Category List

Tag List

Cubism (1)
Jennifer Lawrence (1)
Vintage Cufflinks (1)
Mourning Jewelry (1)
gemstones (2)
Ruby Allure (2)
Fine Jewelry (1)
Heidi Klum (1)
1920's Wedding Band (1)
Gem Qualities (1)
Prohibition (1)
Art Deco period (1)
1920's Jewelry (1)
art nouveau jewelry (1)
May Birthstone (1)
The Perfect Gift (1)
Ruby History (2)
Oscar Jewelry, (1)
Harry Winston, (1)
Rose Gold Engagement RIng (2)
Golden Globe Jewelry (1)
Beryl (1)
40 million dollar watch (1)
chalcedony (1)
morganite (1)
Victorian Jewelry (3)
The Four Somethings (1)
Chimento (1)
Cushion cut diamonds (1)
Engagement Ring (1)
Diamond Watch (1)
Pink Gold (2)
Vintage earrings (1)
something old (1)
bride (1)
Mid Century Diamond Band (1)
Rose Gold Jewelry (2)
Belais Brothers (1)
14k Rose Gold (1)
Engagement Rings (1)
Gemstone Cleaning (1)
Art Nouveau Cufflinks (1)
Ruby Ring (2)
Ruby Wedding Band (1)
Bridal Attire (1)
Kate Hudson (1)
Estate Jewelry (6)
Cocktail (1)
Diamond Engagement Ring (1)
antique wedding bands (3)
bold colorful jewelry (1)
Layering jewelry (1)
Art Deco wedding bands (1)
kunzite (1)
King Tut (1)
coral (1)
cornflower sapphire (1)
Romantic Proposals (1)
Royal Baby, Crown Jewels, (1)
Cleaning an Engagement Ring (1)
Men's Store (1)
Snake Ring (1)
Spring (1)
Holiday (1)
Groom (1)
Chopard (1)
Sapphire Wedding Band (1)
Art Deco (3)
Dior (1)
19th Century (1)
Vintage Gruen (1)
Minneapolis (1)
Diamonds (1)
Emeralds (2)
Neil Lane (1)
Sapphire (1)
Dunnhill Lighters (1)
Victorian Earrings (1)
pantone (1)
something blue (1)
orange blossom (1)
Schlumberger (1)
Art Deco Engagement Rings (1)
Watches (1)
Vintage cocktail rings (1)
Emerald Folklore (1)
Bridesmaids (1)
Pigeon's Blood (1)
pink tourmaline (1)
Filigree Jewelers (3)
Art Deco Engagement ring (1)
Jessica Biel (1)
Vintage engagement rings (1)
Wedding Planning (1)
Vintage Wedding Bands (1)
Cezanne (1)
Green gemstone (1)
pink sapphire (1)
custom jewelry (1)
Mother of the Bride (1)
Fancy cut diamonds (1)
Hollywood A-lister's (1)
Naomi Watts (1)
Celebrity Jewelry (4)
Citrine (2)
Gemstone (1)
Lorraine Schwartz (1)
Emerald (1)
opal (1)
Safely Cleaning (1)
Antique rings (1)
OSCAR Fashion (1)
modern wedding bands (1)
14k (1)
Tiffany & Co (1)
Vintage Watches (3)
pastel (1)
Vintage Movado (1)
two-tone jewelry (1)
Emerald and Diamond Earrings (1)
Catherine Martin (1)
Cleaning Gold (1)
Art Deco Wedding Band (1)
Best honeymoon locations 2013 (1)
Wedding Superstitions (1)
Minnesota Monthly (1)
White Gold (1)
Pink Gold Jewelry (2)
Allison Williams (1)
Julia Roberts (1)
Emerald History (1)
labradorite (1)
Vintage Rolex (1)
Jewelry Cleaning (1)
Cleaning a Diamond (1)
Creative Proposals (1)
MartinPatrick3 (2)
sapphires (1)
Trends (1)
History (1)
Statement Ring (1)
Men's Accessories (1)
something new (1)
Emmy's (1)
Aquamarine (1)
Holiday Gifts (1)
Made in the U.S.A. (1)
Graff Diamond Watch (1)
Diamond Bracelet (1)
spinel (1)
Gold (2)
Angelina Jolie (1)
Kate Middleton Ring (1)
Dapper Christmas Gifts (1)
Antique Jewelry, (9)
Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry (1)
Art Deco Jewelry (1)
color of the year (1)
Paris World's Fair (1)
turquoise (1)
Mens Christmas Gifts (1)
Vintage bracelets (1)
Jewelry (2)
Vintage Jewelry (6)
Picasso (1)
Antique Jewelry (3)
Art Deco History (2)
Fine Jewelry Gifts (1)
OSCARS 2014 (1)
18k (1)
diamond wedding band (2)
Layered necklaces (1)
Idina Menzel (1)
Sapphire Ring (1)
Romantic honeymoon (1)
Fred Leighton (1)
diamond eternity band (1)
Cocktail Ring (1)
golden globes 2014 (1)
Piaget (1)
Rose Gold (3)
Righthand Rings (1)
Ruby (5)
leopard print (1)
modern jewelry (2)
moonstone (1)
Bulgari (1)
Emerald cut (1)
Diamond (2)
Stacking Rings (1)
Academy Awards (1)
Retro Jewelry (1)
antique engagement rings (5)
Platinum (2)
something borrowed (1)
Robert Procop (1)
sustainable jewelry (1)
Ceylon Sapphire (1)
Colored Stones (1)
cabochon (1)
Pinterest jewelry (1)
Egyptian Revival (1)
Queen Victoria (1)

