1950's Design Period

cocktail pieces bold large



Mid-century modernism influenced this period with the use of abstract sprays of diamonds in mixed cuts, starbursts and "atomic" shapes. Textured gold dominated this decade with Florentine finishes, foxtail chain, twisted rope, braided wire, mesh, reeding, fluting and piercing. Gold jewellery without gemstones was worn primarily in the daytime, with diamond jewellery for the evenings. Amethyst, turquoise, and coral were the favourite coloured gemstones while cultured pearls were gaining acceptance into day wear.

Cocktail jewellery is in full swing, with large heavy weight designs in yellow gold being hugely popular. Animals, stone set with bright, beautiful, coloured gemstone cabochons in abundant settings find their way into the popular conscience. Bigger rings in particular are in fashion, with raised curved designs and mixed metals.

James Dean, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, these are the pin ups of the 1950’s. It is a hugely influential period in history, popular culture goes mainstream. Teenagers develop a voice, rock and roll sparks a huge parental outrage. The first polio vaccine is discovered, the pacemaker is invented and synthetic antibiotics are marketed on a wide scale.

It is an exciting time of discovery and rebellion, this is reflected in the jewellery. The 1950’s are perhaps one of the most vibrant of decades where gemstones and settings are concerned. Boucheron, Jean de Fouquet, Oscar Heyman and Tiffany are trendsetters. Leading the way to the 1960’s, with its simpler settings and larger stones.

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Examples from our catalogue

Vintage solitaire diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Vintage solitaire diamond ring, French, circa 1950.
Ruby and diamond ring hatton garden berganza
Ruby and diamond ring, circa 1950.
Topaz and diamond cluster ring hatton garden berganza
Topaz and diamond cluster ring, circa 1950.
Diamond and sapphire three stone ring berganza hatton garden
Diamond and sapphire three stone ring, circa 1950.
Lambert Bros. ruby and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Lambert Bros. ruby and diamond ring, American, circa 1950.
Channel set diamond eternity ring berganza hatton garden
Channel set diamond eternity ring, circa 1950.
Burmese ruby and diamond cluster ring berganza hatton garden
Burmese ruby and diamond cluster ring, circa 1950.
Vintage diamond flanked solitaire ring berganza hatton garden
Vintage diamond flanked solitaire ring, circa 1950.
front view antique suger loaf sapphire diamond ring hatton garden berganza
Sugar loaf cabochon sapphire and diamond ring, English, circa 1950.

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Updated 9/07/2020 at 12:19PM

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