What Is Art Deco Jewelry Style

Art Deco Jewelry Style, characterized by its geometric shapes, bold colors, and intricate designs, is a distinctive and influential art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. Drawing inspiration from various sources such as Cubism, Ancient Egyptian and Aztec cultures, and the Machine Age, Art Deco style was a reaction against the ornate and flowery designs of the previous Art Nouveau period.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Art Deco Jewelry Style, exploring its history, characteristics, materials used, and famous designers.

We will also provide tips on how to identify authentic Art Deco jewelry and showcase contemporary artists who are bringing this timeless elegance back into modern jewelry design. Join us as we uncover the allure and enduring appeal of Art Deco Jewelry Style.

A Brief History of Art Deco

The art deco style emerged in the early 20th century, during the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s. It was a global movement that originated in France after the end of World War I, and quickly spread to other parts of the world, including the United States. Art deco was characterized by its elegant and glamorous designs that embraced modernism while still encompassing traditional and exotic influences.

This style was influenced by a variety of sources, including ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art, as well as Native American and African motifs. It also drew inspiration from new technological advancements such as airplanes, automobiles, and skyscrapers. The clean lines, geometric shapes, and stylized forms were a departure from the flowing curves of the previous Art Nouveau movement.

Art deco became a dominant design style in many areas of artistic expression including architecture, interior design, fashion, and jewelry. In fact, jewelry designers embraced art deco principles due to its boldness and versatility. Art deco jewelry reflected the spirit of the times with its emphasis on luxury and opulence.

Some notable characteristics of art deco jewelry include geometric shapes like squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles. These shapes were often combined in intricate patterns to create bold yet balanced designs. The use of contrasting colors such as black and white or vibrant combinations like red and blue was also common in art deco jewelry.

Furthermore,it utilized a variety of materials such as platinum,


and colorful gemstones including emeralds,


and sapphires.

Semi-precious stones like jade,


and coral were also used to add visual interest to pieces.

Characteristics of Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco jewelry is known for its distinctive characteristics and elements that set it apart from other styles. This section will delve into the specific features that define Art Deco jewelry and contribute to its unique aesthetic.

One of the key characteristics of Art Deco jewelry is the use of geometric shapes. Jewelry pieces from this era often feature bold, angular designs that showcase symmetry and clean lines. Squares, triangles, circles, and hexagons are frequently incorporated into the design, creating a sense of balance and harmony.

Another characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is the bold use of colors. Vibrant gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are prominently featured in these pieces, adding a splash of color against contrasting metals. Additionally, enamel work was popular during this time period, with jewelers using vividly colored enamels to create intricate designs on jewelry surfaces.

Intricate detailing is also a hallmark of Art Deco jewelry. Craftsmen during this era were highly skilled in creating delicate patterns and motifs on the surface of their pieces. This attention to detail can be seen in filigree work, where thin metal wires are meticulously intertwined to form elegant designs. Additionally, engraving and milgrain techniques were commonly used to add texture and depth to the jewelry.

To summarize:

  • Geometric shapes: Bold angles and clean lines create a distinctive look.
  • Bold colors: Vibrant gemstones and colorful enamels make a statement.
  • Intricate detailing: Filigree work, engraving, and milgrain enhance the beauty of Art Deco jewelry.

These characteristics combine to create stunning works of art that continue to captivate admirers today. Whether it’s a geometric pendant or an intricately engraved ring, Art Deco jewelry is celebrated for its timeless elegance and unique style.

Materials Used in Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco jewelry is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and use of high-quality materials. During the 1920s and 1930s, when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, various materials were used to create these stunning pieces. From precious gemstones to striking semi-precious stones, Art Deco jewelry showcased a wide range of materials.

Precious Gemstones

One of the trademarks of Art Deco jewelry is the use of precious gemstones, especially diamonds. Diamonds were highly coveted during this period and were often featured prominently in Art Deco designs. Emeralds and sapphires were also popular choices for creating vibrant contrast in jewelry pieces. These gemstones were typically cut into geometric shapes, reflecting the emphasis on clean lines and symmetrical patterns in the Art Deco style.

