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Retro Vintage Jewelry: Delicate, but Never Demure

Retro Era (1940 – 1950)

The start of the Retro era coincides with the beginning of WWII and the end of the great depression. Influences from the Art Deco era spilled over into Retro jewelry, but the hard lines and bold colors of Deco designs began to soften a bit. Gemstones were smaller and flower, bird, heart, and scroll motifs began to appear in Retro jewelry.

Antique silver engagement ring.Jewelry During the War

Most of the jewelry from the Retro era is gold because platinum was more or less unavailable during the war. Gemstones were also in short supply, so engagement rings featured smaller diamonds with gold sculptural details and less expensive gemstones like citrine, amethyst, and garnet. The soft luster and availability of cultured pearls made them a popular choice for jewelry as well.

Charm Bracelets

During the 40’s charm bracelets became hugely popular thanks to the bracelet length sleeve, which allowed ladies to showcase their wrists and express their personal style with an array of charms.

Large pearl and gold earrings.No Pierced Ears

Pierced ears were out of vogue, so many of the vintage earrings you’ll find from the Retro era will be screw back and clip on. The backs on these earrings can often be converted to post backs for modern pierced ears.