"Is there a felicity in the world superior to this?" Marianne said. - Sense and Sensibility: Volume I, Chapter 9, Jane Austen
The years spanning from around 1800 to 1820 are commonly referred to as the Regency era and were renowned for a simpler, less complicated style. The indulgent aristocratic excesses of the 1700s were replaced with a naturally elegant aesthetic in fashion and accessories that deliberately emulated the grace and poise of Roman and Greek statuary. Such simplicity in fashion brought a true appreciation for small details and quality craftsmanship. Likewise, the social manners of the era were unparalleled in polite decorum. One of the most recognized representations of this era is the much-celebrated literature of Jane Austen.
The Regency Style
It was frequent for a woman to own complete parures, or matching sets, of jewelry that included earrings, a ring, a necklace of either long or short length, a brooch and two bracelets. Sometimes, for eveningwear, a matching diadem or tiara and a jeweled belt were also worn. The complete set was never worn at the same time. Only a few pieces were selected to don at one time, as a less-is-more attitude towards accessories was adopted.
The Regency Color Palette
Recreate This Style
Regency-era jewelry designers valued quality over quantity when it came to materials, selecting high quality precious and semi-precious gemstone beads such as emerald, sapphire, citrine, ruby, garnet, onyx, amethyst, chrysoprase, aquamarine, peridot, topaz, bright "Persian blue" turquoise and of course cultured freshwater pearls. Fine gold-filled and sterling silver metals were used and often times, they were mixed together in floral filigree designs that echoed the embroidery seen on empire-waist gowns.
Opera length necklaces that went to the bottom of the rib cage and chokers that rested on the collarbone were the most popular necklace styles worn. All manner of earring lengths were seen and they often included a poetic influence, incorporating bows, ovals and teardrops.
Overall, jewelry designs tended to be heartfelt with deep personal meanings, being small in scale and sentimental in nature. Incorporate symbols popular to the Regency era with charms, drops and components in Greek key patterns, acorns, doves, wheat sheaves, feathers, miniature portraits, lockets, cameos and floral mosaics.