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Antique Jewellery - The Language of Love

Antique jewellery is very popular - with some people preferring to only wear antique pieces, rather than some of the newer styles. Antique pieces hold great sentiment, often bequeathed to a family member by Great Grandma.

Giving jewellery is often done at important or sentimental milestones - special birthday, anniversary. Surprising a loved one with a piece of jewellery is often seen as a very romantic gesture and this is certainly not lost with Antique jewellery.

Antique Jewellery - we love the stories that are held within the pieces.

What stands out to us the most about Antique jewellery are the stories that are held within that piece. Quite often it may have had more than one owner already - or has been in the family since it was made.

Below we take a look at each era and the romance that is held within them:

The early Victorians (Victorian Era - 1837 – 1901) were sentimental folk and this was reflected in their Jewellery: light, simple, feminine and delicate pieces with an emphasis on filigree gold. Symbols abound – heart, flowers lovebirds, ivy (“I cling for life in the language of flowers”), angels, babies and pure white coral, ivory or enamel for innocence, knots and buckles, bows and ropes for binding love, and snakes (symbol of eternal life). In fact Queen Victoria’s engagement ring was a snake with its tail in its mouth, symbolizing not only eternal life but also the cycle of life that is without beginning or end. Also popular were REGARD and DEAREST rings with each stone in the ring representing a letter from the word. For example: Ruby Emerald Garnet Amethyst Ruby Diamond.

After Prince Albert’s death, not only Queen Victoria but also the whole country went into mourning and this reflected in the change to a heavier, more somber type of Jewellery. Pieces comprising onyx or jet became popular and designs became larger and chunkier.

Reference: Karen Deakin Antique

Examples of these romantic styles.

Regard Rings

Gerard McCabe Mid Victorian Regard Ring.jpg

Mid Victorian Regard Ring - Sold

Mid Victorian Regard ring featuring three old mine cut diamonds and the word “Regard” spelt out in red and blue enamel. Hallmarked: Birmingham 1867.

Heart Shapes

Antique Heart Padlock Locket Antique Heart Padlock Locket


The Art Nouveau period continued the romance...

Wedding bells - just crossing over into the Art Nouveau period (1890 - 1910), the romantic trend continues with jewellery like this “Wedding Bell” Brooch. Which you can imagine was gifted to a bride on her wedding day back in 1907. And would perfectly accessorise a Vintage Bride’s dress today.

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Antique Art Nouveau Brooch

Later in the 1920s-30s The gift of “true lovers knot” jewellery was the ultimate romantic gesture.

True Lovers Knot

The tradition of the True Lovers Knot is said to have come about in the early 19th century, where this type of jewellery was commonly given between young lovers. The jewellery was commonly made of rope, cord or non-precious metals. With each knot being unique, it was a gift that was often given by sailors who were leaving their lovers for a period of time. Given that sailors generally have excellent knotting skills, it was a perfect fit. It was once common for sailors' wedding rings, where gold wire was moulded to incorporate the romantic knot. The finished ring would be comprised of two wires, each flexible to move about the other yet nevertheless inseparable. Other jewellery, such as necklaces or more commonly bracelets, would be fashioned from two ropes or cords.

Antique Lover Knot Ring

Antique True Lovers Knot Ring

At Gerard McCabe, we pride ourselves on our Antique and Period pieces - we are always updating our collection due to the populartiy of Antique pieces. 

If you are interested in learning more about our collection, or perhaps you have some questions about Antiques you can book a time to meet with us here.


Book a Jewellery Valuation or Restoration Consultation Rundle Mall Boutique

Gerard McCabe Jewellers are the specialists in diamond engagement rings and wedding rings in Adelaide.

We create beautiful ladies wedding rings, men’s wedding rings, classic engagement rings and dress ring designs.

We can create bespoke tailored rings to fit your specifications. So pop into one of our jewellery stores in Adelaide for your dream ring consultation.