Semi-Precious Stones

In addition to precious gemstones, Art Deco jewelry also incorporated a variety of semi-precious stones. Jade was a favored stone due to its rich green color and durability. It was often used in carved motifs or as accents alongside other gemstones. Onyx, with its deep black hue, added a bold touch to many Art Deco designs. Coral was another popular choice, adding a pop of color and intricate texture to pieces.

Other Materials

Apart from gemstones, art deco jewelry also made use of other materials such as enamel, lacquer, silver, gold, and platinum. Enamel was applied to metal surfaces using vibrant colors to create stunning decorative details. Lacquer was used on wooden components or carefully painted on metals for an added glossy finish. Silver provided a contrasting background for colorful gemstones while gold and platinum served as luxurious settings for the jewels.

Overall, the materials used in art deco jewelry reflected both luxury and innovation. These materials were carefully chosen to showcase the bold and daring spirit of the Art Deco movement. With their brilliant gemstones, intricate details, and exceptional craftsmanship, art deco jewelry pieces continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Jakob Bengel Art Deco Jewelry

Types of Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco jewelry encompasses a wide range of pieces that reflect the style’s bold and geometric aesthetic. The popularity of Art Deco in the 1920s and 1930s led to the creation of various types of jewelry that are still highly sought after today.

One of the most iconic types of Art Deco jewelry is the cocktail ring. Known for its large center stone and intricate metalwork, cocktail rings were designed to be eye-catching and glamorous. These rings often featured colorful gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, as well as diamonds or colorful enamel accents. They were typically worn to parties or social events, where they would add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Another popular type of Art Deco jewelry is the long pendant necklace. These necklaces featured geometric pendants that hung from long chains, creating an elegant and elongating effect when worn. The pendants themselves often showcased intricate patterns or artful combinations of different gemstones, reflecting the style’s emphasis on bold design elements.

Bracelets were also a staple in Art Deco fashion. Bracelets from this era ranged from delicate filigree pieces adorned with tiny diamonds to bold cuff bracelets featuring colorful gemstones or enameled designs. Many Art Deco bracelets showcased symmetry and geometric patterns, making them visually striking accessories.

Earrings during the Art Deco period were commonly designed as chandelier earrings or dangle earrings. They featured long drops or multiple tiers of diamonds or gemstones that swayed with movement. These earrings added drama and sophistication to evening wear and became a prominent accessory during this time.

Lastly, brooches also played a significant role in Art Deco fashion. Brooches were often large and intricately designed with geometric shapes such as zigzags or chevrons, highlighting the eclectic nature of the style. They could be worn on clothing, hats, or even used as hair accessories, providing a versatile and fashionable accessory option.

Overall, Art Deco jewelry encompasses a wide range of types, all sharing the common theme of bold design elements and geometric shapes. From cocktail rings to pendant necklaces and brooches, each piece reflects the elegant and glamorous nature of this unique style.

Cocktail RingsLarge center stones with intricate metalwork; often featuring colorful gemstones like emeralds, rubies, sapphires.
Long Pendant NecklacesGeometric pendants hanging from long chains; showcasing intricate patterns or artful combinations of different gemstones.
BraceletsVariety of styles including delicate filigree pieces adorned with tiny diamonds to bold cuff bracelets featuring colorful gemstones or enameled designs.
EarringsDangle earrings with long drops or multiple tiers of diamonds or gemstones; adding drama and sophistication to evening wear.

Famous Art Deco Jewelry Designers

Art Deco jewelry is known for its bold, geometric designs and vibrant colors. Throughout history, there have been many talented jewelry designers who have made significant contributions to the art deco style. Their creations continue to be admired and sought after by collectors and enthusiasts today.

One of the most famous art deco jewelry designers is Cartier. Known for their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail, Cartier’s art deco pieces are highly regarded in the world of jewelry. One iconic design by Cartier is the Tutti Frutti necklace, which features a colorful arrangement of gemstones including rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.

