How to Buy a Victorian Pendant

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy a Victorian Pendant

Whether you are looking for a piece of aesthetic jewellery or a historical symbol, a Victorian pendant can blend both beauty and culture. Victorian pendants can be very affordable and made from relatively common materials, or can be extremely expensive and include rare gemstones and precious metals. Regardless of the cost, material, or gemstones included in a Victorian pendant, they can provide a tasteful accessory to a wide range of outfits and ensembles. They can also be heirlooms or symbols of the past and have impactful cultural significance.

There are many options available to potential buyers when shopping for a Victorian pendant. Shoppers should familiarise themselves with the different styles and types of Victorian pendants before making a final purchasing decision. Victorian pendants can be earrings, brooches, and most commonly necklaces. The pendant is often used to describe the focal point of the jewellery, whether that be on a necklace, earring, or other piece. Buyers should narrow their search to a certain type of Victorian pendant before evaluating other desirable options.

Uses for Victorian Pendants

Other than possibly being used as a costume piece, Victorian pendants are generally a piece symbolic jewellery. Victorian style means that different colours, shapes, and gemstones all had different meanings associated with them. Victorian pendants are typically associated with royalty, romance, and wealth. They are often decorative, ornate, and prominent, regardless of their form. While this can be desirable to some, buyers should be aware that this has a significant impact on price, as Victorian pendants can be extremely expensive.

Victorian pendants can also be collector's items. Victorian pendants are sometimes favoured in present day as retro costume pieces, or as valuable collectibles. Some lockets have pictures that are valued by collectors as well. Victorian pendants can be related back to specific time periods with distinct styles, making them a favourite of designers. They are considered very traditional in the eyes of fashion aficionados.

Types of Victorian Pendants

Victorian pendants may exist in the form of earrings, brooches, lockets, necklaces, and bracelets. They often come in coordinated sets as pendants just describe the large feature or central piece, usually hanging, that can be applied to many different types of jewellery. When worn individually, a necklace is frequently the piece chosen. The type of pendant is likely the single most important thing for buyers to consider when shopping for a pendant from the Victorian period.

Victorian pendants may be bought separately from the vehicle they are to be eventually worn on. Pendants can be placed on chains, earrings, bracelets, and other types of jewellery, and moved from one to another. Pendants offer stylish individuals many options for personalisation as they can be mixed and matched in many different ways.


Lockets are not often seen in present day, however in the Victorian era, they were extremely prominent. Lockets were small, decorative containers, typically worn on necklaces that contained a photo. The photo could be of a loved one, children, or something else entirely. Some interesting lockets may be found when searching for a Victorian pendant, with pictures that may or may not appeal to the buyer. When considering purchasing a Victorian pendant locket, the buyer should ensure that the photo is acceptable to them prior to purchase.


The Victorian pendant has many different symbols. The Victorian period is also known as the 'sentimental era', hence the romantic theme involved in much of the associated jewellery. Love tokens and mementos were also common in addition to traditional jewellery like Victorian pendants. As such, symbols became very important during this time.

Precious Metals

Gold, silver and basic metals, are all used as forms of Victorian pendants. While the metal used typically does not have a strict symbol associated with it, as with all jewellery gold tends to indicate wealth, power, and accomplishment. Traditional Victorian pendants were made out of copper, rubber, and seashells as well as precious metals. The quality of the metal also varies significantly, so buyers should ensure that it is satisfactory to them before purchasing.


Depending on the precious metals and rare gemstones that are used, as well as the colours, and the shape, the Victorian pendant can represent something different. In addition, Victorian jewellery could change meaning, depending on where it was worn on the body. Inquisitive buyers may want to first research Victorian culture to get a better sense of the potential meanings of their desired piece of jewellery.

Rare Gemstones

Rare gemstones are often the focal point of Victorian pendants. Rare gemstones often have clearer meanings than more subtle elements like shape and location. For example, the bright red stone ruby, indicates fire or passion. A diamond represents everlasting or constancy, much as it does in popular culture. Emeralds are often used as a symbol of luck. Buyers should also be advised that the gemstones included in a Victorian pendant often dictate the price of the item. Obviously, the higher quality and the more expensive the gemstone, the more expensive the pendant. As the Victorian period was a very decorative period, some antique victorian pendants can be extremely ornate and thus, very expensive.

Shapes and Location of Victorian Pendants

The shape of a Victorian pendant had a large impact on it's meaning. While religious symbols such as crosses and doves were common, there were a variety of other options to choose from as well. For example, clasped hands was meant to reflect a close bond of either love or friendship. Wishbones, crowns, arrows, and serpents were all also popular shapes. Queen Victoria, the era's namesake, received an engagement ring that featured a serpentine theme, meant to reflect eternity.

Other Symbolic Meanings of Pendants

Dogs are also common among Victorian pendants. They represent fidelity in a Victorian culture and for those who purchase them. Many Irish shapes are associated with the Victorian pendants as well. These include harps, clovers, and ferns. Roses are one of the more complex symbols involved in this style of fashion. Depending on their colour and what stage of growth they are in, the meaning of the symbol they purport to represent could change.

Variations of Wearing Victorian Pendants

Depending on where and how the jewellery is worn can also change the meaning. For example, a heart facing inwards, toward the wearer's heart, reflects that the wearer may be taken. Depending on which hand it is worn on dictates whether the wearer is in a relationship, married, engaged, or single. Victorian pendants may also be worn in one's hair, on the shoulder, and on anklets. While most lay people today are not too familiar with the many nuanced meanings of Victorian pendants and jewellery, curious wearers may be inclined to look into the matter.

Collector's Item

A Victorian pendant is a true collector's item. It is favoured by fashion historians and fans of royalty alike. This presents unique challenges to a buyer because sometimes Victorian pendants can be valuable despite lacking in desirable features that would appeal to a casual buyer. The history, symbolism, photo, and any writing on the Victorian pendant, may be of a nature whereby it has cultural or historical significance. Depending on the time period, who wore the Victorian pendant, or what it symbolises, could dramatically impact the price.

How to Buy a Victorian Pendant on eBay

eBay offers a great selection of Victorian pendants in many types and with many different options. Shoppers can get a good impression of the prices relative to their desirable features simply by perusing the results of a keyword search. A keyword search with the basic term, 'Victorian pendant', is a great place for any potential buyer to start. This shows the widest range of Victorian pendants allowing shoppers to browse many options more quickly and easily.

Narrowing Down a Search on eBay

Users who have narrowed their search may opt to include more specificity in their keyword search. This can include particular types of gemstones, shapes, or base materials. Another option is to simply use the categories provided by eBay. Shoppers can rapidly refine their results in a variety of different ways. They can narrow by type of Victorian pendant, used, new, and other sub-categories. eBay also provide shoppers with the ability to sort by the results by price, time left in an auction, location, and a variety of other filters.


Buying a Victorian pendant can seem overwhelming at first. There are many different options, styles, and types of Victorian pendants available to a buyer. This process does not have to be problematic however. Buyers can rely on eBay to provide them with the widest range of prices and features for Victorian pendants available. Buyers should begin with a general overview search to get an initial impression of the market. Once buyers have familiarised themselves with Victorian pendants on eBay they should begin to narrow their search on to specific things they desire in their pendant.

Most importantly, buyers should be clear on which type of Victorian pendant they desire. Whether that be earrings, brooches, necklaces, or other piece of jewellery, this is the single most important factor of the purchasing decision. Once a buyer has clearly defined the type of pendant they desire, a more detail oriented search can begin. At this point, inquisitive buyers should look into symbolism if they so desire.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides