Celestial Jewelry: A Royal History By Stan Shelley

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2018 at 9:46 pm by Shelley's


Who decides what is in style? It is not just the designers. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries English royalty was highly influential in setting fashion standards for Great Britain and the United States.  That is why, when Queen Victoria went into mourning, people in both countries wore black stone jewelry for decades.

Alexandra of Denmark married Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) in 1863 and became Princess Alexandra. Queen Victoria was in her prime so fashion still emanated from her rather than the new Princess. But by the 1890s Victoria was aging and Alexandra became the dominant force in style. This was much like Lady Di setting the standards when she was Princess even though her mother-in-law was still queen.

One of the things that Princess Alexandra, later Queen Alexandra, loved was pins of celestial objects, such as stars, starbursts, the sun, the moon, etc. These were usually adorned with diamonds but sometimes with small seed pearls (which were natural, not cultured). These pins started getting popular in the 1890s and are considered to be jewelry from the Edwardian period, even though we normally date that period as starting in 1900. 

I have heard that pins are showing up on the stars of current TV shows which could be a sign that they are coming back in style. At the time of this writing we have a couple beautiful pieces in stock, and some past pieces you can see below to get a sense of the heavenly bodies made into earthly treasures.