The 1950s was a cautious era for jewelry, and designers opted to return to traditional styles. In addition to diamonds and pearls, gemstones were popular, especially in gold pieces. The decade also further explored the world of costume jewelry.
Diamonds, Pearls and Gemstones
Designs of the 1950s were inspired by nature. Choker necklaces adorned with flowers were extremely popular and were offered with gemstones, such as amethyst. Jacket pins, iridescent butterfly jewelry, cultured pearls, sprays of diamonds in mixed cuts, and polished stones were also worn. Women balanced out their large gems by pairing them with simple jewelry.
Gold was popular during the 1950s, especially Florentine finished gold. Chanel designed gold chains with bursts of gem colors, and fox tails and twisted rope chains were also common. Gold was worn primarily in the daytime so wearers could save their gemstones and diamonds for an evening out.
In the latter half of the 1950s, the popularity of costume jewelry boomed. Pieces were created from synthetic materials so they could be worn every day, not just for special occasions. The jewelry was made in coordinating colors and sold in sets that included a matching necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings. During this era, women also used accessories, such as purses and chiffon scarves to complement her jewelry. Popular costume jewelry designers include Trifari and Dior.