Authentic Victorian Onyx Jewels

There is something special about Victorian onyx jewelry. This era – like none before or after it – incorporated black gemstones in a broad range of designs and styles. What further sets apart the way these gems were treated is the means by which they easily become the main display selections rather than secondary choices. Even so, they quite often serve to show off the sparkle of diamonds and similar stones.
Take for example this carved black and white hard stone onyx pin from the 1880s. The setting is 14k pink gold, which carefully cradles the hand-carved black and white onyx hard stone. The carving is a cameo depicting the profile of a woman. A hinge attached to the front allows you to open the pin and insert a picture. This piece measures 1 9/16 inches by 1 3/16 inches. Look closely to take in the careful artwork that this jewel displays. It looks great on a blouse or shawl.
When you favor pendants over pins, take a closer look at this handmade pendant featuring diamonds and onyx. It is unusual in its display. For starters, the 18k yellow gold and platinumtop setting shows off in a horizontal rather than vertical fashion. The onyx is domed and measures 10.72mm by 37.33mm. Suspended from a 16-inch chain, the onyx pendant acts as backdrop to an old-European-cut diamond weighing .18cts. To heighten the contrast between the stones, artisans also incorporated 40 rose and single-cut diamonds with a collective weight of .60cts. When you wear this pendant, you are sure to get admiring stares.
Victorian artisans also included onyx gems into earrings. Great examples are these yellow gold dangle earrings with onyxes and pearls. Jewelry makers in the 1850s incorporated 38 custom-cut opaque black onyxes into pendant-style dangles. The 18k yellow gold shows carefully applied decorative touches that enhance the appeal of these jewels. To break up the look, the artisans added eight diminutive salt-water pearls that measure 1.5mm to 2mm each. They round out the design of the dangles’ top parts. From top to bottom, these earrings measure 43.04mm while their width is 16mm.
Since bucking the trends appears to be a trait that Victorian jewelers delighted in, it makes sense that their more modern counterparts took notice and frequently imitated style elements. For example, there is the Victorian revival style that has found favor with artisans who like the look of the bygone era but rely on more modern stone cuts to create something different.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts in all types of vintage, estate and antique jewelry. We hope you’ll stop by our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut.
Or, hop on over to our top-rated BigCommerce Store where you’ll find all the vintage Victorian onyx gemstone jewelry you see here. If you find a listing has ended, please email us at as we may still have the item in stock.
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