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.
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald and the diamond.
In the early 1900s, diamond cutters began to experiment with new techniques. A breakthrough came in 1919 with the introduction of the round brilliant cut. Due to its ability to maximize fire and brilliance, the round brilliant cut has become the standard and most popular way to cut diamonds. Like the old European cut, a round brilliant cut diamond has a circular girdle and 58 facets. However, the round brilliant cut lacks a culet. The round brilliant cut became prevalent during the Art Deco and Retro periods.
Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewelry, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, color and other properties. Alloys with lower carat rating, typically 22k, 18k, 14k or 10k, contain higher percentages of copper or other base metals or silver or palladium in the alloy. Copper is the most commonly used base metal, yielding a redder color.
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.
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