40S Style Jewelry


The 1940s was a decade known for its bright bold jewelry trends. Not only did 1940s jewelry reflect society’s fashion sensibilities of the era, but also served to make strong statements about personal style. Popular styles included classic pieces that featured pearls, diamonds and colored gemstones. These timeless jewels often incorporated various filigreed patterns and detailed designs. Art Deco motifs, such as the half-moon crescent and sunburst, were especially popular in 1940s earrings, bracelets, brooches and necklaces. Additionally, bold feathered designs featured prominently in fashion during this decade. As fashion progressed through the decade and wartime restrictions were imposed on materials used for jewelry production, costume jewelry provided a fashionable option at an affordable price. Many fine examples of Bakelite plastics or gilded metals replaced precious metals and stones that had been restricted from use in daily jewelry wear due to these wartime rationing efforts. As a result of the changing times, designers adapted their pieces to reflect these new trends while simultaneously maintaining popular styles of the time period that have lasted throughout the ages.

Popular Design Elements

40s style jewelry had an eclectic flair characterized by its embracing of two simultaneous styles. On the one hand, the restrained elegance of Art Deco design was still seen in many pieces, while on the other popular styles tended to draw on the Hollywood glamour of costume jewelry. The preferred materials were typically plated gold and silver, with semi-precious stones such as turquoise and coral being commonly used. Shapes ranged from bold geometric patterns to softer curves. Popular colors included shades of blue, green, red and purple, often accented with white or clear crystals.

Boldly decorative designs featuring stones set into intricate geometric structures were commonplace in 40s jewelry, acting as a focal point for necklaces and brooches alike. Colorful enamel pieces, usually decorated with floral motifs and bright pastel hues, provided more subtle examples of 40s style accessories. Other popular elements included layered bangles that could be worn singularly or stacked together as a wide bracelets and earrings that suspended drops beneath abstract shapes or delicate chains; these colorful accents were reminiscent of traditional theatre masks.

Iconic Pieces

The 1940s jewelry scene was dominated by a few incredibly talented and innovative designers, many of whom are still revered to this day. One of the most iconic pieces to come out of the era is Elsa Schiaparelli’s faux pearl chocker. These necklaces were released in 1941 and instantly became popular due to her trademark blend of humor and style. Other must-have items from the decade include Hubert de Givenchy’s statement piece, his legendary sautoir necklace, which featured huge stones and other elegant accents. Coco Chanel also made an impact on ‘40s jewelry with her quilted gold bracelets, which were famous for their clean and modern lines. Another designer who made waves during the ‘40s was Miriam Haskel, whose distinctive enameled copper rings are just as sought after now as they were then. Lastly, Schlumberger designed several series of women’s brooches featuring pearls and colored stones that have become synonymous with luxury styling in later decades.

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1940s Heritage

In the 1940s, jewelry styles and trends played an important part in the fashionable landscape of the decade. From charming floral-inspired brooches to large statement necklaces, those fashion trends remain embedded in the hearts of many lovers of vintage fashion and costume jewelry. Today, the 1940s aesthetic is once again being rediscovered with a modern twist -The art of reinterpretation. Designers are tapping into 1940s influences to create new pieces that reference not only the period’s iconic styles but also its social context and symbolism.

Today’s contemporary designers draw influence from both naturalistic elements and architectural flourishes of jewelry designs found in this era. Reinterpreted in gold and sterling silver settings, these pieces often feature delicately detailed motifs such as feathers, stars, butterflies and florals alongside larger angular geometric shapes embraced by those seeking a daring fascinator feel. This combination of old-world designs with modern materials has resulted in exciting new interpretations that perfectly marry efficiency with emotion. A current must being statement earrings that scream sophistication yet still offer a playful take on 1940s glamour.

Far from being just a decorative accent to an outfit, pieces inspired by 40s style can possess a weighty personal symbolism filled with symbolism and emotions shared between wearers and viewers alike. Lasting impressions made during World War II linger within each piece -From joyous celebrations around victory parades to everyday reminders of wartime resilience. It is all this history sealed within each piece that continues to feed nostalgia today – bringing stories unimaginable decades ago back into our homes through beautiful artisanal jewellery forms steeped in meaning for a new audience ready for wearing them!

Where to Buy

Sourcing original 40s style jewelry can be quite a challenge. Leading dealers specializing in vintage items, estate sales and auctions may offer the best prospects for locating antique pieces from this era. Other options include online resources such as specialist auctions, vintage boutiques, antique markets and specialized websites that specialize in these kinds of items.

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When purchasing modern equivalents of 40s style jewelry, some of the most reliable sources can be found at reputable stores such as high-end retail establishments or well-known jewelry outlets with good reputations among buyers. Many smaller independent jewelers also carry the latest trend pieces in 1940s styles. Online retailers are another great source for modern takes on this classic era of jewelry design; some sites even specialize in recreating vintage pieces to impeccable standards.

Further Resources


1. Etsy Market Place – This online marketplace offers a variety of vintage and antique 40s-style jewelry from specialized sellers around the world.

2. Ruby Lane Jewelry – Offers a collection of vintage and antique jewelry from all eras, including pieces from the forties.

3. Vintage Jewelry in Focus – Specializes in vintage costume jewelry from various countries that includes several items from the 40s.

4.Pinup Girl Clothing – This popular online store offers pint-size to plus-size clothing with beautiful accessories, including many pieces of 1940s vintage-style jewelry perfect for completing any look inspired by that decade.

1. Costume and Fashion Jewelry: Identification and Value Guide (2007) by Leigh Leshner
2. Warman’s World War II Collectibles (2010) by Mark Zabarly
3. Collecting Costume Jewelry 202 (2009) by Julia C Carroll
4.Collectible Costume Jewellery 1945 – 1980s Paul Bamford & Tracy Tolkien Eds, 2nd edition (2012).


Vintage 1940s jewelry is not only fashionable and stylish, but it is also a reminder of the era in which it was created. Each piece was handcrafted with love and attention to detail. These unique pieces tell a story of the way things were done before technology made everything so much easier. Vintage jewelry from this period can often be found with intricate designs and detailed craftsmanship, making them timelessly elegant and beautiful. They are a perfect accessory for those who appreciate nostalgia, as the vintage vibes make any outfit more interesting. Regardless of what trends come in and out of fashion, vintage pieces from the 1940s will always look sophisticated, adding character and charm to any wardrobe.

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