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1940s Jewelry

About 1940s Jewelry

This collection of 1940s jewelry includes ear clips, necklaces, double-clip brooches, bracelets, and brooches in bold Retro Modern and delicate Victorian motifs. Because women’s clothing during the war years was austere and masculine, jewelry became very feminine. Stylized flowers and animals as well as buckles, bows, ribbons and fabric-like folds were popular. Bracelets were wide and often worn over gloves. Big and bold brooches were worn on the shoulder of day and evening attire. Double-clip brooches, still enormously popular, evolved from geometric pieces into asymmetrical, three-dimensional images. White base metals were replaced with sterling silver, often with yellow-, pink-, green-, and/or rose-gold plating.

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  • Calla lily pin with 3 gemstones by Coro
    Close-up view of amethyst, ruby & peridot glass stones
    USD$325.00

    Gemstone & Rose Vermeil Calla Lily Pin by Coro

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    This calla lily pin from the 1940s has a rose-gold-plated sterling silver ribbon tied in a three-looped bow. Three stems of calla lilies with a navette centers of amethyst, ruby, and peridot glass sit on top. Tiny pink tourmaline, sapphire, and diamanté navettes tie the stems together. The pin closes with a roll-over safety clasp. Although the drawing in the design patent shows this brooch with the flowers facing down, I prefer them facing up, reaching for the sky! The photos show both positions, so you can decide. This gorgeous Retro Modern design by Adolph Katz for Coro’s high-end line was also made with all citrine flowers – scroll down to see that version.
    USD$325.00
    USD$325.00
  • Adolph Katz brooch in vermeil w/faux gemstones
    Close-up view of jeweled flower center
    USD$325.00

    Gemstone & Vermeil Flower Adolph Katz Brooch

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    This Adolph Katz brooch is a substantial gold-plated sterling silver flower adorned with aquamarine- and ruby-glass stones and a diamanté center. The petals have decorative piercings and are tilted and slightly curled, giving them lots of life. Stylized and graceful, this piece is a fine example of the Retro Modern style so popular in the 1940s. This three-dimensional jewel is a larger version of two brooch/pendants in this design – scroll down to see them. Note that any bright color variations in metal are only camera reflections.
    USD$325.00
    USD$325.00
  • Vintage brooch pendant in vermeil sterling w/jewels
    Pendant on black cord
    USD$295.00

    Gemstone & Vermeil Flower Brooch/Pendant

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    This vintage brooch pendant is a substantial 1940s ‘2-for-1’ jewel. The gold-plated sterling silver flower is embellished with aquamarine- and ruby-glass stones and diamanté accents. The petals of the flower have decorative piercing and are tilted and slightly curled, giving it lots of life. Designed by the remarkable Adolph Katz, this three-dimensional piece is a fine example of the Retro Modern style. One photo shows the pendant on a black cord, but you may prefer a gold chain or a velvet ribbon. A 17-inch, 2mm black rubber cord with a stainless steel twist lock (just like the one in the photo) is included with this purchase. Scroll down to see similar brooches, each with a diamanté center (one has the pendant loop), by the same maker. Note that any bright color variations in metal are only camera reflections.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00
  • Vintage flower brooch by Coro with diamanté, aqua and ruby set in gold-plated sterling
    Brooch worn as pendant
    USD$295.00

    Gemstone & Vermeil Flower Brooch/Pendant by Coro

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    This substantial vintage flower brooch made from gold-plated sterling silver is adorned with aquamarine- and ruby-glass stones and a diamanté center – a fine example of the Retro Modern style. The petals of the flower are decorated with piercings and are tilted and slightly curled, giving them lots of life. Designed by the remarkable Adolph Katz, this piece can be worn as a brooch or pendant. One photo shows the pendant on a black cord, but you may prefer a gold chain or velvet ribbon. A 17-inch, 2mm black rubber cord with a stainless steel twist lock (just like the one in the photo) is included with this purchase. Scroll down to see a larger version of this brooch as well as another brooch/pendant in the same design with different colored stones. Note that any bright color variations in metal are only camera reflections.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00
  • Ribbon bow brooch with gemstone bouquets
    Close-up view of gemstone flowers
    USD$225.00

    Gemstone & Vermeil Ribbon Bow Brooch by Coro

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    This ribbon bow brooch was made by Coro in the 1940s, for their high-end Coro Craft line. Created from rose-gold-plated sterling silver, this piece is adorned with a small bouquet of navette flowers of emerald, amethyst, and sapphire glass on each loop. This richly-colored Retro Modern classic has a roll-over safety clasp. Wear it at the throat of a blouse, at the bottom of a V-neckline, or on the collar of a jacket.
    USD$225.00
    USD$225.00
  • Crescent earrings w/gemstones by De Rosa
    Acrostic earrings by De Rosa
    USD$295.00

