What would interest those of you out there writing is that you might well have to choose when it comes to characters wearing jewellery in your steampunk story. What you will need to consider is: has steampunk invaded the Victorian society so much that Victorian jewellery is no longer fashionable or appropriate? Or is your steampunk society just starting? If so, then there could be a combination of Victorian jewellery and steampunk jewellery within your story.
So what do you choose and for which characters or roles (if roleplaying)? For some characters it seems obvious. The older generations present in your story, the ones likely to have seen Victorian society pre steampunk, will be more attached to Victorian jewellery. But don't forget that even amongst the elderly nowadays you'll find internet users, youtubers, mobile phone users and the like. This means that no matter what, there will always be those within the older generations who will adopt new technology. So if your older character is more in tune with or keenly interested in steampunk technology then maybe the newer steampunk jewellery would be more appropriate for her or him to wear.
For the younger characters there will be a high pressure or a need for steampunk jewellery according to fashion and function (if a gadget or magic infused item). So the majority of younger wearers would choose steampunk jewellery for everyday wear but what happens during special occasions? During balls, introductions to high-society members or any other occasion when respectability is demanded then you may need to either balance the steampunk jewellery with Victorian or just go with Victorian jewellery.
So, which to choose? Well, it helps to actually have an idea of what each looks like as well as knowing the occasion and the character type.
Victorian jewellery is both intricate and chunky, traits which steampunk jewellery adopted, but the focus on colour is less towards red, orange, bronze, gold or black than you'd expect after viewing steampunk jewellery. In fact, any stone or metal used in jewellery now was widely used then too and in similar combinations. The differences between modern or steampunk jewellery and Victorian jewellery are mainly in the intricacies and the preferred shapes. I've collected a few of different styles and colours as examples so you can get an idea of what to deck your character in if she or he's wearing Victorian jewellery.
Choosing which to wear or have your characters wear may be difficult if your intending to be or write a Victorian character now within steampunk society but with careful consideration of place, age, outfit and the desired purpose you can find just the right pieces.