The Victorian period signified an era profoundly influenced by spirituality and romanticism. Common themes in the jewellery of this period included hands, hearts, crosses, and knots, along with symbols inspired by nature such as birds, flowers, and trees.
Serpent-themed jewellery was favoured, as it embodied the notion of unending love. The custom of wearing mourning jewellery remained prevalent, especially following the passing of Prince Albert, the cherished husband of Queen Victoria.
Unlike the flamboyant figures of the Georgian era, the Victorian men were notably more subdued. They were cautious to steer clear of the 'fop' tag by not outdoing women in their adornment, confining their jewellery to essential items like cufflinks, stick pins, and watch chains. However, the occasional sentimental piece found its way, as a subtle acknowledgement of the era's romantic ambience.
Queen Victoria herself had a significant influence on the styles and trends of the era, with her personal choices often becoming popular among the masses. For instance, she popularised the trend of wearing black mourning jewellery, especially pieces made from jet, following Albert's death. She also popularised charm bracelets, wearing one with charms for each of her children. This era also saw the rise of cameo jewellery, featuring carved images of profiles, scenes, or symbols, often cut from shell, agate, or onyx and set in gold.