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How Common Is Art Deco Jewelry?

Posted by Kody Klenow on

A Forever Reborn Style

Accessories from the Art Deco era are more common than you may think, but they might be replicas. They are increasing in popularity because they are beautiful and timeless pieces. These complex pieces reflect the modern and streamlined spirit of the era. Each piece includes significant traits such as rich colors, bold geometry, and detailed work. 

The Art Deco era rose in 1925 in Paris and lasted until the second world war in 1939. Art Deco designs are currently going through a resurgence. Throughout the 60s and the 80s, Art Deco saw similar revivals. As it was the time between two major wars, times were changing all over. So much more than accessories were influenced by Art Deco during this era. Some of these include architecture, art, fashion, and everyday objects. Accessories from this period are glamorous and luxurious. This makes it likely that they will never go out of style.

What is Art Deco?

Art Deco is a shortened term of the event Exposition International Des Arts Décoratifs et Industrials Moderns (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts). The style emerged as a result of exhibits at the World’s Fair in Paris, France in 1925. This period is often viewed as a major part of the roaring 20s as well as the “in-between” of war times.

The style is considered ageless, beautiful, and magnificent. Between 1920 and 1935, creations specific elements of design. This made them easy to identify, as they all share one or more significant traits. Throughout the late 1930s, the timeless beauty of these pieces soared. They have since reemerged as one of the most sought-after antique styles.

These pieces are associated with important parts of history. So, they are viewed as bold and fearless. At the time, the sculptural shapes and designs were unlike anything anyone had seen before. It was truly revolutionary. These pieces brought a sense of hope and optimism for the future, making them powerful. Who knew that a diamond could make such a difference. 

With women entering the workforce, times were very different. The way things were done was changing in a multitude of ways, even those as simple as jewelry. This change is often viewed as a turning-point. It is viewed as the moment in which society decided to break free from their past ways and race towards the future. They did so full of hope and decorated with new, intricately cut gemstones and precious metals. 

Pieces from this unique era are highly valued by collectors today. Both symmetry and geometric designs are defining characteristics of these pieces. These pieces are often viewed as special. So, they are passed from generation to generation throughout many lifetimes. It is actually quite rare to find an authentic piece for sale, but it is not impossible.

What Are the Most Common Characteristics?

As stated above, art deco jewelry is often easy to point out because of its specific characteristics. When searching for Art Deco pieces, there are a multitude of things you can look for. Most of the accessories were created in either white gold or platinum. 

White gold grew in popularity after its first introduction around 1915. It was invented to combat the rising costs of platinum and the demand for a light-colored metal. At this point, yellow gold was out of style, and buyers were seeking light-colored metals.

In authentic Art Deco pieces, you should search for incredible antique cut diamonds. The popular cuts of Art Deco pieces include the antique cushion cut, transitional cut, Asscher cut, and especially the Old European Cut diamond. You won’t find any modern, round diamonds in authentic pieces from the Art Deco period unless it has been altered.

Another cut specific to the Art Deco era includes the Calibre cut. Calibre cut stones are precisely and specifically cut to fit into the design of the piece. These cuts are tightly spaced against other metals and stones. This has a major impact on the design of the piece.

It can be a challenge to tell the difference between the Edwardian Era and Art Deco Era. Both incorporate platinum and antique diamonds, but, with Art Deco, there are more geometric and symmetrical designs. There is less free space and a much more industrial feel to Art Deco pieces. 

Finally, when searching for an authentic Art Deco piece, you should look for filigree work. Filigree work is defined by intricate cut-outs in the metal. Lots of synthetic stones and diamonds, platinum, and white gold were incorporated into these designs. It is nearly impossible to replicate the precise and beautiful work of a 1920s filigree piece. In fact, the reproductions of these pieces have softer looks, unlike the stark and stamped edges of authentic pieces. Filigree, a handcrafting process, was perfected by the use of the die-cast machine in the late 1920s. This made it readily available by the early 1930s. 

There is also a difference in the metals when working with a reproduced Art Deco piece rather than an authentic one from the era. Most filigree work from this time was made with either 10k or 18k white gold. If your piece has a yellowish tint to it and is made with 14k white gold, there is a high chance that you are working with a modern-day reproduction. The yellowish tint is a giveaway sign because of the different alloys used today.. When compared to those of the 1920s, the older gold is more grey in its natural state.

Why is Art Deco Special?

The Art Deco era can be viewed as a revolutionary time, or a full-blown transition in style. Things were changing all over, even things as small as accessories. These sleek and bold pieces have often been said to “cast aside the dictates of the past” and open up a new world of opportunity.

Art Deco pieces are in no way simpler than the antiques that came before them, but rather extravagant and brilliant-cut gemstones. The era was a revolutionary time for women and women’s fashion. It offered a freer sensibility, liberating women and their ability to move. 

Soon, Art Deco began to take inspiration from exotic cultures including Egypt and Japan. When this occurred, Art Deco pieces incorporated a variety of pearls and enameling. This era is known for its spark in bold creativity and everlasting pieces that are still very valuable today. 

These pieces are especially important, valued, and popular because of what they represent. Art Deco pieces arose during a time of change between major wars. With this being said, women were forced to step up and work in the absence of their men. Women were so used to being in their homes doing housework. Now, they could go out wearing what they wanted and enjoy the public.

This resulted in an empowering revolution for women. All over, women began to dress more comfortably and freely. They would wear glamorous looks, dress up, and enjoy nights on the town with cigarettes, cocktails, and dancing. 

Women used this as a time to experiment with their style and dress fearlessly. Their creativity was unbound, and they were able to branch out independently. That is why this period is often viewed as such a revolution. It was a revolution done by diamonds, metals, and accessories.

This newfound sense of freedom made many women feel left daring. So, they were hesitant when it came to reverting back into their constricting clothing. It was a new age of fashion, but it was also a very important time for the freedom and rights of women.

Where Can I Buy Art Deco Pieces?

As stated above, Art Deco pieces will never go out of style. In fact, they are still growing in popularity today. Most of the pieces you see today are replicated versions of the originals. Authentic pieces from the Art Deco era can go anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. This is all depending on the gemstones, metals, size, and setting of the piece. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to find a true, authentic Art Deco piece at an estate sale or an antique shop. Many collectors have gathered the originals. However, it is likely that you can find an elegant replica. 

The original designs from this period are constantly being reproduced. This offers buyers unique pieces to add to their own collections and gives them a glimpse into the past. While these pieces did not come from the true Art Deco era, the influence is still prominent. These precious handcrafted replicas are done by skilled professionals. These professionals include lapidaries and goldsmiths that are knowledgeable of the Art Deco era.

About Us

At the Museum, each and every piece is handcrafted by experts of their fields. Our team believes that there is a direct line of imagination coming from the original artist, to the hands of our master craftsmen and women, to you, offering you an extraordinary view into the past life. We have been reproducing timeless pieces for the last 56 years. We will continue sharing our love for perfected, time-honoring techniques and pieces.

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