Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > Design Periods > 1960’s

Vintage earrings of the 1960’s and 1970’s

Article from Berganza

Similar to the fashion of the time, 1960's jewellery experimented with being unconventional. Vibrant colours and unusual textures were worked into fabulous big yet wearable jewels. Both yellow gold and platinum were used, and sometimes to strike a contrast within the same piece.

1960's earrings were generally large in size and noticeable. Shorter haircuts allowed room for statement pieces, where strong forms and abstract shapes were rife. Rather than a single expensive stone, earrings tended to be experimental with colour, texture and shape. Stylised nature, for example shells and animals made their way into earring motifs, along with amusing creatures and fun small novelty objects. These were set with vibrant colours; popular gemstones were cabochon turquoise and coral, along with other opaque colours set adjacent to bright brilliant cut diamonds.

Yellow gold was worked to great effect. As with most design periods, craftsmen continued to be inspired by previous styles, and created jewellery reminiscent of ancient gold work. Texture dominated, with for example, twisted, woven and corded wirework, tree bark effect, twigs and nests. Jagged edges and asymmetric geometry were main features of the 1960's earrings, mostly held in place with secure clip back fittings. Our 1960's day and night earrings are a great example of how an idea first seen in the Victorian period has transcended across a hundred years; a stud or cluster top for daytime, with a detachable pendant drop for evening.

As with the 1960's, 1970's earrings were vastly yellow gold set with strong and bold opaque colours. Rock crystal and coloured quartz accompanied the popular 60's jewels, set next to diamonds. Earrings tended to be slightly more rounded rather than jagged, with vibrant colour combinations inspired by Indian jewellery. Once again 70's jewels had an ancient influence, for example the jewellery house Bulgari's use of ancient coins.

A highly favoured earring style was the hoop within a hoop, or the large circular or oval hoop suspended from a smaller similar shaped upper motif. These styles could mirror the shape of the lobe by extending downwards into a hoop or they would loop through the lobe, producing a different type of appearance and different surfaces for setting gemstones.

Jewellery houses such as Cartier, David Morris, Chopard, Boucheron, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co and Van Cleef & Arpels, embraced and often set, the 60's and 70's trends. We have some striking examples showcasing the very best of workmanship and style.

The proximity of earrings to the face makes the choice an especially important one, where the personality of the wearer should be considered. At Berganza, we have a range of wearable, unique and distinctive antique and vintage earrings, spanning many centuries and design periods. Find the perfect earrings for that special occasion or to add some sparkle to your daily wear.

Vintage turquoise and diamond earrings berganza hatton garden
Vintage turquoise and diamond day and night clip earrings, circa 1960.
Ref: 25526
cartier ruby diamond sapphire emerald earrings berganza
Cartier vintage ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond earrings, English, 1978.
Ref: 26224
Drop emerald Cabochon and diamond earrings berganza hatton garden
Drop emerald Cabochon and diamond earrings, circa 1970.
Ref: 15854
Vintage sapphire and diamond earrings berganza hatton garden
Vintage sapphire and diamond earrings, circa 1960.
Ref: 26183
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Updated 29/05/2024 at 2:48PM

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