Another renowned designer is Georges Fouquet, whose innovative use of materials and unique designs set him apart from his contemporaries. Fouquet’s art deco pieces often featured bold combinations of precious stones and unconventional motifs.

Another notable art deco jewelry designer is René Lalique. Lalique was known for his intricate glasswork and delicate designs. His creations captured the essence of elegance and femininity during the art deco era. Lalique’s jewelry often incorporated motifs inspired by nature, such as flowers and dragonflies.

In addition to these well-known designers, there were many other talented individuals who made significant contributions to the art deco style. Suzanne Belperron was one such designer who gained recognition for her distinctive style characterized by fluid lines and sculptural elements. Jean Després was another influential designer known for his avant-garde approach to jewelry design, incorporating industrial materials like silver into his pieces.

These famous art deco jewelry designers played a crucial role in defining the style and shaping its popularity during the early 20th century. Their creations continue to be treasured today for their timeless elegance and unique aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s a Cartier piece or a Lalique creation, owning a piece of art deco jewelry allows one to carry a piece of history while showcasing their personal style through this captivating design era.

How to Identify Authentic Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco jewelry is a unique and timeless style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. With its geometric shapes, bold colors, and intricate designs, it quickly became a popular choice for those seeking luxurious statement pieces. However, with the popularity of this style comes the risk of encountering imitation or counterfeit pieces. In order to ensure you are purchasing authentic Art Deco jewelry, it is important to know how to identify genuine pieces from replicas.

One key factor in identifying authentic Art Deco jewelry is examining the hallmarks. Hallmarks are small stamps or engravings that indicate the metal’s purity and authenticity. Look for hallmarks such as “18k” for gold or “925” for sterling silver. Additionally, some Art Deco jewelers will have their own maker’s mark stamped on their creations.

Craftsmanship is another important characteristic to consider when determining authenticity. Art Deco jewelry was crafted by skilled artisans who paid great attention to detail. Look out for precise settings, crisp edges, and intricate filigree work. The quality of craftsmanship can often be observed by examining the back or underside of the piece.

Design characteristics also play a significant role in identifying genuine Art Deco jewelry. This style is characterized by its use of geometric shapes such as rectangles, circles, triangles, and trapezoids. Symmetry and clean lines are also common features of authentic Art Deco pieces. Avoid pieces that deviate too far from these design principles.

To further ensure authenticity, it may be helpful to consult with an expert or reputable jeweler who specializes in vintage or antique jewelry. Their trained eye can help confirm if a piece is truly Art Deco or if it belongs to another era or style.

Vintage Art Deco Jewelry Components

By learning how to identify authentic Art Deco jewelry through factors such as hallmarks, craftsmanship, and design characteristics, you can confidently add these exquisite pieces to your collection while avoiding imitations. Appreciating and preserving the beauty of genuine Art Deco jewelry ensures that this iconic style continues to be cherished for generations to come.

Factors in Identifying Authentic Art Deco Jewelry
Design Characteristics
Consulting with Experts

Contemporary Art Deco Inspired Jewelry

Art deco style continues to captivate and inspire even in modern times, and this influence can be seen in contemporary jewelry design. Many artists and brands have embraced the elegance and glamour of art deco and incorporated its distinctive elements into their creations.

One example of contemporary art deco inspired jewelry is the use of geometric shapes. Art deco often featured bold, angular forms such as rectangles, circles, and triangles, and this aesthetic is still revered today. Designers create necklaces, bracelets, and rings with clean lines and sharp angles that pay homage to the iconic art deco style.

Another characteristic of art deco jewelry that has been carried into contemporary designs is the use of bold colors. Art deco pieces frequently showcased vibrant gemstones or used colorful enamels to add a pop of brightness to their designs. In modern interpretations of art deco jewelry, designers incorporate vivid gemstones like emeralds, rubies, or sapphires to create eye-catching pieces that evoke the spirit of the era.

Additionally, intricate designs continue to be a hallmark of art deco-inspired jewelry. The craftsmanship involved in creating art deco pieces was meticulous and detail-oriented. Today’s artists who draw inspiration from this style employ similar attention to detail in their own work. These intricate designs often feature filigree patterns or delicate engravings that showcase the skills of both past and present artisans.