    Gemstone Crescent Earrings by De Rosa

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    These crescent earrings with gemstone-colored glass stones were made by Ralph De Rosa. The gems are graduated in size and enhanced with an inner ring of diamantés. The variety of colors makes these ear clips very versatile. Moreover, the faux diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz form the word dearest, making these earrings acrostic (i.e., the initials of the stones form a word or name). This type of sentimental jewelry was very popular in the 19th century Victorian era, a style that inspired some 1940s jewelry designers. De Rosa created a Dearest series, which included brooches, in 1949. This maker's pieces are always exceptionally well-made and hard-to-find. A pair of clip cushions is included with this purchase.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00
  • Merry Whirl Duette & Gay Swirl earrings
    Horizontal view of Coro's Merry Whirl Duette
    USD$195.00

    Gold & Diamanté ‘Merry Whirl’ Duette & ‘Gay Swirl’ Earrings

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    This 'Merry Whirl' Duette was sold to me as a set with these earrings. Although all pieces are gold-tone with diamanté and made by the same company, my research uncovered a different story. The screw-back earrings are, in fact, from their 'Gay Swirl' design. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t hesitate to wear these pieces together. The Duette, Coro’s double clip brooch, can be worn as a brooch (in the positions shown) or as separate dress clips. These jewels were advertised in the April 1948 issue of Life magazine, which is how I found out the design names. You can see the utility patent for the brooch mechanism here, shown below Coro's name.
    USD$195.00
    USD$195.00
  • Gold plated flower brooch with diamante by Otis
    Close-up view of Otis brooch
    USD$185.00

    Gold & Diamanté Flower Brooch by Otis

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    This gold-plated flower brooch is the only Otis piece I and my friend and co-author Robin Deutsch have ever seen with this finish. Though petite, this graceful sterling silver brooch with diamanté is charming. The finish has a few dark spots, but overall it looks much better with the naked eye than my camera indicates. You can read our Otis article here.
    USD$185.00
    USD$185.00
  • 1940s earrings by Mazer – gold-plated ribbons w/diamantés
    Diamanté & gold-plated ribbon 1940s earrings by Mazer
    USD$245.00

    Gold & Diamanté 1940s Earrings by Mazer Bros.

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    These 1940s earrings by Mazer are a lovely and hard-to-find example of the Retro Modern style of that decade. They feature gold-plated ribbons embellished with faceted, round- and square-cut diamantés. These well-made ear clips face each other, to frame your face to perfection. They will make an elegant addition to any daytime or evening outfit. Just add a simple gold bracelet, and you'll be good to go.
    USD$245.00
    USD$245.00
  • Vintage cuff bracelet by Forstner
    Front of double flexible cuff by Forstner
    USD$395.00

    Gold 1940s Cuff Bracelet by Forstner

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    This vintage cuff bracelet is a variation of Forstner’s flexible bracelets, a popular style in the 1940s. This piece is formed from a tapering double-row with a decorative, fixed buckle. The polished finish of the center buckle adds a nice contrast to the coiled sides. Jewelry by Forstner was very well-made and has retained its quality. Note that this piece is gold-filled, which means it has a thicker layer of gold than a piece that is gold-plated. This cuff is especially nice because the construction allows it to fit small- to medium-size wrists. Please note that dark areas in the photos are only reflections from the camera. Several Vogue ads for this company’s flexible bracelets in other styles date this cuff from about 1946-1947. Scroll down to see a sterling necklace in the same style by Walter Lampl.
    USD$395.00
    USD$395.00
  • Art glass brooch in gold-tone leaf design
    Close-up view of cabochons & settings
    USD$395.00

    Gold Leaf & Art Glass Brooch by Elsa Schiaparelli

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    This art glass brooch from the late-1940s is described by jewelry historian Vivienne Becker as a “dancing openwork leaf” (Fabulous Costume Jewelry). It is set with emerald, ruby, sapphire and amber cabochons in dog-tooth prongs. The outline of the gold-tone leaf and stem are textured. This versatile and elegant piece closes with a roll-over safety clasp. I think this jewel was meant to be worn with the leaf pointing down, as shown in the first photo, but the third photo shows the leaf pointing up – you decide which you prefer!
    USD$395.00
    USD$395.00
  • Leaf lapel pin with berries in gold-plated sterling
    Close-up view of layered design
    USD$275.00

