What Is Steampunk Jewelry

July 07, 2022
What Is Steampunk Jewelry

Do you often see jewelry with elements such as clocks and gears? Do you see people wearing hats with goggles and think it's weird? It's actually the same style, which is steampunk.

What is steampunk?

Steampunk is actually a portmanteau word that consists of steam and punk. Steam represents the steam engine and the Victorian era when it was widely used, while punk symbolizes a rebellious, unconventional, and defiant spirit. 

Steampunk is an artistic aesthetic set in the 19th century steam era. The foundation of steampunk is inspired by the Victorian era, but is not a direct copy of it; it is a blend of goth, DIY cosplay, Renfrew style, and burlesque. the first industrial revolution of the 19th century was a major explosion of productivity in human society. Advances in technology freed mankind from the shackles of religious theocracy and gained the power to change nature. Coal replaced firewood, which fed on the heavens, as the new energy cornerstone of human society. The advent of the steam engine provided mankind with an inexhaustible surge of power. The roaring trains and ships connected the formerly fragmented world into a whole. The highly prosperous capitalist world market of the Victorian era injected unprecedented vitality into the world. Human science and technology entered a period of rapid explosion, with differential machines, robotic arms and other black technologies popping up all over the place. That era was filled with the romance of big industry, and humans were full of optimism about technology changing the future at that time.

In the 20th century, a group of artists used the core elements of steel, machinery, and steam engines in an overhead worldview, combining the aesthetic characteristics of Victorian England and Taisho Japan with the magic and imagination of the sky, resulting in the steampunk we see today. Subsequently, steampunk was gradually applied to jewelry, with designers using their imagination to blend machinery with various other elements, resulting in countless classic steampunk jewelry.

What is steampunk jewelry?

Jewelry that blends with the previously mentioned elements of steel, machinery and steam engines are all referred to as steampunk jewelry.

Since the electrical age had not yet arrived, industrial design of this period was filled with pure mechanical beauty. There were few integrated circuits or electronic tubes in the steampunk world, and pure mechanics were the mainstay of design. Relying on sophisticated gears, connecting rods, and transmissions to convey instructions to huge machines, using classical mechanics to the extreme, and using mechanical energy to accomplish all sorts of unimaginable things, this was one of the unique charms of steampunk.

Steampunk-influenced jewelry

Gear Steampunk Heart Stainless Steel Pendant

Gears were one of the key elements of steampunk. People's lives at that time depended on the rumbling gears. This exquisite pendant is typical of steampunk jewelry. With a heart-shaped frame and precise gears, it is the constant rotation through steam that keeps this heart beating without stopping.

Gear Stainless Steel Men's Ring

This hot ring also features the same steampunk gear elements. A series of gears relying on each other to generate power is like seeing a factory running busily in the steam era. One ring condenses an era in it, making it unforgettable. That's what makes it so popular, right?

Victorian era jewelry

In addition to the steampunk-influenced jewelry, Victorian era jewelry is also typical of the steampunk style. Cameo appears a lot in steampunk jewelry, one reason being that Queen Victoria was a crazy cameo collector at the time.

Sapphire Pattern Sterling Silver Men's Ring

Isn't this ring the quintessential steampunk jewelry? The ring is set with a large number of blue and white stones, and the band has many brass colored reliefs. Victorian England was a superpower with worldwide trade routes. This boosted their trade with Asia, so materials like amethyst, opal, turquoise and diamonds were more abundant in England than ever before. People were also more keen to design it into their jewelry. Such an aristocratic ring gives you a new appreciation of the prosperity of the Victorian era. 

Vintage Cross Topaz Sterling Silver Ring

This ring is also typical of Victorian era jewelry. A crystal clear topaz is set in the middle of the ring, with vintage floral patterns carved on both sides, showing its vintage and flamboyant nature. Together with the accent of the cross element, it adds to the design and layers of this ring.


Constrained by the industrial level of the 19th century, steampunk jewelry would accentuate the roughness of the metal. Humans would not yet use streamlined designs, and all machines relied on giant rivets roughly put together. The world of steampunk basically does not use electricity, so all kinds of mechanical devices must be stacked up with a large number of metal parts. The difference between the delicate and clever internal design, and the naive external outline, a small step forward, reflects the rugged and violent aesthetic of steampunk. Nowadays, people also use this feature to design countless steampunk jewelry with a rough aesthetic. After learning so much about the history and types of steampunk jewelry, have you become interested in it?

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