The Victorian revival began after World War II. Victorian styles reminded women of a simpler, more gracious era, but the modern expression had a very distinct look compared to its predecessor. Mesh metal chokers are found in Victorian Revival jewelry. Victorian Revival adjustable bracelets have a large center stone and normally went together with a matching pendent necklace. In general, Victorian revival jewelry is much larger in size and bulkier than its Victorian counterparts. ( see http://gesner.com/)
Mid-Century Modern Jewelry
After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the artistic community was profoundly affected. Many young people feared the end was near which brought on the creation of “Atomic” jewelry, which faintly resembled the structure of an atom. Sometimes the atom was designed like a snowflake and became a popular look during the period.
Artists like Salvador Dali and Picasso experimented with jewelry as an art form. A new generation of artists began bringing abstract art to jewelry forms. Influential jewelers began to explore the biomorphic style, creating abstract forms that are suggestive of organic forms. During the Modern Era, abstract jewelry also took on architectural form, through artists like Ed Wiener. Alexander Calder was well known for creating jewelry versions of his mobiles combining many abstract and geometric shapes.
Established jewelers picked up on the abstract forms that were trending at the time, adding their own personal abstract forms to their jewelry. Artistic jewelers like Boucheron became very well known for their custom creations. Costume jewelers do the same and start adding the same abstract forms to commercialized versions of both studio and high fashion jewelers. (see http://gesner.com/)
After the War
After World War II, an entirely different style of jewelry became popular in mainstream culture. Whimsical motifs with dancing ballerinas and feathered animals sat daintily on lapels. More naturalistic motifs like butterflies and flowers also become very popular. Faux pearls became an acceptable fashion accent, appearing on necklaces which were widely marketed.
Dress clips continued to be popular jewelry forms, taking on both abstract and traditional forms. Many of these dress clips became hot selling items.
Chain link bracelets held charms commemorating events, trips, and hobbies. I.D. bracelets also become very popular gifts as were birth stone rings. Both of these items added a nice personal touch to gift giving. (see http://gesner.com/)
Popular Gems of the Period
Diamonds or anything that vaguely resembled diamonds were popular in fine jewelry throughout the period. Rubies, Sapphires, Aquamarine, and Pearls also became popular through the time period. For budget conscious shoppers, rhinestones became reasonable substitutes. The best rhinestones were made of lead crystal giving them more brilliance. Foil backing helped add luminance to rhinestones helping them look much brighter. (see http://gesner.com/)