Get Retro With These 1940's Vintage & Estate Jewelry Pieces

Author Corinne DiZoglio
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Date May 30, 2017

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During the 1940s, the jewelry business, like many industries of the time, was heavily influenced by World War II. The wartime economy and lack of access to precious metals like silver, copper and gold, all of which were being stockpiled by the U.S. military for the war effort, played a key role in the design choices of the time. 40s jewelry also saw a rise in red, white and blue color schemes as a way for citizens to show support for their country. Despite the limiting factors of the 40s, there was still an abundance of interesting and beautiful jewelry being made. Keep reading for a look at some of our favorite vintage and vintage-inspired 40s jewelry currently in our collection!


BRACELETS

1. 14K YELLOW GOLD MOONSTONE & SAPPHIRE BRACELET
SOLD!

2. VINTAGE 14K YELLOW GOLD RUBY & DIAMOND BRACELET
SOLD!

Some of the most popular stones in jewelry of the 1940s were topaz, amethyst, rubies and sapphires. Despite the limitations of wartime, American designers were often able to obtain these precious stones through the help of European jewelers who had better access to these types of materials. Many times in an attempt to show American spirit, jewelers used the stones to create a red, white and blue motif. These bracelets are perfect examples of popular 40s style. The first bracelet is prong set with 24 marquise shape moonstones and 11 round cut sapphires (1). We also have a true vintage ruby and diamond bracelet from the 1940’s (2). Both are 14k yellow gold, and a great addition to any girl’s wrist!

EARRINGS

14K YELLOW GOLD LEAF EARRINGS
SOLD!

As in previous decades, natural forms like leaves, birds and feathers continued to be popular in 40s jewelry. These stunning 14k yellow gold earrings are a great example of that. The designer used a leaf motif and set each earring with one oval moonstone and two round cut rubies. The earrings also show off the patriotic color scheme made popular by the war.

PINS

1. RETRO 14K YELLOW & ROSE GOLD RUBY & DIAMOND PIN
SOLD!

2. VINTAGE 14K YELLOW GOLD MOONSTONE & RUBY PIN
ESPN1798 || $1,795 || SHOP NOW

3. RETRO 14K TRICOLOR GOLD RUBY & DIAMOND BOW PIN
SOLD!

Pins were a very popular jewelry trend during the 40s. The pins, often made from sterling, colored gold and precious stones, were worn on hats, scarves or collars. Perhaps a counter response to the hardships of the decade, pins frequently came in the form of amusing figures such as animals, clowns, hands, lips, and ballerinas. Knots and bows, like the 14k tricolor gold bow pin (3) featured here, were also popular in pin designs. This retro bow pin from the 1940s is channel set with 5 square cut rubies and four single cut diamonds. Also from the 1940s, we have a retro 14k yellow and rose gold pin set with 12 square cut rubies and 10 full cut diamonds (1) as well as a vintage 14k yellow gold flower pin set with 7 oval moonstones and 1 round ruby (2).

RINGS

14K TWO-TONE DIAMOND & RUBY BUCKLE RING
ESRG2052 || $920 || SHOP NOW

Bows and knots weren’t the only binding motifs popular in the 40s. Buckle rings were often used as a symbol of the binding love between the giver and the wearer. The ring threads back into itself creating an eternal loop to represent everlasting love and loyalty. This 14k two-tone gentleman’s buckle ring (size 8.5-8.75) contains one round brilliant diamond and three square synthetic rubies.

WATCHES

RETRO 14K YELLOW & ROSE GOLD RUBY & DIAMOND COVERED WRISTWATCH
SOLD!

Due to certain metals being in such high demand because of the war, many designers created jewelry from alternative metals such as yellow, green and rose gold. Since designers had almost no access to silver, they often substituted sterling in its place. Combining metals to create two-tone pieces was another common trick to save on materials. This vintage 1940s 14k yellow and rose gold covered watch is a perfect example of this. The cover is set with 24 round cut rubies and 14 full cut and 4 single cut diamonds.

Which piece of Estate & Vintage 40s Jewelry do you need in your collection? Browse our online collection or visit us in stores for more retro 40s jewelry!

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