    Gold Leaf Lapel Pin by Nettie Rosenstein

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    This leaf lapel pin is a substantial piece by New York fashion designer Nettie Rosenstein. A layer of berries is attached to stylized, openwork leaves, creating a three-dimensional effect. Made of gold-plated sterling silver in the 1940s, this dress clip has a hinged, double-prong back. This decorative, high-quality pin looks great on the shoulder or lapel of a dress, jacket, or coat – the fabric just needs to be weightier to support the jewel. No wonder jewelry from this fashion house is so highly-prized!
    USD$275.00
    USD$275.00
  • Vintage topaz earrings in vermeil sterling
    'Dancing flower' earrings w/golden topaz
    USD$245.00

    Golden Topaz & Vermeil Sterling Flower Earrings

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    These vintage topaz earrings look like dancing flowers. Curled sterling silver petals have faceted oval glass stone centers. The metal has a hint of a warm gold plating, which was popular in the 1940s. These graceful Retro Modern jewels are so beautiful and well-made that I’m surprised they are unsigned. These elegant screw-back earrings are timeless and great for both day and evening wear. Note that any color variations in metal are only camera reflections.
    USD$245.00
    USD$245.00
  • Flower brooch pin w/golden topaz & vermeil sterling
    Close-up view of faceted, oval golden-topaz stones oval
    USD$245.00

    Golden Topaz & Vermeil Flower Brooch by Coro

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    This flower brooch pin is a graceful, large gold-plated sterling silver jewel created by CoroCraft, the company’s high-end line. Oval, faceted golden-topaz-glass stones form the flower that sits atop the stem. The tilt of the blossom and the furled leaves make this piece look as though it is blowing in the wind. This stylized design was very popular in the 1940s. Joan Crawford wore a similar brooch at the throat of her blouse in a scene in Mildred Pierce.
    USD$245.00
    USD$245.00
  • Milk glass earrings with rondelles
    Miriam Haskell earrings with milk glass beads & disks
    USD$345.00

    Milk Glass Bead, Diamanté & Gold Earrings by Miriam Haskell

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    These milk glass earrings with beads and disks, rondelles, and gold-tone findings have a real Machine Age-look and associated movement. However, the use of French ear clips dates them to the late-1940s, and the white beads may take them into the 1950s, when white jewelry was extremely popular. I still consider this pair to be Art Deco in style, and I’ve seen the same motif used by this designer (Frank Hess) on earlier Miriam Haskell pieces. Whenever they were made, these ear clips are lots of fun! I saw them in an entirely new, bright, and glamorous light when they were chosen to walk the runway at Toronto Fashion Week for Spring 2019. See them on the model who looked stunning in a bridal jumpsuit with skirt. You don't have to be a bride to add glamour to an ensemble with these fabulous earrings!
    USD$345.00
    USD$345.00
  • Vintage pearl bracelet with diamante by Eisenberg
    Eisenberg 1940s pearl, diamante & sterling bracelet
    USD$595.00

    Pearl Bracelet with Diamantés in Sterling by Eisenberg

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    This vintage pearl bracelet is substantial, well-made, and stunning. Each link has a large glass pearl sitting atop a ring of diamantés set in sterling silver. The design is similar to the maker’s Cornucopia brooch and earrings but on a larger scale. This late-1940s jewel, which closes with a box clasp and safety chain, is another statement piece. You can wear it with the Diamanté & Sterling Sunburst Earrings, also by Eisenberg, which are similar in design – scroll down to see them.
    USD$595.00
    USD$595.00
  • Hobe brooches with pink tourmaline glass stones
    Close-up view of one brooch
    USD$295.00

    Pink Tourmaline & Sterling Flower Hobé Brooches

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    This pair of Hobé brooches is delicate and lovely. Each is a flower with a deep-pink tourmaline glass (almost fuchsia) center. The sterling petals on one side are furled; those on the other side feature a beautiful open-work design that is known as fretwork. You can wear the pair together on the shoulder of a dress or jacket, or on either side of a collar. What a lovely adornment for a bride's hair! These brooches were hand-made. Although they’re marked “DESIGN PAT’D”, I have been unable to identify a design patent that looks like them.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00
  • Jeweled brooch by Hobé in sterling with colorful flowers
    Close-up view of flowers, buds & leaves
    USD$295.00

    Pink Tourmaline, Sapphire, Peridot & Sterling Bouquet Brooch by Hobé

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    This jeweled brooch is a bouquet of sterling silver flowers, stems, and leaves. They are tied in a bow and accented with collet-set pink tourmaline, pale sapphire and peridot glass stones. This brooch, with its roll-over safety clasp, is another example of the fine hand-made 1940s jewelry Hobé is known for. I particularly love the size and vertical orientation of this jewel. Scroll down to see one of this maker’s bracelets with a floral motif that coordinates well with this brooch.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00
  • Miriam Haskell brooch (clip) with ruby glass beads & rondelles
    Close-up view of ruby bead brooch
    USD$595.00