Tag Cloud

14k Rose Goldsomething borrowedVictorian JewelryMinneapolisIdina Menzel Layering jewelryOSCARS 2014Art Deco JewelryKate Middleton RingRoyal Baby, Crown Jewels, PlatinumColored StonesRose GoldArt Deco wedding bandsRomantic ProposalsChopard14kNaomi Watts Creative ProposalsAcademy AwardsRomantic honeymoonElizabeth Taylor Jewelry40 million dollar watchArt Deco Wedding BandArt Deco Engagement RingsCelebrity JewelryArt Nouveau CufflinksArt DecoArt Deco periodDiamond BraceletbrideParis World's Fairsomething newsomething oldRuby Allurepink sapphireAntique ringsGraff Diamond WatchEmerald and Diamond Earringstwo-tone jewelryMay BirthstoneVintage GruenProhibitionCleaning a DiamondCezanneOscar Jewelry,Jewelrymodern wedding bandsSafely Cleaningchalcedonycornflower sapphirePicassosustainable jewelryGolden Globe Jewelrydiamond eternity bandHoliday GiftsVintage CufflinksMartinPatrick3BerylJewelry CleaningLayered necklacesSnake RingspinelEgyptian RevivalDiamondEmerald Historysomething bluepantoneCatherine MartinFine JewelryFine Jewelry GiftsHeidi KlumSchlumbergerVintage engagement ringsantique engagement ringsDiamond Engagement RingNeil LaneGemstoneRose Gold JewelryChimentoStatement RingSapphire Wedding BandArt Deco Engagement ringPink Gold JewelryVintage braceletsLorraine SchwartzArt Deco HistoryAntique Jewelry,Ruby HistoryBulgariVintage Wedding BandsTiffany & CoAntique Jewelrybold colorful jewelryJennifer LawrenceBridal AttireRuby Wedding BandVintage MovadoBest honeymoon locations 2013Estate JewelryMourning Jewelryturquoise opalcabochonHollywood A-lister'sPink GoldJulia RobertsPigeon's BloodAngelina Jolie Allison WilliamsRuby RingGem QualitiesDiamond WatchEmeraldsart nouveau jewelryMen's AccessoriesJessica BielWatchesDiamondsGroom Kate HudsonSpringThe Four Somethingsgolden globes 2014Bridesmaidsorange blossomHolidayEngagement RingsGemstone CleaningRobert ProcopCleaning an Engagement RingFiligree JewelersMid Century Diamond Bandleopard printCeylon SapphireRighthand Ringsdiamond wedding bandPiagetSapphireVintage RolexWedding SuperstitionsEmerald FolkloreMother of the BrideVictorian EarringsDiorRose Gold Engagement RIngEmerald cutmoonstoneMens Christmas GiftsVintage Jewelrypink tourmalineCushion cut diamondsWhite GoldThe Perfect GiftFancy cut diamondsFred LeightonlabradoriteRetro JewelryQueen VictoriasapphiresHistorycolor of the yearTrendsWedding Planning1920's Wedding BandRubyCubismcoral1920's JewelrymorganitegemstonesEmeraldmodern jewelryDapper Christmas Giftskunziteantique wedding bandsCocktailHarry Winston,OSCAR FashionStacking Rings18kVintage cocktail ringsCitrineMen's StoreCleaning GoldSapphire RingGreen gemstoneDunnhill LightersVintage WatchesPinterest jewelrypastelEngagement RingEmmy'sAquamarineKing TutCocktail RingGoldBelais BrothersMade in the U.S.A.Minnesota Monthly19th Centurycustom jewelryVintage earrings


