First, notice how the tropical deco styles of the
evolved into the bare, curving bouquets, bows & fans of the 1940s.
This style is known as Retro Modern.
Many sterling retro jewels still remarkably under priced and will prove to be a wise investment
for those who want to spend their money and have it too! Throughout WWII, base
metals were called in for wartime use, and American costume jewelry
manufacturers began to use Sterling for many pieces.
trade was blocked, manufacturers had to use whatever rhinestones were on
hand, so fewer rhinestones were used. Other materials were used in place of imported
crystal stones including plastics and even cloth! This is the
only era, from 1942 to 1946, when Grandma wore plastic earrings with
sterling findings. I have at least two sets of Coro cloth earrings on
sterling findings. Lucite became more popular than ever
during this time.
We began to wonder why many pieces that are obviously Retro in
style--with one big stone--are not marked Sterling. If
all the base metal had been called in for use by the military, why are
these brooches, some of them huge--not sterling? Then we began to test
them with our metal tester, and found that many of these are
actually very high in silver content, over 800 but not high enough
enough to be called Sterling. We will feature them whenever we get them.
During this time other materials were also used in place of imported
crystal stones including plastics and even cloth!
Also popular during the 1940's were figurals and Victorian Revival
jewelry, although the Revival pieces tended to be smaller than those big 1930's
jewels. Note that especially after the war, Revival jewelry
designers did not try to imitate too closely the jewels worn by Victorians.
Also, elements of Victoriana were added to retro restyles or restyled