Category List

Tag List

Neil Lane (1)
Cleaning an Engagement Ring (1)
Holiday (1)
Jewelry (2)
Diamond Bracelet (1)
Angelina Jolie (1)
Emmy's (1)
Art Deco Wedding Band (1)
Romantic Proposals (1)
gemstones (2)
pink sapphire (1)
Cocktail (1)
Celebrity Jewelry (4)
Cubism (1)
Ruby History (1)
Dunnhill Lighters (1)
Ruby Wedding Band (1)
Rose Gold Jewelry (2)
May Birthstone (1)
Pink Gold (2)
Oscar Jewelry, (1)
sapphires (1)
Dapper Christmas Gifts (1)
Art Nouveau Cufflinks (1)
Art Deco period (1)
Layering jewelry (1)
Academy Awards (1)
chalcedony (1)
Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry (1)
Art Deco Engagement ring (1)
pastel (1)
Wedding Planning (1)
Mid Century Diamond Band (1)
Holiday Gifts (1)
Paris World's Fair (1)
MartinPatrick3 (2)
something new (1)
Art Deco (3)
Lorraine Schwartz (1)
19th Century (1)
Men's Store (1)
Vintage Watches (3)
Spring (1)
art nouveau jewelry (1)
Cleaning Gold (1)
14k Rose Gold (1)
Safely Cleaning (1)
Minnesota Monthly (1)
Picasso (1)
Sapphire Ring (1)
Kate Middleton Ring (1)
Snake Ring (1)
OSCAR Fashion (1)
cabochon (1)
kunzite (1)
turquoise (1)
Layered necklaces (1)
moonstone (1)
Righthand Rings (1)
pink tourmaline (1)
Statement Ring (1)
Made in the U.S.A. (1)
Robert Procop (1)
labradorite (1)
Rose Gold (3)
Jewelry Cleaning (1)
Diamond (2)
Mens Christmas Gifts (1)
Cocktail Ring (1)
modern wedding bands (1)
morganite (1)
opal (1)
Vintage Rolex (1)
Piaget (1)
custom jewelry (1)
Mourning Jewelry (1)
Fred Leighton (1)
Creative Proposals (1)
Trends (1)
Colored Stones (1)
Diamond Engagement Ring (1)
14k (1)
Fancy cut diamonds (1)
Idina Menzel (1)
Platinum (2)
Julia Roberts (1)
Vintage bracelets (1)
Vintage Gruen (1)
Vintage Cufflinks (1)
Diamond Watch (1)
Art Deco Engagement Rings (1)
Aquamarine (1)
Vintage Movado (1)
Vintage cocktail rings (1)
Emerald Folklore (1)
Vintage engagement rings (1)
White Gold (1)
Emerald History (1)
Hollywood A-lister's (1)
something borrowed (1)
Citrine (2)
Filigree Jewelers (3)
40 million dollar watch (1)
Men's Accessories (1)
Graff Diamond Watch (1)
Victorian Jewelry (3)
Egyptian Revival (1)
Bulgari (1)
Pinterest jewelry (1)
Emerald cut (1)
Vintage Jewelry (6)
Fine Jewelry Gifts (1)
Emerald (1)
Jessica Biel (1)
Vintage earrings (1)
orange blossom (1)
Ceylon Sapphire (1)
The Perfect Gift (1)
Beryl (1)
Chopard (1)
Sapphire Wedding Band (1)
Vintage Wedding Bands (1)
Gemstone Cleaning (1)
Best honeymoon locations 2013 (1)
1920's Jewelry (1)
Naomi Watts (1)
Sapphire (1)
Bridesmaids (1)
1920's Wedding Band (1)
Harry Winston, (1)
bold colorful jewelry (1)
Antique rings (1)
diamond wedding band (2)
something old (1)
Groom (1)
Chimento (1)
Pigeon's Blood (1)
antique wedding bands (3)
diamond eternity band (1)
18k (1)
Emerald and Diamond Earrings (1)
Gem Qualities (1)
Stacking Rings (1)
leopard print (1)
Tiffany & Co (1)
Estate Jewelry (5)
cornflower sapphire (1)
Engagement Rings (1)
Minneapolis (1)
Rose Gold Engagement RIng (2)
Belais Brothers (1)
Prohibition (1)
sustainable jewelry (1)
Royal Baby, Crown Jewels, (1)
Diamonds (1)
Retro Jewelry (1)
Allison Williams (1)
spinel (1)
Ruby (4)
something blue (1)
Cezanne (1)
The Four Somethings (1)
Emeralds (2)
Art Deco Jewelry (1)
Golden Globe Jewelry (1)
golden globes 2014 (1)
Queen Victoria (1)
Gold (2)
Kate Hudson (1)
Antique Jewelry, (8)
Fine Jewelry (1)
Dior (1)
Cushion cut diamonds (1)
Jennifer Lawrence (1)
OSCARS 2014 (1)
modern jewelry (2)
Watches (1)
Pink Gold Jewelry (2)
Wedding Superstitions (1)
Victorian Earrings (1)
Catherine Martin (1)
pantone (1)
Ruby Allure (1)
Gemstone (1)
Art Deco wedding bands (1)
Art Deco History (2)
antique engagement rings (5)
bride (1)
History (1)
Antique Jewelry (3)
color of the year (1)
Bridal Attire (1)
King Tut (1)
two-tone jewelry (1)
Green gemstone (1)
Romantic honeymoon (1)
Cleaning a Diamond (1)
Schlumberger (1)
coral (1)
Mother of the Bride (1)
Heidi Klum (1)
Ruby Ring (1)
Engagement Ring (1)