The Drama of Retro Jewelry

July 23, 2016 at 2:28 PM

The Drama of Retro Jewelry


   In the late 1930’s a new style began emerging in jewelry design that is now referred to as Retro jewelry. Retro designs overlapped with the end of the Art Deco period so you start to see geometric, streamlined, elements give way to whimsical, over-sized, asymmetrical pieces. The style dovetails with the drama of the Golden age of Hollywood and like the epic films and glamorous movie stars of its time it was anything but subtle. The many innovations in the art of jewelry making during this time allowed artists to achieve feats of engineering that made even the largest pieces of the era feel light enough in weight to be wearable.


   Retro era artists combined metal colors and textures to give their work added dimension and contrast. During WWII platinum was needed for the war effort so jewelers turned to rose and yellow gold for their creations. In fact, many accessories from this time combined yellow, rose and green gold all in one piece. Jewelers also juxtaposed a high polish finish with a matte finish on metals to accentuate their designs. Another example of the era’s love of texture is the use of snake chain. It’s incredibly light but has a substantial presence in keeping with the weighty looks of this time.

 two tone Retro.jpeg

   The gemstones used in Retro style jewelry are also more varied and colorful than those of the previous period. Because of the war the ability to access gemstones from South Africa, India, Burma and other countries was limited at best. Pre-war gemstone stocks were used sparingly and diamonds, rubies and sapphires of any significant size were scarce. Jewelers used precious petite gems in pave and invisible settings to create a grand look using several small stones. Many pieces were virtually covered in modest sized gems. They also utilized semi-precious gemstones that they could obtain in giant sizes like aquamarines, citrines and amethysts to create their larger than life pieces.

 1940's Retro Ruby.jpeg

   Themes relating to fabric and elements of nature were popular design motifs of the Retro era. Flowing ribbon, outsized bows and knots were commonly featured in jewelry. Flora and fauna were also dominant themes of the period. All the major jewelry houses used flowers, leaves, and petals in their designs. Animals with flowing feathers, fur, tentacles and fins were also highlighted and realistically rendered.

 Retro Diamond Cuff.jpeg

   Retro jewelry is unique in that it’s not a period style. The style is not reflected in architecture or other decorative arts of its time but it is a definite, recognizable style that was prevalent until the end of the 1940’s.     If you love the pieces you see, search "Retro" on our site to find our more one of a kind pieces!



Tags: Estate Jewelry Ruby Citrine Retro Jewelry Rose Gold two-tone jewelry
Category: Retro Jewelry

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

212 Third Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
By appointment only.
612-486-2290 (phone)
612-234-4534 (fax)
PayPal Acceptance Mark