The 1950s jumped and jived their way into our hearts with rock ‘n’ roll, the birth of the “Beat” Generation, the launch of Sputnik, the beginnings of the space race and the knowledge that we were all living in a nuclear world. Dubbed the “Atomic Age,” the art world seized its symbols and created an aesthetic that found it’s way into nearly every aspect of design from architecture to zippers, fabrics to formica, including the diverse subject matter of 50s jewelry.
In 1947, Christian Dior introduced a new look in fashion that brought femininity back, rejecting the somber wartime silhouette. A fitted bodice and décolleté neckline atop a full skirt flowing out from a tight-fitted waistline called for a newly revised design aesthetic for the fashion’s complimentary jewels and accessories. When it came to jewelry the phrase “the more the merrier” seemed apropos.
To punctuate this elegant display of elan, diamonds set in platinum swept across the feminine décolletage and swirled on lobes newly revealed by upswept hair which was held in place by diamond clips. DeBeers Diamond Corporation ensured that the demand for diamonds would not wane with their ‘A Diamond is Forever’ campaign. By an ingenious focus on using a multitude of smaller diamonds instead of a large focal gem they were able to promote diamonds to every income level, especially the rapidly growing middle class. They cleverly awarded prizes to jewelers worldwide who encompassed beauty, design, function and most of all, diamonds, in their modern compositions.
Like the old mine cut, diamonds cut into this shape possess a high crown, small table, and a large, flat culet. However, the old European cut has a circular girdle. With 58 facets, it is the predecessor of today’s modern round brilliant cut. The Old European cut dates to the 1800s and was used mostly during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau eras.
A single cut diamond has a large table and an octagonal girdle. The culet, or bottom edge of the diamond, may be pointed or it may be flat. A single cut diamond usually has 18 facets. The single cut is an extremely old diamond cut dating to the 1300s.
The element platinum derives its name from the Spanish Platina del Pinto which translates to ‘little silver from the Pinto’ (said to be a river near Popayan, Columbia in which alluvial platinum was first found by the Spanish Conquistadors). Its white metallic luster leaves little doubt as to why the Spanish chose the name. Platinum belongs to a group of elements, fittingly called the platinum group of metals. Apart from platinum the group comprises Osmium, Iridium, Palladium, Rhodium and Ruthenium. Platinum is often found as natural alloys containing one or more of these other elements and it wasn’t until 1804 that all but one of the elements were isolated and named. Platinum is malleable, ductile and very strong. In addition, it does not tarnish and it doesn’t corrode making it a highly prized metal and extremely suitable for the manufacture of fine jewelry.
Authenticity, antiquity, decorative periods, vintages and or circa dating are determined to the best of our ability based on materials incorporated, methods of manufacture, design, hallmarks and signatures, lapidary techniques, technological developments and consultation of our extensive reference library and materials. Dating and period attributions are not an exact science as decorative periods frequently overlap and borrow influences from one another.
Some of our pieces are mounted in a way that makes it difficult to determine a precise stone’s grading. Diamonds and colored gemstones that cannot be removed from their vintage settings without harm to the piece are evaluated in their mountings using industry-standard measurements and formulas. Jewelry descriptions and all carat weights stated represent approximates. Mounted stone(s) is/are graded only insofar as mounting permits observation. All diamonds shown on our website are natural, untreated diamonds.
Most colored gemstones (i.e. rubies, sapphires, and emeralds) are commonly treated to enhance colour or clarity. This has not been researched for this specific item.
We cannot guarantee that the color you see matches the item color, as the display of color depends, in part, upon the type of computer monitor used to observe the image.
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We hope you enjoy our collection, but please keep in mind that we carry a large collection of unique, individual items in our store, only a portion of which appear on our website. So if you don’t see what you are looking for, by all means, please contact us. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you.