baubles worn by Queen Victoria in the late 19th century are now being reconsidered. For instance, antique cameos, banded bracelets of rose gold, and memorial lockets are making a strong comeback.
At the turn of the century, classical cameos were both objects of adornment and mementos of trips abroad in stately forms. Carved images of goddesses from ancient Greece and Rome were featured on brooches, pendants and earrings. Today, these forms are making a revival in new materials like lava stone, rhodium, Lucite and even plastic.
Rose gold, a metal which has a distinctive rosy color thanks to the high copper content along with the gold base metal, is making a return to the fashion runways. It was all the rage in the early years of the 1900s, however, rose gold fell out of favor by the 1920s.
Now, both precious and semi-precious stones are often set into rose gold making sets comprised of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. And, these new rose gold jewelry pieces are worn by fashionistas alongside its yellow gold and white gold cousins. Tri-color gold pieces were popular for a brief period in the 1980s, but now rose gold is making its return with vigor.
Costume jewelry designers like Nicky Hilton, Yochi, and Bottega Veneta are implementing edgy designs with vintage materials to attract a new generation of collectors. Many of the objects reflect a reference back to 19th century London. Such vintage and antique memorial pieces like gold and gold tone lockets and woven hair bracelets are all the rage in today's boutiques at prices ranging from $50 to $1,500.
Kate may have rejected Queen Victoria's tiara, but I am sure that with her fashion sense, she will be wearing many Victorian-inspired jewelry designs in short order. When it comes to today's trendy jewelry designs, looks as if what's old is new again!
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. As seen on NBC's The Tonight Show, Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and Lifetime Television, watch Dr. Lori who serves as the antiques correspondent for the national TV morning show, Daytime. To attend one of Dr. Lori's antiques seminars, visit DrLoriV.com, Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.