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What Exactly Is Art Deco Jewelry?

June 13, 2018 @ 12:44

Whether you are a jewelry enthusiast or you simply enjoy history, you maybe wondering exactly what art deco jewelry is.  This style of jewelry first got it start back in 1925.  The jewelry made its first appearance at The World's Fair which took place in Paris, France.   "Art deco jewelry" is partly named because the official name of the 1925 World's Fair was Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts).  It was here that not only was the jewelry showcased, but where it became a popular style of jewelry.

White Gold or Platinum

Two materials you can expect to see used in art deco jewelry are either white gold or platinum - or a mixture of both!  One of the biggest reasons why white gold was used so much was simply because it was much less expensive than platinum.  Yellow gold was considered out of style during the height of art deco jewelry popularity. 

No Round Brilliant Diamonds

You won't see any brilliant, round diamonds in art deco jewelry- unless,  of course, the  jewelry was modified.  Instead,  you see pieces made with antique diamonds or even colored gems.  One of the more common diamonds you will find in art deco are Old European Cut diamonds.  Other cuts include Asscher, Transitional, or Cushion cuts.

Geometric Designs

One of the  first things to think about when you hear the term art deco is geometric designs.  While the art deco styles superseded the Edwardian Era you can find pieces from both time periods that look very much alike.  A person with zero training may not be able to even tell the difference between art deco jewelry and Edwardian Jewelry, but a jeweler definitely can!  One of the biggest tells in terms of differences is really looking at the different aspects of the jewelry.  

- art deco jewelry will have more geometric shapes, less free space will be available, and it will have a modern, industrial look.

- edwardian jewelry is nature inspired.

High Impact Calibre Cut Stones

Calibre Cut stones are also an important factor in art deco jewelry.  These custom cut stones are used in art deco jewelry and the gems are tightly spaced together, with either other gems or metal in the design.  The most common colored gems that were being used in this style of jewelry were the Big 3: rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.  

How Much Does Genuine Art Deco Jewelry Cost?

As with any style of jewelry, this is really dependent on if the jewelry is a genuine artifact or not, as well as what materials are used in the design.  However, art deco starts at around $2,000 on the low end and can end up being e on the high - $10,000 to $20,000 on the higher end of the scale.  Even rarer, some pieces that are signed by the original designer of the jeweler can fetch up to $1m!

If you're looking for genuine art deco pieces it's a good idea to start visiting auction houses, estate jewelry shows, and jewelers to see what pieces are available and how much they are. Estate houses are great because these events tend to have jewelry that has been kept in the family for years and has been handed down through generations.  You could find some really great pieces to either keep for your own collection or even sell for a profit.

If you are interested in selling your used jewelry or have questions, visit Ralph Mueller & Associates or call 480.949.9229