Contemporary_smallContemporary Jewelry

Contemporary jewelry uses all sorts of materials that had not been thought of by jewelers before. Contemporary jewelry is made of titanium, ivory, stainless steel, glass, wood and even plastic. There are so many varieties available that contemporary jewelry can not be classified into one type of jewelry. However, the contemporary jewelry of every region is inspired by its traditions and cultures followed over there. This is what gives contemporary jewelry from across the globe a different look. Contemporary jewelry can be seen as a form of art, which allows the artist, the jewelry designer, the freedom to create whatever their heart desires.




Art_Deco_smallArt Deco Jewelry (1915-1935)

A stilted, stylized design which was named after the 1925 L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris, France. Much of the Art Deco design was a transition from the earlier Art Nouveau, was inspired by the Art of the American Indian, ancient Egyptian, and Greek and Roman architecture. The early 1920s interest in Cubism and Dadaism as a new Art form, greatly influenced the Art Deco period. The King Tut traveling exhibit, in the 1970s, renewed the craze for Egyptian design jewelry. Additionally, the mysteries of the pyramids and a continuing revival of astrological studies, lent itself to Art Deco designs which in turn were incorporated in the Art Modern period following 1930.




Victorian_smallVictorian Jewelry (1837-1900)

There are three phases of Victorian jewelry. The early period (1837-1855), like the Georgian Era were mostly nature-inspired designs.  Frequently these designs would be delicately and intricately etched into gold.  Lockets and Brooches were popular everyday jewelry.  The second phase corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband’s death.  Known as mourning jewelry, the pieces feature heavy, dark stones.  Jet, Onyx, Amethyst, and garnet are frequently found in jewelry from this period.  Jewelry became creative during this period and colorful designs were born featuring shells, mosaics, and colorful gemstones.  During the late Victorian period, jewelers used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot and spinel.  Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were also popular.




Mid_Century_smallMid-Century Jewelry(1940’s-1960’s)Following the war years and the Retro period, jewelry designs of the 1950’s underwent radical changes as customers sought fresh, new styles to distance themselves from the troubled past. Materials and craftsmen were again available and the prosperity of America in the post-war years increased the demand for new fashions and jewelry. Throughout the 1950’s abstract designs were common. Artists used organic shapes with jagged edges and detailed surfaces. Animal jewelry, ranging from panthers to serpents and fish, was elaborately detailed, fish gained jeweled scales, birds brightly gemmed feathers, and jeweled eyes. Color was very important and stones began to be used for their hues rather than value. 


Art_Nouveau_smallArt Nouveau Jewelry


The movement actually began around 1875 in Paris and its influence was felt around the world.  The movement eventually died out by the end of WW I.  Art Nouveau jewelry follows curves and naturalistic designs, especially depicting long-haired, sensual women sometimes turning into birdlike or flowerlike forms.  Overall the Art Nouveau movement was a romantic one, of imaginary dreaminess.  Magnificent floral and botanical forms often worked in enamel were inexpensive and became so popular once mass-produced that the Art Nouveau declined.




Retro_smallRetro Jewelry(1945-1960)Styles of this period in estate and vintage jewelry are characterized by the use of gold, and often rose gold. Platinum, popular in prior decades, was scarce due to its use in World War II. Bold, chunky styles with arrays and clusters of gems grabbed the imagination of the people. But rather than the most expensive of gemstones, more often they were brightly colored, less costly stones such as citrines, aquamarines, topazes and tourmalines. Diamonds were decidedly out of favor, except as small, accent stones. Clip-on earrings made their debut at this time. Earring styles were often close up on the ear or just below – long dangles of the 20′s were out. Plain gold or the combination of alternate yellow and rose gold made its appearance in large, wide bracelets, dress clips, earrings, brooches and collar necklaces. With women working in greater than ever numbers (while men were away for the war), fashion and jewelry took on a decidedly strong profile. 



Georgian Jewelry


This jewelry was made between 1714 and 1830 during the reigns of the four English kings named George.  Varying styles of jewelry were produced during this time, from Rococo through Gothic Revival and Neo-Classical.  Most jewelry of this period was handmade, making the quality of each piece variable.  Georgian Jewelry frequently includes precious stones.  These precious stones were both real and glass paste copies.  Cameos, intaglios, mosaic, acorns, the Greek key, Urns, Doves, Phoenix, Wheat and Plumage were all popular Georgian Motifs.






Edwardian Jewelry


The Edwardian Period was born when Queen Victoria died and her son Edward became King.  During this period, expensive gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies and elaborate designs were the fashion.