belle e·poque | ˈbel-ā-ˈpȯk
Another term for the Edwardian period
This term is the French history equivalent of the British Edwardian period. Ranging from 1880 to the beginning of World War I in 1914, Belle Époque jewelry was created at a time of increasing wealth and a flourishing of the arts. Jewelry pieces created during this period in French history include both machine-made and handcrafted items. Pearls were very popular in Belle Époque pieces, including freshwater pearls, saltwater pearls, and the less expensive cultured pearls. Many Belle Époque pieces represent the natural environment, so it's common to find pieces of jewelry from this time period that feature designs of birds, insects, and other creatures. Colorful elements were also popular during this time period to bring these naturalistic designs to life, so you’ll find many Belle Époque jewelry pieces with elements including amethysts, amber, aquamarine, chrysoberyl, crystal glass, demantoid garnet, horn, malachite, moonstone, opal, peridot, ruby, sapphire, tortoiseshell, and tourmaline. Platinum is a popular metal in Belle Époque jewelry, particularly during its Arts & Crafts period.