Gemport News
Jewellery Through the Ages


THE 1950s

In history: The 1950s were defined by a recovery from the damage left behind by the second world war, as people began to look toward the future with a sense of hope.

Jewellery styles at the time were divided into two categories The first category included pieces that were still heavily influenced by the 1940s, while the second category consisted of jewellery defined by the new decade and pieces were feminine and opulent, following the end of the war.

A post-war fashion revival was in full swing, and it was all about celebrating extravagant jewellery that featured gold and fabrics being fashioned into elements of fringes, tassels and plaits. The economic recovery created a new class of clientele that would be catered to by large jewellery names like Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.

The people with the most money wanted to parade their wealth by purchasing jewellery that was big , bold, and featured a lot of bright precious stones.

One name that stood out at the time was Harry Winston, who made a tremendous impact on that era with its revolutionary designs.

The trend of wearing large and expnsive jewellery did not apply just to the upper class. Individuals that did not have the disposable income that would allow them to afford the real thing wanted to create the illusion of wealth and prosperity through their jewellery. Thus began a trend of engagement rings that featured prong settings that made the diamond look larger than its actual size known as "illusion" settings.

In 1948 DeBeers conceived its slogan, "Diamonds are forever," which greatly impacted the jewellery market of the 1950s, making the engagement ring a must-have for newly-engaged couples.

excerpt from Canadian Jeweller Magazine November 2013


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