bi·jou·te·rie | bi-ˈzhü-tə-(ˌ)rē
The art of working in gold and enamel
The term Bijouterie is a French word that refers to the art of working with gold and enamel. Both of these jewelry mediums have been popular for centuries. In modern history, gold became an extremely sought-after metal for jewelry pieces in the 19th century. During the Georgian and Victorian eras, it was very popular for gold jewelry pieces to be ornamentally decorated with black enamel. Like gold, enamel jewelry has been popular for centuries as well, starting as far back as the 3rd century, when it was commonly used in the Eastern Roman Empire as well as in the Celtic regions of Gaul and Britain. Working with gold to create jewelry is a delicate process, which requires the uses of waxes, molds, fine razors to cut shapes, and high-temperature heating to melt gold and pour it into the desired molds. Likewise, using enamel with gold is a complicated process. The enamel begins as a finely powdered substance, similar to the consistency of baby powder. It is fused with its gold pieces by heating it to extremely high temperatures between 1,380 to 1,560 ℉.