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Rococo: Elegance of 18th-century jewellery

Rococo: Elegance of 18th-century jewellery

Vintage jewellery is very popular for its timeless beauty and craftsmanship. One of the most fascinating style periods within this world is the Rococo period. The Rococo period is an artistic movement within the world of jewellery, which peaked in the 18th century. This movement has had a lasting influence on the aesthetics of jewellery. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the history, characteristics of this period, and why this style is still so sought-after among collectors and vintage jewellery lovers today.

The history of the Rococo Style

The Rococo style originated in France in the early 18th century. This was the period when Louis XV ruled in the country. This style is characterised by an opulent and playful aesthetic, distinct from the stricter and formal Baroque style that preceded it. Also known as the 'late Baroque', Rococo is light, airy and often asymmetrical, with a strong emphasis on natural forms and vibrant colours.

Characteristics of Rococo jewellery

Rococo jewellery is characterised by the frivolity and elegance of the time. Some of the most striking features include:

  • Asymmetry: Unlike the symmetrical designs of earlier periods, Rococo jewellery embraces asymmetry, creating a playful and dynamic effect.
  • Natural motifs: Flowers, leaves, shells and other natural forms are common motifs. These are often rendered in a delicate and detailed manner.
  • Light and bright colours: Pastel shades and light colours dominate, with frequent use of gemstones such as rose quartz, aquamarine and peridot.
  • Fine craftsmanship: Rococo jewellery is often rich in detail and testifies to the high craftsmanship of its makers. Engravings, filigree work, and intricate settings are common techniques.

Materials and techniques

Rococo jewellery used to be made from high-quality materials such as gold and silver. These precious metals were often combined with gemstones to make beautiful colourful creations. Some popular gemstones from this period include:

  • Diamonds: Used for their brilliance and prestige, often in rose-cut shapes.
  • Pearls: Symbol of purity and wealth, often used in necklaces and earrings.
  • Coral: Used for its warm, natural colour and often combined with gold.
  • Amethyst: Loved for its rich purple colour, often used in rings and brooches.

The Rococo period provided many new and advanced techniques that made jewellery even more refined and detailed. Some important techniques include:

  • Enfilage: A technique in which gemstones are set in a row, often used for necklaces.
  • Filigree: Fine wirework of gold or silver, used to create delicate and intricate designs.
  • Engraving: Detailed engravings in precious metals to create complex patterns and scenes.
  • Cameo and Intaglio Carving: Images carved from gemstones or shells, often used in brooches and rings.

Symbolism and meaning

The Rococo period is often associated with romance and the beauty of nature. These themes are strongly reflected in jewellery from the period. Floral motifs symbolise love and growth, while shells and sea motifs refer to the sea and the life within it. This made the jewellery not only aesthetically pleasing but also laden with meaning.

Rococo jewellery also reflected the sociocultural context of their time. They were often worn by the aristocracy and wealthy bourgeoisie, as symbols of status and sophistication. Wearing such jewellery was a way of showing wealth and good taste. Moreover, these jewels were often gifts on important occasions such as weddings and birthdays, giving them personal and emotional value as well.

The popularity of Rococo jewellery

Today, Rococo jewellery is highly sought after by collectors and vintage jewellery lovers. Their unique designs, high quality craftsmanship and rich history make them popular collectibles. Auctions and specialised antique shops regularly offer Rococo jewellery, often at high prices.

Besides authentic vintage pieces, there are also modern jewellers who take inspiration from the Rococo style. These contemporary interpretations combine classic Rococo elements with modern techniques and materials, resulting in jewellery that is both timeless and contemporary.


The Rococo period has had a lasting influence on the world of jewellery. Its delicate designs, rich symbolism and exquisite craftsmanship make Rococo jewellery true works of art. Whether you are a collector or just a lover of beautiful things, Rococo jewellery offers a fascinating glimpse into an era of elegance and sophistication. With the right knowledge and care, you can cherish and preserve these exquisite pieces for future generations while enjoying their timeless beauty and historical significance.

By exploring this enchanting world of Rococo jewellery, you will enter a rich heritage that has stood the test of time. Whether you are a newcomer or a seasoned collector, the charm and allure of Rococo jewellery will surely continue to enchant you. Discover our refined exclusive collection of vintage Rococo-style jewellery on our website or in shop. Each unique piece exudes history and craftsmanship, perfect for a timeless and stylish look. Add a touch of this style to your wardrobe.

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