By infusing classic elements with a contemporary twist, these artists highlight the timelessness of art deco style while also bringing it into the present day. Contemporary art deco inspired jewelry allows individuals to express their admiration for this iconic style while adding a touch of sophistication and glamour to their personal style. Whether worn as everyday statement pieces or on special occasions, these contemporary creations ensure that art deco remains relevant in the world of fashion and design.


Art Deco jewelry style has undeniably left an indelible mark on the world of design and continues to captivate audiences with its timeless elegance. From its inception in the 1920s to the present day, this distinctive style has enthralled art lovers and jewelry enthusiasts alike. The geometric shapes, bold colors, and intricate designs that define Art Deco jewelry have made it a favorite among collectors and fashion enthusiasts for decades.

The allure of Art Deco jewelry lies not only in its visual appeal but also in its historical significance. The movement emerged in response to the social and cultural changes of the early 20th century, and it reflected a desire for innovation, luxury, and modernity.

This sense of innovation is evident in the use of unconventional materials such as plastics and chrome in Art Deco jewelry. The boldness and experimentation displayed by Art Deco designers continue to inspire contemporary artists who seek to reinterpret this iconic style.

One cannot discuss Art Deco jewelry without mentioning the enduring legacy of renowned designers who shaped the movement. These skilled artisans pushed boundaries with their creations, leaving behind iconic pieces that still command attention today. From Suzanne Belperron’s sculptural designs to Cartier’s exquisite craftsmanship, these designers epitomize the beauty and craftsmanship synonymous with Art Deco jewelry.

In conclusion, Art Deco jewelry stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities of artistic expression. Its distinctive style continues to inspire creators across various mediums, resonating with those who appreciate elegance and sophistication. Whether it is an authentic vintage piece or a contemporary creation inspired by this influential movement, exploring Art Deco jewelry is an invitation to delve into a rich history of creativity and artistic excellence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify Art Deco jewelry?

Art Deco jewelry can be identified by its distinct aesthetic and design elements. One key characteristic is geometric shapes and patterns, such as angular lines, triangles, and zigzags. The jewelry often features symmetrical arrangements of these shapes, creating a sense of balance and order.

Additionally, Art Deco jewelry tends to use bold colors, particularly contrasting combinations like black and white or red and black. Another identifying feature is the use of luxurious materials like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, onyx, platinum, and white gold. These materials were chosen for their ability to reflect light and enhance the overall brilliance of the pieces.

What are examples of Art Deco jewelry?

There are numerous examples of Art Deco jewelry that showcase its distinctive style. One notable example is the Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet from the 1920s. This piece features an array of colorful gemstones in various shapes set in a linear pattern with intricate floral motifs.

Another iconic Art Deco jewelry piece is the Van Cleef & Arpels Zip necklace from the late 1930s. The necklace innovatively combines functionality with elegance by resembling a zipper while also being wearable as a conventional necklace when fully closed. Other examples include brooches adorned with stylized animals or plants, cocktail rings featuring geometric designs or elaborate filigree work, and diamond necklaces with graceful cascades of gemstones.

What are 3 characteristics of the Art Deco time period and jewelry?

Three key characteristics define both the Art Deco time period and its associated jewelry: geometric shapes/patterns, sleek elegance, and technological influence. As mentioned earlier, geometric shapes like squares, circles, triangles dominate Art Deco designs due to their inherent symmetry and visual appeal. The focus on symmetry reflects a desire for order amidst the chaos of rapidly changing modern life during that time period. Furthermore, Art Deco designs exuded a sleek elegance characterized by clean lines and minimalistic forms that exemplified luxury without being overly ornate.

Lastly, the Art Deco period was marked by technological advancements, and jewelry designers embraced these innovations in their creations. The rise of mass production techniques allowed for intricate craftsmanship and the use of new materials like bakelite and plastic resin. Additionally, machine-made components were combined with handcrafted elements to achieve a harmonious blend of artistry and efficiency in jewelry design.

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