Introduction to Art Deco Jewelry
Art Deco jewelry is a stunningly stylish and vibrant style of jewelry which has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. The style was originally developed in the 1920s and 1930s, drawing inspiration from the Jazz Age, Ancient Egypt, and various geometric shapes and designs.
This guide will provide an overview of Art Deco jewelry, discussing the history behind the style, notable designers, popular metals and stones, and other important features. We’ll also discuss tips for wearing, shopping for, and caring for these unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry.
History & Origins of Art Deco Jewelry
The Art Deco style of jewelry has its roots in the early 20th century, emerging during the period prior to World War I. Art Deco jewelry combines geometric designs, sleek lines, and abstract shapes with a heavy emphasis on materials such as metal and precious stones. The term “Art Deco” was first used in the 1950s to refer to a range of different design styles from those periods.
One of the most influential figures in the development of the Art Deco style was Louis Comfort Tiffany. He combined traditional jeweler techniques with modern influences to create a range of exquisite jewelry pieces. Another key figure in the world of Art Deco was Jean Després, a designer who came to prominence in the 1920s. His bold and daring designs inspired a generation of craftsmen to create their own unique works.
Other early designers in the Art Deco movement included Jean Fouquet, Gérard Sandoz, René Boivin and Raymond Templier. These and other designers challenged traditional jewelers with their innovative use of materials and unorthodox designs. Their creations would go on to become iconic in the world of jewelry design.
Notable Designs & Creators
Some of the most renowned designers and creators in the world of Art Deco jewelry are well-known for their unique and exquisite pieces. These designers and craftspeople have achieved widespread recognition for their stunning works, and often created signature pieces that remain highly sought after to this day.
René Lalique was one of the most celebrated and innovative artisans in the Art Deco movement. His detailed silver and gold designs, featuring semi-precious stones, feathers, shells and glass, incorporated nature themes and captured the spirit of the period. He is widely considered to be the first jewelry designer to use enamel as part of his designs.
The flamboyant Jean Després stood out with his beautiful geometric designs in exotic materials such as onyx, lapis lazuli, jade and coral. He also crafted incredible works featuring unconventional combinations of platinum and diamonds, alongside other precious stones.
Not forgetting the famous French designer Raymond Templier, who was acclaimed for his geometric and abstract designs, often featuring an array of colorful gemstones. His work has been worn by some of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century.
Finally, Italian designer Augusta Viani-Rocca created pieces in the modernist ethnic style, which combined Art Deco motifs with elements of African and Asian cultures. Her renowned works of intricate and bold design were admired for their stunning patterns and exotic materials.
Popular Metals & Stones Used in Art Deco Jewelry Design
Art Deco jewelry is well known for its bold and geometric designs, with many pieces featuring intricate details that are both eye-catching and iconic. Popular metals and stones used in Art Deco jewelry design include gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and other gemstones.
Gold is the most popular metal used in Art Deco jewelry, as it is historically associated with luxury and wealth. Gold is prized for its malleability, which enables artisans to create intricate designs. Silver is also widely used because it is far less expensive than gold. Platinum is another popular choice as this metal is stronger than gold and offers a beautiful, shimmering finish.
Gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are often incorporated into Art Deco jewelry designs to add color and sparkle. Other gemstones such as opals and turquoise may also be used for decorative purposes. When combined with precious metals, these stones create stunning pieces of jewelry.
Characteristics & Features of Art Deco Jewelry
Art Deco jewelry is distinguished from other styles by its bold geometric patterns and angular lines. Some of the most common shapes used to create Art Deco pieces include rectangles, chevrons, and triangles. Art Deco pieces also often feature distinctive swirls and curves.
The use of color is another signature feature of Art Deco jewelry. While some pieces may be monochromatic, many feature a range of colors like yellow gold, chrome, turquoise, and jade.
In addition to their unique shapes, many Art Deco pieces also feature intricate engravings and detailed settings. Baguette and marquise shaped stones are frequently found in these designs. They can also feature a variety of embellishments such as filigree and milgrain.
These characteristics help to create unique pieces of jewelry that are both eye-catching and timeless. Art Deco jewelry is also renowned for its craftsmanship and attention to detail. Many of these pieces have been passed down through generations and become family heirlooms.
