100 years of jewellery: Trends from the past century

First published: 22-12-2017

Female holding a clutch handbag

Fashion is everchanging. From the boyish silhouettes of the 1930s to the punk-rock attitude of the 1990s, it's shaped by the present but always influenced by the past.

We've looked at jewellery trends from the last century, highlighting styles that reflect the wider cultural movements at the time.

Check out some of our favourite vintage-inspired pieces, which showcase the way jewellery trends have evolved over the last 100 years, and indulge in a bit of time travel with Watch Shop!

Fresh and feminine: Jewellery trends in the 1910s

The pre-war era was all about elongated shapes and exotic detailing, inspired by the ultra-feminine glamour of silent movie stars. Platinum became a popular material used for creating jewellery, which worked well with the white colour scheme that dominated the fashion scene at the time.

Guess Jewellery Ladies' Rhodium Plated Necklace

Ladies' Guess rhodium-plated necklace (RRP £50, sale price £25)

This rhodium-plated necklace (RRP £50, sale price £25) by Guess captures the spirit of the early 1900s, with its long, simple chain and feather charm. Pair it with a light and airy white outfit to truly channel the era.

An artistic flair: Jewellery trends in the 1920s

The 1920s are famous for the Art Deco movement, which used geometric shapes, rich colours, and bold designs to capture the decade's spirit of innovation and frivolous fun. Rich metallic tones like gold and platinum dominated the jewellery scene, often featuring sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.

Fiorelli Jewellery Ladies' PVD Gold plated Ring

Ladies' Fiorelli PVD gold-plated ring (RRP £25)

With its striking use of geometric shapes and bold contrast between black and gold, this PVD gold-plated ring by Fiorelli (RRP £25) is exactly the sort of thing a flapper girl or socialite might have worn during the roaring twenties. Pair it with a drop-waist dress and a string of pearls to complete the look!

Unapologetically glamorous: Jewellery trends in the 1930s

Hollywood was born in the 1930s, and the fashion scene was inspired by the mega-stars that dominated the big screen. Jewellery in the 1930s was all about recreating a sense of film star glamour, with bold statement pieces featuring large, colourful stones that were contrasted against smaller gems.

Juicy Couture Jewellery Ladies' PVD rose plating Fringe Forward Statement Earrings

Ladies' Juicy Couture PVD rose plated Fringe Forward earrings (RRP £70)

Both dramatic and beautiful, these PVD rose plated Fringe Forward statement earrings (RRP £70) by Juicy Couture embody the spirit of the 1930s. With their bold use of colour and unapologetically extravagant design, you can get red carpet ready and channel your inner Vivien Leigh by styling them with a fitted, floor-length gown.

Smart and sophisticated: Jewellery trends in the 1940s

Fashion in the 1940s had a decidedly polished look, with trim tailoring to create neat, complete ensembles from head to toe. Jewellery trends were equally sophisticated, with gold and diamonds used across bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Brooches that featured nature-inspired designs, like flowers and animals, were also popular.

Lonna And Lilly Ladies' Rose Gold Plated Earrings and Brooch Set

Ladies' Lonna And Lilly rose gold-plated earrings and brooch set (RRP £24)

Embrace the 1940s with this rose gold plated earrings and brooch set (RRP £24) by Lonna And Lilly, which is inspired by the decade's use of gold and diamonds in delicate designs. It will add feminine detail to a slim-fit jacket and trouser combo, allowing you to take your tailoring to the next level.

Dripping in diamonds: Jewellery trends in the 1950s

Marilyn Monroe sang about how "diamonds are a girl's best friend," and the world listened. Jewellery in the 1950s was all about ultra-feminine extravagance, with diamonds taking centre stage. Movie stars sparkled from head to toe, while the rest of society tried to channel the look with a statement piece or two.

9ct White Gold Jewellery White Gold Diamond Round Collar 17in/43cm

Ladies' 9ct white gold diamond round collar (RRP £385, sale price £192)

This 9ct white gold diamond round collar necklace (RRP £385, sale price £192) epitomises 1950s glam, with a dazzling diamond motif and delicate chain. It'll steal the show when styled against a simple black cocktail dress, or pair it with something red for a truly stunning statement.

Letting loose: Jewellery trends in the 1960s

The 1960s was a period of cultural upheaval where rules were challenged and conventions were broken. Fashion mirrored the attitude of the time, from the rebellious mods in their miniskirts to the psychedelic tie-dye clad teens at Woodstock. Jewellery was just as free, and trends included costume pieces and fun designs.

Olivia Burton Jewellery Ladies' Sterling Silver Daisy Stud Earrings

Ladies' Olivia Burton sterling silver daisy stud earrings (RRP £40)

Promote peace and love with these sterling silver daisy stud earrings by Olivia Burton (RRP £40). They capture the bohemian spirit of the 1960s - pair them with a peasant blouse or flowy dress to complete the look.

Big, bold, and bohemian: Jewellery trends of the 1970s

The fashion scene in the 1970s took the bohemian influences from the 1960s and added a bit of disco-glam, with bell-bottomed jeans, paisley patterns, and fringed jackets seen on both men and women. Jewellery was all about making a statement, and big, gold pieces were popular.

Abbott Lyon Jewellery Ladies' Rose Gold Plated Cuff Bangle

Ladies' Abbott Lyon rose gold plated cuff bangle (RRP £29)

This chunky rose gold-plated cuff bangle (RRP £29) by Abbott Lyon has an irresistibly retro appeal. The rosy tinge gives the 1970s styling a modern edge, making it perfect for adding a bit of shine to your work ensemble.

More is more: Jewellery trends in the 1980s

The 1980s was a big decade for fashion. Neon colours, big patterns, and edgy designs were made popular by cultural icons like Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson. Jewellery trends followed suit. The motto was 'more is more' and layered necklaces, oversized rings, and stacks of bangles were all popular.

Abbott Lyon Jewellery Ladies' Rose Gold Plated Cuff Bangle

Ladies' Swarovski stainless steel Impulse necklace (RRP £119)

Legendary jewellery brand Swarovski has captured the 1980s perfectly with this stainless steel Impulse necklace (RRP £119). The rich jewel tones and oversized stones are unapologetically bold, and the purple, pink, and black colour scheme has a rock and roll edge.

Pretty in punk: Jewellery trends in the 1990s

Fashion in the 1990s drew from a melting pot of vintage influences, borrowing bits and pieces from different decades to create a look that was both feminine and edgy. Popular jewellery trends included beads, colourful floral statement pieces, and, of course, the iconic choker necklace.

Juicy Couture Jewellery Ladies' PVD Gold plated Layered Starburst Choker Necklace

Ladies' Juicy Couture PVD gold-plated layered Starburst choker necklace (RRP £60)

Nobody does the 1990s better than Juicy Couture, and you can wear the decade loud and proud with this PVD gold plated layered starburst choker necklace (RRP £60). The gold stars stand out against the black fabric, making it the perfect piece to wear on a fun night out.

Whether you're drawn to the romance of the Art Deco era or you can't resist a bit of 1980s glam, everyone loves a bit of vintage! Check out the full range of women's bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings to find the perfect throwback jewellery for your wardrobe.


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