Few eras of fashion are as iconic as the 1920s, also known as the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age. Thanks to changes in attitude throughout society, and the rise of the flapper, the ‘20s had a vibe all its own. Even right down to the jewelry, there’s a distinct look associated with this time period, and few can resist it.
The use of geometric shapes, gemstones, platinum, and elements from the East and Egypt all make the jewelry of the 1920s some of the most sought-after pieces in the world of vintage and antique fashion.
Wondering why this particular category of vintage jewelry is so special? We cover it all below.
Art Deco Designs Came Out on Top During the ‘20s
Ah, the Art Deco movement. Thanks to it, jewelry became even more fun during the ‘20s. This is jewelry that, at the time, was deemed more modern in appearance than, say, the jewelry of the Victorian Era.
The geometric shapes, ranging from triangles to circles, along with the smooth lines, bright colors, high-quality metals, and precious stones, all allowed designers to craft jewelry that could be described as overstated yet elegant.
The Rise of Costume Jewelry and Manufacturing
Sometimes, women wanted less formal jewelry during the ‘20s, so costume jewelry also became extremely popular during this time. After all, a more casual appearance calls for casual jewelry that doesn’t need to showcase expensive, precious gemstones like jade, rubies, onyx, aquamarine, and coral, as a few examples of popular stones from that time.
In addition to pieces of jewelry featuring platinum and gold, if you come across jewelry from the 1920s that was made using plastic, don’t be surprised. This actually helped make jewelry more affordable for the masses, as well as simpler and lighter, so it was a welcome change. Plus, these durable pieces mimicked the look of natural materials, and jewelry designers were able to experiment more as well, thanks to the bright colors that were now available to them. And because famous designers like Coco Chanel even promoted costume jewelry, it became a must-have accessory.
Also, with more jewelry being manufactured with the help of machinery, it no longer needed to be made solely by hand. Gemstones now featured eye-catching cuts, as well as more facets, so they looked even more beautiful. And, despite the popularity of affordable costume jewelry, wealthier women typically preferred to stick with accessories made of platinum, white gold, and gemstones, typically sold at high-end jewelry stores like Tiffany. It’s these pieces of jewelry that antique collectors love finding today.
Jewelry Styles to Match the New Fashion of the Time
Women during the ‘20s started wearing clothes that showed off their necks and arms. At the same time, the fashion of this era was rather simple, so women chose jewelry that would complement and enhance their new style. All you have to do is think of the flappers and their dresses and beaded necklaces to get an idea of the way women were courageously changing their look during this unique decade.
In addition to the well-known long pearl and beaded necklaces of the 1920s, other popular fashion accessories included multiple bracelets (such as bangles) worn on both wrists, and long, dangling earrings that adorned the ears of women who went with the popular bob haircut. And, when it came to rings, birthstones were trendy, with the stones often cut into oval, rectangular, or square shapes.
Diamonds were often used, too, particularly in rings, watches, buttons, and pins. And, thanks to influences from Egypt, many pieces also featured more exotic elements, like designs of pyramids, scarab beetles, and snakes.
A Piece of Jewelry from the 1920s Is a Superb Find Worth Keeping!
Like other jewelry from other periods of time, the jewelry of the 1920s showcases what society was like way back when. With new manufacturing methods, along with an interest in design elements from exotic places, the vintage pieces that you’ll find from this decade are unique, interesting, a lot of fun, and a beautiful testament to a period of great change. No wonder we can’t get enough of it!
If you’re searching for flapper jewelry to add to your vintage collection, check out the DazzleMe shop for some one-of-a-kind finds from the ‘20s and beyond.