Symbolism has been an integral part of Art Deco jewelry since its inception. From geometric shapes to the use of bold colors, each piece often has a unique meaning or message behind it.
The most iconic symbol used in Art Deco jewelry is the sunburst motif which typically represents energy and hope. This symmetrical design consists of multiple rays extending outwards from a central point, similar to the way the sun’s rays stretch outward.
Geometric shapes, such as rectangles, triangles, and circles, are also popular symbols found in Art Deco jewelry. These shapes often represent balance, protection and stability. The square can represent the four elements of earth, the triangle symbolizes fire, and the circle stands for spirit or eternity.
The use of bright colors is also common in Art Deco jewelry. Red is seen as a symbol of power, blue is associated with loyalty and trust, and green is thought to bring health and good luck.
No matter the shape or color, there is often a special meaning behind each piece of Art Deco jewelry.
Care & Maintenance of Art Deco Jewelry
Art Deco jewelry can be a beautiful and heirloom-worthy addition to any wardrobe. But just like any precious jewelry, it requires proper care and maintenance in order to preserve its luster and longevity. Here are some key tips for keeping your Art Deco jewelry looking its best.
Cleaning and Polishing
To clean your Art Deco jewelry, you should use a medium-soft brush, warm soapy water, and a soft cloth. Brush gently to remove dirt and dust from the nooks and crannies of your piece. Avoid using hard bristled brushes or harsh abrasives as these can scratch the surface of your jewelry or rub away delicate enamels and stones. To polish your jewelry, use a special polishing cloth made of microfiber fabric.
When not wearing your Art Deco jewelry, store it in a fabric-lined box or pouch that prevents tarnish and scratches. Keeping your jewelry pieces separated is important too! This will help prevent the stones from being scratched against other pieces. With proper storage, you can be sure that you’ll be able to enjoy your Art Deco jewelry for many years to come.
If your Art Deco jewelry needs any repairs, such as loose settings or broken clasps, it’s best to take it to a professional jeweler for a professional assessment and repair. This will ensure that the fix is done properly and won’t result in further damage. When selecting a jeweler, make sure to check their reviews and inquire about their experience in restoring jewelry of this style.
Popular Companies & Craftspersons Who Specialize in Art Deco Jewelry
Art Deco jewelry has become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more companies and craftspeople specializing in this beautiful style of jewelry. Many places create unique pieces using traditional techniques, while others focus on restoring and repairing existing pieces for a new lease of life. Here are some of the most well-respected companies and craftspeople.
- The Antique Jewellery Company: Founded in 1987, this company is committed to providing the finest quality antique and Art Deco jewelry. They specialize in sourcing rare and original pieces, as well as offering restoration and repair services.
- Tara Fine Jewelry: This family-run jewelry shop has been in business since 1988, and offers a wide range of vintage and modern jewelry styles, including Art Deco pieces. They specialize in custom design, as well as repairs and appraisals.
- Diamond Designers of London: This company specializes in the repair and restoration of vintage and contemporary jewelry, with a particular focus on Art Deco designs. They have a team of experienced goldsmiths who can breathe new life into old pieces.
- Katherine Boyce Jewelry: Katherine Boyce has been designing and creating unique jewelry for over 20 years, with a particular focus on Art Deco styles. She works closely with clients to create bespoke pieces, as well as restoring and repairing existing jewelry.
Whether you’re looking for an original and unusual piece of Art Deco jewelry or a restoration expert, there are many excellent companies and craftspeople who specialize in this beautiful style. Each offers their own unique and expert service, so it’s worth taking some time to research their offerings.
How to Wear Art Deco Jewelry
Adding an Art Deco piece to your outfit can instantly elevate the look. Whether you’re going for a subtle nod to the era, or want to make a statement, here’s how you can rock Art Deco jewelry.
Mix and Match
Choose several pieces with different shapes and colors and layer them up. Long, dangly earrings look great when paired with a necklace featuring geometric shapes. A bold cocktail ring should never be worn alone but can be balanced with other simpler pieces.
Choose Your Materials Wisely
Part of what makes Art Deco jewelry special is the combination of materials used. Precious stones like rubies, sapphires, and diamonds are balanced with less expensive elements such as copper and enamel. You can create an inexpensive and stylish look by experimenting with different combinations.
