At the start of the 1940s the jewelry arts were interrupted by the onset of World War II. Precious metals, especially platinum, were rare and in some instances forbidden to be sold. Palladium was substituted for the platinum being used in the war effort. In order to eek the most out of the available gold, a low karat gold alloy was used with a higher copper percentage. This resulted in gold with a subtle but distinctive reddish tinge, indeed through the cunning use of alloys, gold appeared in multiple colors within a single piece. Gold was manipulated in various ways; woven, braided and coiled. Resilla, cannetille and lacy filigree patterns reappeared in jewelry. Various textures were juxtaposed within a design putting matte finish next to bright to accentuate the design. Gold became the quintessential jewelry metal of the 1940s and 50s.
Silver is a white metallic element, harder than gold, softer than copper and second only to gold in malleability and ductility. Represented on the Periodic Table of the Elements by the symbol Ag, silver is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Silver is considered one of the noble metals because of it is excellent resistance to oxidation. Historically, silver has played a prominent role in the production of jewelry an objets d'art and is usually alloyed with another metal to harden it enough to maintain the desired shape and details imparted to it.
Enameling is a decoration technique in which a glass of certain composition is fused to the surrounding or under laying metal. Although the exact origins are unknown, the art of enamelling has been practiced since ancient times. The favor of adorning jewelry with bright colors has always existed and the use of glass created colors which nature – in the form of gemstones – could not provide for in ancient times. Excavations on Cyprus – in the Mediterranean – in the 1950's brought cloisonné enameled jewelry to the surface which dates from the 13th and 11th century BC. These are, to date, the earliest enameled items found in this particular technique.