Art Deco: The Period, The Jewelry

by Karen

Art Deco: The Period, The Jewelry

The 1920s are considered the height of the Art Deco era. This design trend swept the world, changing everything from what people wore to how buildings were designed. This iconic artistic movement is now closely related to the Roaring Twenties - so much so that it is almost impossible to mention important achievements from the decade without also referencing Art Deco design trends. This blog post will take a look at what exactly “Art Deco” is and learn how it influenced Art Deco jewelry designs during this fashionable decade.

A Closer Look at Art Deco Design

Art Deco is a design style that emerged in 1925. The World’s Fair held in Paris, France was entitled “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes,” and it was an event that boasted cutting-edge design trends. The term “Art Deco” is derived from the name of the Parisian event. Art Deco is an “international decorative arts movement” that was popular from the mid-1920s all the way until the early 1940s. Bold designs, clean lines, vibrant colors, and repetitive geometric patterns are the hallmarks of Art Deco design. Incredibly recognizable, its influences are easily spotted in graphic design, architecture, and artistic works hailing from this period. Many iconic New York landmarks - including the famous Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center - perfectly showcase Art Deco influence.

Characteristics of Art Deco Jewelry

art deco jewelry infographic One of the most prominent displays of Art Deco design comes from the jewelry that was designed and created during the era. Necklaces, earrings, and rings that showcase authentic Art Deco design are highly coveted in the modern era thanks to their distinctive designs. The following are characteristics of jewelry from the Art Deco era:

Overall Look

Just like in architecture, Art Deco jewelry features geometric shapes, bold lines, and symmetrical ornamentation. Their distinct appearance takes influence from both the Art Nouveau movement and design trends from the Edwardian Era. It’s not uncommon to see pieces that feature gemstones in contrasting colors or intricate patterns comprised of geometric shapes.


Bold, geometric designs were created using gemstones that featured a baguette, square, or octagonal shape. Old European Cut diamonds, which featured an array of facets, were predominantly featured. Custom Calibré Cut gemstones were also a popular choice during the Art Deco era.

Design Details

Intricate design details instantly set Art Deco jewelry apart from other pieces. Hand-made patterns decorated metal edges. Onyx inlays contrasted beautifully against the clear, white sparkle of glittering diamonds. Intricate filigree metal work also reached new heights during this era, making it a true hallmark of Art Deco jewelry.

Manufacturing Techniques

One of the things that makes these jewelry so breathtaking is its incredible attention to detail. Fine jewelry was rarely mass produced during the Art Deco Era, meaning every piece was carefully handcrafted by expert jewelry makers. This enhanced the intricacy and sophistication of each piece, making it rare, exquisite, and beautiful to behold.

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