The Bold and the Beautiful - In celebration of 1940s jewellery

Vintage jewellery from the 1940's sculptural forms bold designs


Vintage aquamarine cocktail ring berganza hatton garden
Vintage aquamarine cocktail ring, circa 1940.
Ref: 24347

Thursday 21st February 2019

The new jewellery styles of the 1940s heralded the end of the Art Deco period, which had been the prevailing style of the previous two decades. During the 1940s daring jewellery creations emphasised adventurous colour and design choices, often in sculptural three-dimensional forms. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Europe went straight from the Great Depression directly into World War II. As most of the platinum and a great deal of the gold and silver were needed to fund the war, this meant that coloured gold was back in contemporary use for the first time in several decades.

Bracelets were wide and three-dimensional in the early 1940s, these included linked bracelets and bangles which were worn both over gloves and on unadorned wrists. Necklaces were typically worn high up on the neck, while brooches were large, usually worn on shoulders of day and evening attire. Large finger rings with square-edged stones and layered or stepped edges were popular, substantial forms in textured gold are synonymous with this style.

Precious gemstones became very rare in the period, due to the difficulty of procuring them during the war. However in the 1930s hundreds of new gemstone deposits were discovered in Brazil. These newly discovered mines brought a cornucopia of larger coloured stones which were set into 1940s jewellery with a wonderfully polychromatic effect. These included amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, kunzite and topaz.

As the 1940s progressed and the war ended, changes which had occurred in society were echoed in the production of jewellery, with design features such as textured gold formed into scrolls, ribbons and bows in particular. While clothing had become more masculine, jewellery became more feminine. In addition to stylised flowers, birds and animals, popular motifs included buckles or fabric-like folds such as drapes and pleats.

The post-war period was a time of regeneration and renewal. While austerity continued, the mood was buoyant resulting in jewellery that was bold and confident in design. This is where modernist style truly evolved into the mainstream, exemplified by iconic designs from the great jewellery houses of the time; Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier, Garrard, Harry Winston, Mellerio, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Intrigued by bold and beautiful designs set with a rainbow of gemstones? These vintage jewels are the perfect accessory to compliment any ensemble. Browse and shop our extensive collection online, or visit us in store. 

front view Vintage Tiffany ruby diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Tiffany & Co ruby cocktail buckle ring, American, circa 1945.
Ref: 22706
Diamond drop earrings berganza hatton garden
Diamond drop earrings, circa 1940.
Ref: 24670
front view Emerald and diamond ring, English, circa 1940. berganza hatton garden
Vintage Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring, circa 1940.
Ref: 21394
Boucheron Burmese ruby diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Burmese ruby and diamond cocktail ring, French, circa 1945.
Ref: 24645
Tiffany & Co diamond bracelet berganza hatton garden
Tiffany & Co. diamond bracelet, American, circa 1940.
Ref: 24582
Diamond cocktail ring, circa 1945 berganza hatton garden
Diamond cocktail ring, circa 1945.
Ref: 24774
J. E. Caldwell sapphire clip on earrings berganza hatton garden
J. E. Caldwell sapphire cluster clip-on earrings, American, circa 1945.
Ref: 24455
front Boucheron emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron emerald and diamond ring, French, circa 1940.
Ref: 17965
front view antique yellow gold diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Vintage solitaire diamond dress ring, French, circa 1945.
Ref: 20432
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Updated 21/08/2019 at 2:55PM

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