The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

The Best In Art Deco Jewelry

By Amy Bailey — June 30, 2014

Baz Luhrmann’s latest over-the-top firework bursting, glitter blinding, and champagne popping screen spectacle, The Great Gatsby, premieres nationwide May 10 and with the cinema draped in bling comes a re-emergence of Golden Age fashion and jewelry. Named Art Deco, the jewelry of the 1920‘s personifies the best during an age of innovation, breaking the rules, and indulgence. Dating from circa 1920 to about 1935, Art Deco jewelry displays clean lines, geometrical forms, the use of colored gemstones, and vibrant motifs. Art Deco jewelry is currently one of the most sought after jewelry styles. Diamonds were used prolifically, and the metal of choice was platinum. Jewelry from this era was inspired by world and cultural influences from Egyptian crown jewels to Cubism to post-war architecture. Invention was everywhere and during this era the baguette diamonds was introduced, as well as the French cut and the Asscher cut.

Common Characteristics:

  • Sleek angular lines
  • Symmetrical design
  • Geometric shapes
  • Filigree

Common Materials:
Fine Jewelry:

  • Settings: Platinum, white gold
  • Gems: Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphire
  • Stones: Jade, pearl, quartz

Costume Jewelry:

  • Stones: Rhinestone, faux pearls
  • Other materials: Bakelite and celluloid plastics, enamels
  • Beads: Crystal, Venetian glass.

Some Common Motifs:

  • Arrows
  • Scarab
  • Sphinx
  • Greyhounds
  • Gazelles

Styles:

  • Long earrings
  • Cocktail rings
  • Flapper beads and pearls
  • Duette clips
  • Dress and fur clips
  • Tennis bracelets

Historical Influences:

  • Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels (1925) in Paris where Deco styles were introduced
  • Egyptian – influence followed discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb
  • Orient – the opening of the East for trade
  • Cubism – Picasso and other great artists were experimenting with angles, geometry and space

The sobering effect of the onset of the World War II caused the lavish and luxury themed Art Deco styles to fall from vogue. The Art Deco style has enjoyed subsequent re-births, the most recent of which is occurring as we speak. You can find beautiful Art Deco styles at the South’s most fabulous estate jewelry store Levy’s Fine Jewelry.

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