Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > Design Periods > 1970’s

1970’s

To accompany the fashion for flares, bold prints, and fringing, jewellers created similarly adventurous and trend-setting jewellery. In the 1970’s women began buying more and more jewellery for themselves. Jewellers catered for these fashion conscious women by making more mid-priced gemstone based jewellery. The top jewellery houses including Cartier, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels made exquisite pieces which epitomized the trends of 1970’s fine jewellery.

Yellow gold reigned as the most popular metal, providing the perfect canvas to work into abstract, often three dimensional shapes. Gold was fashioned into different textures, including woven wirework and bark effect finishes. Colourful gemstones including coral, lapis lazuli, coloured quartz and turquoise were set into the interesting yellow gold designs. These bright coloured stones were often used in conjunction with brilliant diamonds, and could be carved or fluted.

Bold rings were especially popular during this period, for example cluster rings with jagged edges, created by marquise cuts of stones and wirework claw settings. Baguette cut diamond surrounds also created an impressive and striking look; ballerina diamond cluster rings are particularly fascinating examples, formed of undulating channel settings encircling a precious gemstone to centre. See our Oscar Heyman Brothers example in sapphire and diamond, reference 18516 and our Cartier emerald and diamond spiral ring, reference 17947.

Boule rings were also very fashionable. Usually formed into a domed shape and set with diagonal twisted rows of gemstones, sometimes alternating, boule rings came in many differing designs. See our Van Cleef & Arpels example in turquoise and diamond, reference 20150, and our frosted rock crystal ring, reference 19854. Twists and channel settings were employed by many 1970’s jewellers into half band rings and bold dress rings.

1970’s earrings were also very distinctive. Highly popular were yellow gold hoops of a circular or oval shape suspended from smaller surmounts.  These were often chunky in design, gem-set or worked with textured metal. We have some beautiful examples including a pair of Chopard vintage diamond earrings reference 19855, and a pair of an intricate wreath design, reference 19279. Another fashionable earring design were the aforementioned jagged clusters, see our sapphire and diamond cluster earrings, reference 17348, for a particularly striking example.

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Updated 17/06/2024 at 5:34PM

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