    Ruby Bead & Rondelle Miriam Haskell Brooch/Clip

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    This Miriam Haskell brooch, which is also a dress clip, is an extremely versatile piece. It has deep-red glass beads separated by rondelles and small flat beads in silver metal findings. A World War II-style dress clip is attached to the pierced plastic back. Other Frank Hess creations used this Machine Age-design and construction, which allow the elements to move. (Scroll down to see a similar pair of earrings.) I bought this piece from Haskell expert Cathy Gordon, who indicated that the pin stem was probably added to the dress clip at a later date. In addition to wearing this jewel as a clip or brooch, you can wear it as a pendant on a black cord (shown in the last photo) or on a silver or white-gold chain. The 17" black cord shown is included with this purchase. See my favorite model wearing this brooch as a pendant in this blog post.
    USD$595.00
    USD$595.00
  • Trifari bouquet brooch with enamel & ruby flowers
    Close-up view of ruby flowers with diamante
    USD$275.00

    Ruby, Diamanté & Enamel Bouquet 1940s Brooch by Trifari

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    This Trifari bouquet brooch has enamel leaves with faceted, oval ruby-red glass flowers surrounded by pavé petals. Long pavé leaves and a pavé ribbon that ties the bouquet complete this graceful Alfred Spaney design. This lovely and timeless 1940s brooch closes with a roll-over safety clasp.
    USD$275.00
    USD$275.00
  • Sapphire costume jewelry set of sterling brooch & earrings
    Bow brooch w/flowers, buds, leaves
    USD$195.00

    Sapphire & Sterling Bow Brooch & Earrings Set by Hobé

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    This sapphire costume jewelry set in sterling silver by Hobé is a bit smaller and more restrained than others in the collection, but it is just as beautiful. A deep-blue glass stone is the center of the flower that sits atop the six-loop bow that forms the brooch. The ribbons are adorned with applied leaves and buds. The pin has a roll-over safety clasp. The screw-back earrings are bow-shaped, with sapphire centers. A wonderful combination for those who wear cool colors.
    USD$195.00
    USD$195.00
  • 1940s brooch with bows of diamantes & sapphire glasss
    Close-up view of flower layer
    USD$245.00

    Sapphire & Diamanté Bow Brooch by Mazer Bros.

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    This 1940s brooch shaped like bows was made in two layers. The base is formed by five loops and seven tails encrusted with diamantés. A flower with sapphire-glass-baguette petals and diamanté center, cupped in the same rhodium-plated base metal, sits on top. This piece was made by Mazer Bros. after World War II. As with all of the company's jewels from this period, this one is well-designed and constructed. The pin closes with a roll-over safety clasp. This piece is perfect for a woman who likes to wear cool colors. Scroll down to see another version in warm hues.
    USD$245.00
    USD$245.00
  • Reinad brooch & earrings with sapphires & diamante
    Rose vermeil sterling brooch w/sapphires & diamante
    USD$375.00

    Sapphire, Diamanté & Rose Vermeil Sterling 1940s Reinad Brooch & Earrings

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    This Reinad brooch with matching earrings feature rose-gold-washed sterling silver set with large, faceted, triangular sapphire-glass stones and diamanté accents. This set is a wonderful example of the Retro Modern style of the 1940s. I couldn’t decide if the brooch should be worn horizontally or vertically until I saw Anne Baxter wearing one like it in the 1946 movie Angel on my Shoulder. Hers was perfectly placed in the vertical position at the base of her V-neckline. She even wore the matching earrings. The pin has a roll-over safety clasp, and the earrings are screw-backs. I’ve included a photo of the brooch in the horizontal position, so you can decide if you prefer it that way. A similar piece was shown in a 1945 wholesaler’s catalog. The page was entitled “New Pink Gold Finish on Sterling Silver — Styled by Master Craftsmen” (who were not named). The brooch was $28.50 retail, and the earrings were $13.50, or $42.00 for the set. (While I don’t have income statistics for the mid-1940s, to put these prices in perspective, the U.S. government reported that by 1950, the average American household’s weekly income was about $81.)
    USD$375.00
    USD$375.00
  • Hobé sterling jewelry set w/floral motif
    Richly-detailed sterling silver brooch
    USD$295.00

    Sterling Floral Brooch & Earrings Set by Hobé

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    This Hobé sterling jewelry set illustrates the unsurpassed quality of this maker’s flowers. The brooch has richly-detailed, textured layers of buds and leaves that emanate from the multi-layered center flower. The earrings replicate the brooch center. The pin closes with a roll-over safety clasp; the earrings have screw-backs. This set is one of this maker's more complex and unusual designs from the 1940s and doesn’t need any colored stones to make it sparkle. Scroll down to see a flower bracelet by Hobé that coordinates with this amazing set.
    USD$295.00
    USD$295.00