Some people say that the 1950s was the greatest decade ever. The country was prosperous. The family was stable consisting of Mom and Dad, and two point two children. Some say that the jewelry a women decided to wear had to match the makeup she wore, when she walked out the door. 1950s jewelry was so much more.
Capturing the jewelry and fashions of the 1950s is easy. One look at a Sears catalogue in the year 1957, and you get the gist of what fashion and jewelry was like for the typical family.
1950s Necklaces, Earrings and Bracelets
Pearl necklaces were worn around the neck. They weren’t long beaded strands accentuating a figure, the way they were in the 1920s, by the flappers.
The earrings weren’t screw back popular in the 1930s and 40s, they were round button clip on earrings. And in the 1950s, everybody had to have baby blue colored rhinestones. And some of them huge, as big as silver dollars
The poodle skirt, bobby socks, and buster brown shoes, might have been the outfit, accessorized with a sterling silver charm bracelet, personalized with charms reflecting ones interest, providing the teenager, wasn’t gyrating hips through a hoola hoop, when worn.
Men wore Swank Cufflinks and tie tacs, as that costume jewelry designer sealed its fate for mens jewelry in the 50s.
1950s Jewelry Style
The war was over, the rations done, and Americans could buy crystals from Swarovski, once again. The Aurora Borealis was introduced, an iridescent color of rhinestones, that left its spark from the 50s until today, on the costume jewelry market.
In the 40s the jewelry large and chunky, in the 50s it was more of the same, just a little softer, with more pastel shades.
The 1950s a shifting culture, that introduced rock and roll, moved families out of cities and into the suburbs for the first time, and women had parties sporting huge cocktail rings, with rhinestone jewels.
And women stayed home, barefoot and pregnant. The baby boom moved full speed ahead. More babies were born between the years 1945 and 1964, then ever before. Most born in the middle of this time, 1957. The baby boomers were born after the war.
1950s Tries New Metals
The jewelry of the 1950s introduced copper as a metal to be used in the jewelry craft. Brooches and necklaces experimented with using copper in jewelry manufacturing for the first time. The costume jewelry manufacturers free to explore new metals to make jewelry, as metal rations had ended with the war.
A few designers dazzled the costume jewelry market in the 50s, and a few made their mark in the fine jewelry market once again.
Fine jewelry had a huge comeback in the 1950s, as people had more money to spend on diamonds, and real gemstones. The hardships from the Great Depression in the 30s, now in the rear view mirror, and the rations of the 40s during the war, were no more.
The sparkle reappeared in the real gemstone market, and designers like Van Cleef and Arpels, Hermes and Cartier continued to dominate the gemstone market with top designs for luxury jewels.
The costume jewelry market was firmly in place, and new top designers made their name. Kramer, Haskell, Carnegie engraved their names in their top of the line designed creations. Today, some of the these vintage costume jewelry creations with signature names, sell in the thousands of dollars for a necklace, brooch, earrings, or bracelet.
The costume jewelry market of the 1950s dazzled with sparkle and glitter. The 1950s, the middle of the century was a prosperous time to be alive, and the jewelry business for fine and costume jewelry thrived.