Enchantment Vintage Costume Jewelry

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1940s Retro Modern 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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Click on pictures or titles for more details on each piece.

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.


Vintage Truart Sterling Silver Happy Lamb Brooch

Gorgeous Sterling Craft by Coro Ribbon Bow Blue Rhinestone Flower Burst Brooch
Harry Iskin Gold Filled Brooch & Sterling Earrings Set
Harry Iskin Sterling Vermeil Brooch & Earrings Set

Rare Karu Arke Retro Rhinestone Brooch Gold Filled Cutwork Brooch/Pendant.

Book Piece!

Large Sterling Vermeil Rhinestone Umbrella Brooch & Earrings Set $95

Hobe Sterling Flower Bracelet

Selro bracelet
Wide Chunky Victorian Revival  Bracelet 

Sterling Vermeil Retro Brooch with Red Glass Gems

Jordan Gold Filled Retro Blue Rhinestone Brooch Set

Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch
Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch


Big & Wild Sterling Silver L.S. Co. Retro Brooch

Enchanting Beaded Cluster 
Crystal Rhinestone Brooch
4" $38


Brilliant Boucher 
Rhinestone Fur Clip 

Vintage Barclay Bracelet
Vintage Barclay
Purple Rhinestone Stars Bracelet 

Scitarelli Reto-Atomic
Pendant Necklace  $38

Coro Starburst Black Cameo Huge Brooch
Coro Amazing Royal Garter Star Brooch with Black Cameo
Signed Frog Brooch
H. Pomerantz Vintage Frog Pin $
Vintage Tassel Bangle Bracelet
Egyptian Revival Alabaster Tassel Bangle Bracelet
Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch
Vintage Prancing Pony Brooch
vintage green necklace earrings
Exquisite & Unique Vintage Necklace Glass Jade, Married Earrings

Beaded Cluster Crystals Rhinestones Brooch
Enchanting Beaded Cluster 
Crystal Rhinestone Brooch
4" $38

Wooden Bobble Head Dog Pin Japa
Adorable Hand Painted Japan Bobble-Head Puppy Dog Pin

Vintage Japanese Hand Painted Bobble Head Duck Pin
Happy Japan Wooden Bobble-Head
Duck Pin

Book Piece!

Occupied Japan Celluloid
 Scotty Dog
Vintage Coro Pierced Bow Brooch
Beautiful Vintage Pegasus Coro Pierced Bow
Antique Lisner Bow Necklace & Bracelet
Vintage Lisner Voluptuous Bows Necklace & Bracelet Set

Gold Filled Fiery Topaz Rhinestone Ribbon Floral Signed A Regal
Book Piece

Sarah Coventry Rare Carnival Dancers 
Early Set

Frances Hirsch Vintage Charm Bracelet
Rare Frances Hirsch Beaded Dangle or Charm Bracelet