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The 3 Most Iconic Jewellery Styles of the Past Century

Take a look around you the next time you walk down a busy street, and chances are the vast majority of people you see will be wearing some type of jewellery. It’s the most common accessory in the world, and men and women alike wear it on a daily basis. Today’s jewellery, while sharing plenty of common threads with styles of the past, is a different animal than people could ever have imagined a century ago. Indeed, the last century has seen more than a few iconic styles of jewellery, some of which are still popular today.

While not all jewellery styles stand the test of time, some are unforgettable. Here are 3 of the most iconic jewellery styles of all time:

The Simple Diamond Ring

Alfred Cheney Johnston Cigarette Ad 1933

If there’s one piece of jewellery that isn’t likely to ever fall out of fashion, it’s the diamond ring. Simple in its ideals, diamond rings exude style and luxury like nothing else. They’re also a major part of wedding culture and hold a revered status in not only America but the rest of the world as well. While classic in design, the diamond ring is changing. Diamond retailer Front Jewelers says that “colored diamonds have grown to be increasingly popular with today’s fashion.”

These days, people are experimenting with different ways to wear diamonds, and color is just one of the aspects that is no longer set in stone. The right diamond, after all, is one that fits the personality of the person who wears it.

The Strand of Pearls

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor wearing pearls

Like diamonds, pearls hold a certain amount of mystique that isn’t easily replaced by other types of jewellery. The strand of pearls can be found in plenty of 1930’s Hollywood films, and for good reason. It screams luxury, class and maturity. Pair it with the right dress, and a glistening strand of pearls can take just about anyone’s appearance to an entirely new level. It may be a classic style, but it’s one that has never left the mainstream. These days, pearls continue to be highly sought-after, and necklaces can be exceedingly expensive. They also have a cult following, however, and won’t be disappearing from the fashion landscape anytime soon.

 

The Locket

Vintage locket

An antique Victorian locket

 

Jewellery comes in many different shapes and forms, but the locket is instantly recognizable. It’s historically a piece of jewellery in which you might place a photo of a loved one, and has a rich past in America and the rest of the world. While lockets aren’t everyday items for most people today, they still hold a place in modern culture. Lockets have only gotten more elaborate, too, with various types of metals and jewels being integrated into today’s designs. They value they hold tends to be more sentimental than anything else, and for that reason, lockets are still worth hunting down.

As jewellery continues to evolve, there will no doubt be new styles that will come and go, as well as those which will stick around for decades, if not centuries. The above styles, however, are a testament to how much of an impact jewellery has had on global culture.

See my archive of vintage jewellery here

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