How To Identify Art Deco Jewelry

The Art Deco era of jewelry design and fashion has been popular for over a hundred years and shows no signs of slowing down. Since the 1920s, Art Deco has provided a timeless combination of glamor and sophistication that continues to be celebrated by new generations.

Jewelry in particular captures the essence of the era with a unique combination of modernity, quality materials, and striking designs that are easy to identify. There are certain key characteristics one can look for when trying to identify pieces that draw from this influential art movement.

Materials – Expand on various materials commonly used in art deco Jewelry.

Design – Expand on specific features associated with Art Deco Jewelry designs
Need – Expand on why collectors seek out art deco jewelry in particular?

Due to its historical value combined with sophisticated designs there is great demand among both collectors and casual buyers seeking fine jewelry from this era. A great deal of skill was put forth into creating Art Deco masterpiece’s thus making it more desirable than some more contemporary styles due not only for its aesthetic beauty but for its iconic status as well.

As a result there is tremendous interest when fantastic original works come up at auctions around the world , prices remain consistently high signaling how greatly coveted artwork remains especially after all these years.

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The Art Deco period is known for its abstract designs, geometric shapes, and bright yet sophisticated color palettes. Art deco jewelry is often crafted from high-end materials such as gold, silver, onyx, and other precious stones.

It was popular during the 1920s and 1930s and is still widely imitated today. As with all period-specific jewelry pieces, identifying an original piece requires understanding what to look for in design elements as well as being aware of these unique techniques used when crafting during that time.

One way to help identify art deco jewelry is by looking at the design itself. Pieces generally have a geometric symmetry about them; circles, squares, zigzags are all common shapes found in this jewellery style.

You may also find vibrant stones set in rectangular or square settings with the sides facing out diagonally from each corner of the accent stone – called “step-cutting” – which adds depth to the overall aesthetic of the piece. Additionally, if viewing a more simple piece look for a repeating pattern throughout the metalwork like stripes or swirls along with two tone metals that give each item greater vibrancy and movement.

Most art deco pieces feature intricate details as well such as filigree patterns worked into their surface areas or engravings of flora and fauna symbols carved down into them further increasing their beauty and value depending on complexity of design work present within the jewellery piece itself.

If your item has some type of text within it always observe any possible hidden mark that can tell you who made it or where it came from originally as this is one way to validate authenticity when trying to determine if it’s an original or not.

Some examples of popular art deco jewelry include rings featuring curved lines set with channel set diamonds, pendants featuring motifs like fish or birds surrounded by pave stones, multi stone bangles crafted from fourteen karat gold are just some examples that prove that art deco is truly timeless fashion trend.

Introduction to Metallurgy

Throughout the history of jewelry making, metalworkers have sought to create pieces with eye-catching designs and elements. No other period embodied this aesthetic more than the Art Deco movement of the 1920s and 30s.

During this time, a variety of precious metals and alloys were used to craft beautiful works of art, many of which remain highly sought after today. In order to identify whether a piece is indeed authentic Art Deco jewelry, one must become familiar with the various metals associated with it.

Silver – Silver has been widely used in jewelry throughout recorded human history. For art deco pieces specifically, silver was often crafted as accent pieces such as buckles or clasps that featured intricate textures or patterns.

What Is Art Deco Jewelry Style

Sterling silver (925 parts per thousand) likely reflects light better than any other type of silver due to its higher reflectance and low thermal conductivity. Certain types of art deco jewelry also featured 950 parts per thousand fine silver for good shine and long lasting wearability respectively.

Gold – Gold features heavily in art deco jewelry design as well. Primarily produced in yellow gold (750 parts per thousand), rose gold (585 parts per thousand) was becoming popular during this period too.

Both types were often milled or scored into abstract shapes, beads, or blue-laced with tiny diamonds for an extra sparkle effect when worn in direct sunlight. Popular finishing techniques included hammering, oxidizing, and granulation – producing unique styles meant to turn heads when seen on display at special events or exhibitions at the time of creation.

Platinum – During the Art Deco era platinum boasted various advantages over its more commonly known competitors such as durability and white luster so it’s no wonder it played an important role in key pieces from this golden age of jewellery design.

Platinum had such an impact due its malleable properties allowing deft craftsmanship to take centre stage resulting in statement pieces like brooches featuring complex milgraining summarising why it’s often referred to as ‘the ultimate metal symbolizing commitment excellence.’

Its natural rarity during this period led jewellers somewhat cautiously include it within their masterpieces only when deemed necessary so spotting a piece with genuine platinum elements can be truly sought after for those collectors seeking true authenticity from their jewellery box goodies.

