The origins of costume jewelry dates back to the 1920s when jewelry designers and manufacturers began using fake stones that imitated precious gemstones. In our previous blog post we discussed the inspiration behind costume jewelry and trends that were popular in the 1940s. In this post, we’ll continue the discussion by taking a closer look at costume jewelry in the 1950s.
During the 1950s, women planned every aspect of their outfit, from their clothing to their accessories. Women turned to costume jewelry for an affordable way to look glamorous every time they stepped out of the house. In the early 1950s, costume jewelry still embodied the retro styles of the 1940s, including Victorian designs such as bows and big, bold pieces like the cocktail ring. Rhinestones and pearls remained popular.
After World War II ended, costume jewelry production flourished. Designers and manufacturers once again had access to materials they didn’t have during the war. Their jewelry featured abstract and tailored designs. Common design elements included textured gold, twisted rope, braided wire, mesh and Florentine finishes. In the ladder half of the 1950s, the decade started to form its own definitive styles. Among the popular jewelry trends of the day were multi-strand beaded necklaces with larger beads.
Jewelry sets also gained popularity during the 1950s. Women wore jewelry sets to match all their jewelry pieces. The sets typically consisted of a ring, bracelet, necklace and earrings. Women preferred everything to match and also coordinated their shoes, belts, hats, gloves, scarves and handbags with their outfit and jewelry.
Let’s take a look at some more jewelry trends that were popular in the 1950s:
- Diamante jewelry – Diamante jewelry was made using artificial jewels and crystals. This jewelry featured rhinestones that gave off a diamond-like appearance without the huge price tag.
- Lucite jewelry – Developed in the 1930s, Lucite is a clear acrylic plastic that became a popular material for costume jewelry in the 1950s. It was less expensive to produce and more chemically stable than other types of plastic. In its basic form, Lucite is luminous and looks like glass or crystal. It can also be dyed in a wide array of colors.
- Animal shapes – Abstract pieces with elaborate detail were also commonly worn during this time. Animal jewelry was especially popular. Fish designs featured jeweled scales, while bird shapes featured vibrantly jeweled feathers and eyes.
- Button earrings – Button earrings were popular and worn as an everyday accessory that matched a woman’s outfit. They were widely available in a large range of colors and styles.
- Chains – Many types of chains were also trendy, including the fox-tail that was draped into swags or tassels.
Many of these styles that characterized the 1950s are still popular today. To ensure your store is stocked with the latest styles, visit Olympia Gold. We supply retailers will all the trending styles, including gold layered jewelry and fashion jewelry.