A vintage piece of jewelry is timelessly beautiful, ecologically sound and fiscally practical. If you enjoy standing out from the crowd and are looking to make a statement that is authentic and meaningful, a vintage engagement ring, pendant, locket, brooch or avant-garde earrings may be perfect for you. Choose something completely unique with enduring allure.
The only question left to answer is – which era matches your personality?
JEWELS THROUGH THE AGES
Meaning: French for “New art”
Characteristics: Soft, mystical, romantic
Soft, arched shapes inspired by plants and feminine curves were prevalent during this era. Jewelers utilized free flowing lines known as “whiplash” lines that communicated a romantic style with breathtaking detailing like hand-forged filigree. Nature-inspired motifs were combined with an intense use of color and mixed metals. Stones such as agate, moonstone, garnet and opal were incorporated and a variety of enameling techniques were used.
Meaning: Named after King Edward of Britain
Characteristics: Embellished, extravagant, delicate
Graceful and elegant, some pieces from this era are so detailed that it appears the gemstones are set in lace. Designs saw an abundance of diamonds and are extremely feminine in appearance. Milgraining (a technique creating a row of tiny beads along the edge or boundary of a section of jewelry) was used extensively during this period. The extravagant and sophisticated reign of Edward VII were reflected in the high society jewelry of this period.
Meaning: Name taken from The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925 (Decorative Arts and Architecture)
Characteristics: bold, geometric
This style continues to be a source of inspiration in art, fashion and jewelry design today. The use of sharp lines, clean shapes and large gemstones was influenced by the architecture of Egypt, Greece and Rome. There was a strong desire to eliminate the flowing lines reminiscent of the Art Nouveau period, thus eradicating seemingly unnecessary ornament. The association of art and modern industry was illustrated in plentiful Cubism and Fauvisim-inspired pieces. Advancements in cutting techniques during this time also allowed for diamonds to sparkle brighter than ever.
Meaning: Surrogate royalty / Art Moderne
Characteristics: Bigger, bolder, glitz, glamour
Jewelry from this era saw yellow and rose gold pieces return to heightened popularity and transitional cut diamonds were common. Set against the drab realities of World War II, these pieces incorporated the fantasy and glamour of Hollywood. Cocktail jewelry, as it is sometimes called, became bolder, brighter and more lighthearted. Popular gemstones included aquamarines, topaz and citrines as well as rubies and sapphires. Huge rectangular cuts, oversized bracelets and patriotic-themed color combinations were popular.
Meaning: Contemporary, a break from the traditional
Characteristics: Flashy, dramatic designs
Following the 1950s, jewelry designs underwent radical changes as customers sought fresh styles to distance themselves from the tumultuous past. Atomic designs reflected the nation’s focus on space exploration. Textured gold, Florentine finishes, twisted rope and braided wire were heavily used techniques. Economic growth and prosperity from this era is reflected in dramatic designs and a focus on diamonds. Other popular stones included amethyst, turquoise, coral and cultured pearls. Platinum, yellow gold and silver became the metals of choice.
At Gold Unlimited, we showcase a wide variety of vintage jewels in excellent condition. Explore the possibility of acquiring a show-stopping vintage piece to add to your collection.
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