Conclusion – By understanding the three main metals utilized during the Art Deco movement – silver, gold, and platinum – one can begin identifying authentic artwork from works inspired by that era. Enjoyment should be had by all regardless due to the level care taken by expert jewellers bygone days combined with some luck locating your very own piece worthy of nostalgic remembrance.


Art Deco jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its bold aesthetics and classic appeal. Recognizing the features of this style of jewelry can be tricky at first, but with a few simple tips you’ll quickly identify Art Deco inspired pieces.

To start, there are certain characteristics commonly found in Art Deco jewelry that vary from that of other styles. These pieces often feature bold geometric shapes, including squares, rectangles, triangles, and zigzags. Bold colors and vibrant accents are also very common in these designs – think sapphires, rubies, and enamel set with precious metals like silver or platinum for some truly eye-catching jewels.

Materials such as Bakelite and celluloid were also used by jewelers during the Art Deco period. As far as cuts go you’ll find lots of tapers and baguettes featured on earrings and pendants alike. Plus look out for signature motifs like sunbursts, fans, swept lines and fan-like shapes among others.

Finally it’s worth noting that during this era simulated gemstones known as “doublets” became popular due to their affordability compared to genuine stones – look out for a glass top layer covering a lower layer typically made from foil or quartz material as an indication of these doublets being present. Knowing these identifying characteristics will help you distinguish true Art Deco pieces from other styles with similar aesthetic elements.

So next time you’re scouring the market for something unique with timeless style be sure to keep an eye out for genuine Art Deco jewelry.


Identifying art deco jewelry can be a difficult task, but with some guidelines and exploration, collectors will find that it is well worth the effort. Art deco jewelry is a design style recognized for its modernist look and symmetrical motifs derived from geometric shapes.

These unique pieces are often made of both precious and semi-precious materials and range from earrings to necklaces, brooches to rings, and more. Establishing authenticity requires first understanding the different hallmarks of the art deco movement.

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One of the telltale hallmarks of art deco is asymmetry. Pieces should generally have an open pattern which consists of repeating geometric shapes or symbols placed in an unbalanced but highly aesthetic way. The lines should be clean and evenly balanced on each side of the piece, for example when looked at from an overhead view one side should not overwhelm the other in terms of decoration or visible detail.

Moreover, art deco pieces often incorporate materials such as white gold, platinum, glass, gemstones (e.g., sapphires or rubies), quartz/other minerals, mother of pearl/shells, diamonds & other jewels/diamonds to create a stylish & innovative piece. One key component that many pieces share is bold colors like black or green; these provide contrast to golden hues & add to the dynamic nature associated with the era where the movement emerged-the post World War I period.

When it comes to pricing Art Deco jewelry can vary significantly due to its many styles and details. While certain base metals may have lower prices than high end fine metals like gold or platinum that are found in more expensive pieces; rarer gemstones such as sapphires or emeralds might increase a price tag significantly due to their rarity.

Also vintage items tend to carry a higher price tag because they also take into account age and craftsmanship which can contribute significantly especially if they are handmade by master jewelers from this period.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for and maintaining art deco jewelry is important, as the pieces can be delicate and be easily damaged if not handled properly. It’s best to keep art deco jewelry away from any chemicals or water, as it can cause damage to the surface. To help protect the pieces, periodically clean with a soft cloth or brush and use only a mild detergent if necessary.

Avoid using alcohol-based products that contain peroxide as well, as this may discolor some metals. When storing art deco jewelry, wrap it in tissue paper or cotton batting material and place in a safe area away from sunlight and dust. Jewelry boxes are also an ideal way to help protect the pieces when they are not being worn.

Regular inspection of your jewelry should also occur to ensure any visible wear is identified early on so that further damage can be prevented. Some common signs of wear include loose stones or clasps or tarnished metal or stone surfaces in need of polishing.

Small chips or scratches may also be present on some of the more elaborate designs where intricate details make up part of their beauty such as filigree work. If you find any such issues, it’s best to take your jewelry piece to a professional jeweler for proper identification and repair advice.

In addition to taking care of your art deco jewelry you may want to consider keeping appraisals updated every 5-10 years depending on how often you wear them and what condition they’re in when being stored. This will protect your investment so long term value can be accurately determined if needed in the future that may affect insurance coverage on items during times like moving abroad or times like resale situations due to estate planning etc.

Knowing the age and history behind an item further adds immensely to its charm so its worth documenting such information whenever possible too.

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