Enchantment Vintage Costume Jewelry

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Find WWII + late 1940's jewels


First, n
otice how the tropical deco styles of the 1930's 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.

Because European 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 altogether.

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Post War Retro Costume Jewelry of Late 1940's and Early 1950's.

During the post war boom--base metals once again became available for luxury items such as costume jewelry, as well as rhinestones from Europe. But that didn't mean the Retro style suddenly disappeared! Elements of Retro designs can still be seen in late 1940's costume jewelry and into the early 1950's, along with motifs of Victorian Revival, figural jewels, and imports from Europe and Asia.


Selro bracelet
Wide Chunky Victorian Revival  Bracelet 
vintage signed dancer brooch
Scitarelli Figural
Dancing Lady Pin

Jordan Gold Filled Retro Blue Rhinestone Brooch Set

Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch
Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch


Vintage Rhinestone Brooch Sunburst
Fantastic '40s 
Rhinestone Sunburst Brooch  




Brilliant Boucher 
Rhinestone Fur Clip 

Vintage Barclay Bracelet
Vintage Barclay
Purple Rhinestone Stars Bracelet 

Scitarelli Reto-Atomic
Pendant Necklace  $38

Signed Frog Brooch
H. Pomerantz Vintage Frog Pin $75

Enchanting Beaded Cluster 
Crystal Rhinestone Brooch 4"