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About Us

I have grown up with antiques and antique Jewellery and they have played a big part in my life. As a child I would often go with my mum and great aunt to antique fairs and markets around London.

In the beginning

I adored the hustle and bustle of the markets and watching the various haggling and deals that went on. My great grandmother was an antique dealer, my grandmother, great aunt and mother so it is most definitely in the family! As I’ve grown up and had various jobs mainly working in finance, my passion for beautiful old Jewellery has never wained and I have continued to go to markets and fairs and expand my knowledge of all things antique. I wanted to bring that passion and knowledge to other antique Jewellery lovers and admirers and so Watergate Bay antique Jewellery was born.

I love sourcing the beautiful Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian pieces that you see on the website and enjoy capturing their beauty and craftsmanship in the photos. We live in times of a throw away society and there is something special about being able to purchase parts of the past that were so wonderfully and skillfully made and have really stood the test of time. These can be passed down through the generations and create a wonderful link to times gone by.

I know buying Jewellery can be daunting at any time especially when buying online so whether you are looking for that forever piece, an engagement ring, birthday present or just treating yourself I am here to help with any query no matter how big or small.

The Jewellery

Victorian era 1837-1901
Today, Victorian jewelry is very coveted and highly collectible. Jewelry from this time tends to be feminine and ornate. Flowers, hearts, birds, and bows were just some of the common decorative motifs. These pieces were embellished with seed pearls, coral and turquoise. There was a heavy use of symbolism in Victorian Jewellery such as swallows meaning to return home safe and well or the horseshoe meaning good luck or protection from evil spirits. Also anchors, crescents, butterfly’s and many more.

There were three different periods in Victorian Jewellery.
The romantic period 1837-1861
This period drew inspiration from the Middle Ages, the natural world and the renaissance. This period saw a rise in the use of gold and key features were themes from the natural world such as flowers, snakes trees and birds. Common materials used were gold, coral, tortoiseshell, ivory, agate, Amber, amethyst, seed pearls, onyx, agate and emerald.

The Grand period 1861-1885
This period saw a sharp change in design from delicate to bold which paralleled the changing social roles and representations of women at the time. This period consisted of themes such as insects often flys, butterflies, dragonfly’s and beetles. Common materials used were gold, colourless stones, silver, jet, ivory and pearls. The death of Queen Victoria’s husband,
Prince Albert in 1861, also inspired the use of mourning jewellery in this period.

The aesthetic period 1885-1901
During this period there was a distinct change in how women wore Jewellery. This period encouraged women to have more power in society such as the formation of their own political organizations and to have more leisure time pursuits such as tennis. This change encouraged freedom of thought and the desire to be seen as less feminine. And so Jewellery of the time often became lighter and smaller.
This period consisted of themes such as animal heads, knots, stars, barrels, bows, double hearts, butterflies, roses, trefoils and wishbones. Also often oriental and sporting themes. Common materials used were amethysts, emeralds, opals, Gold, silver, rolled gold, oxidized silver and platinum.

Edwardian era 1901-1914
Edwardian jewelry is known for representing femininity while incorporating a lot of the colour white. Think diamonds, pearls and white metals like platinum and white gold. As the short lived but intense impact of the Art Noveau period waned, a new and refreshed attitude to domain Jewellery had risen. Diamonds often had an Old Mine or European cut and sapphires were a popular choice for a splash of colour. Moulded by the most famous jewellers of the century and falling between the extremes of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the combinations of diamonds and brooch designs in the years between 1900 and 1914 were some of the most successful.

Georgian era 1714-1837
The hallmark of Georgian jewelry is its incredibly ornate metal work. You’ll often see this in Jewellery made with modern casting molds. Metals commonly used in Jewellery during the period include: silver for gemstone settings, 18ct or higher yellow gold, steel, iron, and pinchbeck (83% copper and 17% zinc).
Popular motifs included flowers, crescents, ribbons, bows, leaves, feather plumes, and sprays of foliage. Enameling and glass overlays were also popular.
Gold Assaying and makers marks weren’t enforced during this period, this wasn’t until the 1900s and so you will not find them on authentic Georgian Jewellery.