Tag Cloud

Robert ProcopHolidaydiamond eternity bandPink Goldantique wedding bandsPigeon's Bloodcolor of the year19th CenturyThe Four SomethingsKate Middleton RingmoonstoneSnake RingRomantic honeymoonBest honeymoon locations 2013pink tourmalineOSCARS 2014Vintage WatchesAntique Jewelrysomething oldDiamondWhite GoldVintage Wedding BandsChimentoHoliday GiftsPlatinumFine JewelryWedding PlanningDiamond WatchEmeraldNaomi Watts antique engagement ringsVictorian EarringsLorraine SchwartzThe Perfect Giftorange blossomColored Stonesart nouveau jewelryArt Deco Engagement RingsMourning JewelryArt Deco wedding bandsMen's AccessoriesVictorian JewelrybrideCeylon SapphireHeidi KlumGreen gemstoneRuby AllureJewelry CleaningHollywood A-lister'sOscar Jewelry,Vintage MovadoVintage GruensapphiresIdina Menzel Rose Gold Engagement RIngRighthand RingsStacking RingsPinterest jewelrysomething newArt Deco periodRuby HistorySapphire Wedding Bandmodern wedding bandsCatherine MartinkunziteGemstoneVintage JewelryGoldCleaning an Engagement RingHarry Winston,Belais BrothersRubyGraff Diamond Watchmodern jewelryProhibition1920's Wedding BandKing Tutsomething blueEngagement RingsPiaget18kRuby Wedding BandEmeraldsDunnhill LightersEstate JewelryMay BirthstoneVintage earringsBridesmaidsEmerald HistoryChopardlabradoritepastelArt Deco JewelryCushion cut diamondsAcademy AwardsVintage RolexSafely CleaningLayering jewelryBridal AttireAquamarinebold colorful jewelryFine Jewelry GiftsArt Deco14kGolden Globe JewelrySapphirecornflower sapphireAllison WilliamsRose Gold JewelryCocktail Ring14k Rose Goldleopard printBulgaripantoneMartinPatrick3Emerald and Diamond EarringsGemstone Cleaningcustom jewelryNeil LaneElizabeth Taylor JewelrycabochonCleaning a DiamondEmerald FolkloreCocktailWedding SuperstitionsSchlumbergerMinnesota Monthly1920's JewelryLayered necklacesOSCAR FashiongemstonesCelebrity JewelryJessica BielTiffany & CoArt Nouveau CufflinksFancy cut diamondsArt Deco HistoryDapper Christmas GiftsGroom SpringMid Century Diamond BandVintage CufflinksPicassoCleaning GoldMens Christmas GiftsEmerald cutFred Leightonturquoise Paris World's FairEngagement RingJewelryMother of the BrideKate HudsonQueen Victoriasomething borrowedRuby Ringsustainable jewelryVintage engagement ringsEgyptian RevivalArt Deco Wedding BandAntique ringsMinneapolisEmmy'sVintage braceletsHistoryFiligree JewelerscoralDiamond Engagement RingmorganiteDiamond BraceletMade in the U.S.A.DiorRose GoldBerylDiamondsGem QualitiesPink Gold JewelrySapphire Ringspineltwo-tone jewelrygolden globes 2014Men's Storepink sapphireVintage cocktail ringsRomantic ProposalsRetro Jewelry40 million dollar watchWatchesdiamond wedding bandopalCezanneCitrineAngelina Jolie Creative ProposalsAntique Jewelry,Royal Baby, Crown Jewels, Jennifer LawrenceJulia RobertschalcedonyTrendsArt Deco Engagement ringStatement RingCubism


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