Find the Balance
When wearing Art Deco jewelry, it’s important to create balance. An over-the-top statement necklace should be balanced out with simple earrings, while an intricate bracelet should be paired with a minimalistic gown.
Stay True to Yourself
The beauty of Art Deco jewelry is that it encompasses a wide range of styles. If you prefer something more subtle, opt for restrained pieces with few embellishments. If you’re all about making a statement, go for bold, brightly colored designs.
Shopping Tips & Advice for Art Deco Jewelry
When shopping for Art Deco jewelry, there are several important points to keep in mind. Before making any purchase, it is essential to consider the piece of jewelry you are looking at, its condition and authenticity. Here are some tips to help you shop smartly and get the most out of your experience.
- Choose a reputable store – Make sure you buy from a trusted source. Check reviews and customer feedback before buying from any store.
- Get an appraisal – It is worth getting an appraisal to ensure the piece of jewelry you’re buying is authentic and not a knock-off.
- Inspect the quality of the stone – Art Deco jewelry often features precious and semi-precious stones. Make sure to inspect the quality of the stones used to ensure its authenticity and value.
- Evaluate the condition – Be sure to evaluate the condition of the jewelry carefully before buying. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as scratches or missing stones, that can affect the value of the piece.
- Compare prices – Shop around and compare prices to get the best value for your money.
Following these tips will help you find the perfect piece of Art Deco jewelry that is both beautiful and affordable.
Accessibility & Cost of Art Deco Jewelry
The accessibility and cost of Art Deco jewelry varies depending on the materials used, the complexity of the design, and the level of craftsmanship. Authentic pieces made with precious metals and stones are usually more expensive than modern reproductions. Pre-owned and vintage jewelry is often available at more affordable prices.
Art Deco jewelry can be found in a variety of price points, from costume jewelry to high-end luxury pieces. Pieces made with silver and cubic zirconias are generally the most affordable, while those with gold, diamonds, rubies, and other gemstones can be quite costly.
When shopping for Art Deco jewelry, it’s important to consider the quality of the piece and the materials used. While some people may be tempted to purchase lower-cost reproductions, authentic vintage or antique pieces offer a unique beauty that is not found in modern-day copies. It’s best to research the piece and its maker before purchasing, as well as understand all return policies and warranties.
Art Deco jewelry is a timeless and enduring style, from its iconic geometric shapes and bold colors, to its symbolic meaning. Its growing popularity has made it easier to find Art Deco pieces, both antique and modern. This comprehensive guide has highlighted the essential components of Art Deco jewelry: its history, notable designs and creators, popular metals and stones, distinctive characteristics, and symbolic meaning. We’ve also covered how to care for and restore Art Deco pieces, where to shop for them, what to consider when buying, and how to wear Art Deco jewelry. With this guide in hand, you’re now armed with all the knowledge needed to purchase, wear, and appreciate Art Deco jewelry.
Questions & Answers about Art Deco Jewelry
- Q: What is Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Art Deco jewelry is a decorative style from the early 20th century that incorporates bold colors, geometric shapes and nature-inspired motifs.
- Q: Who are some of the notable creators of Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Famous Art Deco designers include Tiffany & Co., Jean Fouquet, Hayne jewelers, Raymond Templier and Emilio Terry.
- Q: Which materials are typically used in Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Popular metals used in Art Deco design include white and yellow gold, platinum, stainless steel and aluminum. Popular gemstones often seen in this era include diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and topaz.
- Q: What does Art Deco Jewelry represent?
A: The main elements of Art Deco jewelry is meant to evoke feelings of glamour, luxury and modernity.
- Q: How should I care for my Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Store your Art Deco jewelry away from other jewelry to minimize potential scratches and wear. Clean with a soft jewelry cloth and only use gentle cleaners when specific stains arise.
- Q: Are there companies or craftspeople specializing in Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Yes, there are businesses and individuals who specialize in restoring and creating Art Deco jewelry. Some notable companies include La Maison Du Cassoulet, SuperJeweler, L’atelier des Arts Vivants and Migot Material Cultural Jewellery Gallery.
- Q: What tips should I consider when shopping for Art Deco Jewelry?
A: Before you start your Art Deco shopping sprees, consider the quality of the material, the authenticity of the design, the seller’s return policy and the cost.