Photo courtesy of Scott Papper, GIA GG, AJP, Global Gemology & Appraisals
After World War I, the flowing lines of the Art Nouveau Era were soon replaced by the sharper angles and symmetrical, geometric designs of the Art Déco Era.
The term Art Déco is derived from the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts), which was held in Paris, France in 1925. Modern art was now being incorporated into jewelry design.
METALS COMMONLY USED
• Platinum • Gold (White Gold & Yellow Gold)
Art Déco Era platinum and diamond jewelry features symmetrical, sharper angles and is much less delicate than the airy pieces of the Edwardian Era that preceded them.
• Mystery Setting
Van Cleef & Arpels developed the mystery setting, or invisibly set technique, allowing for gems and diamonds to be mounted up against one another, through a series of grooves and rails, where no metal is shown.
Wide diamond bracelets utilized colored gemstone accents arranged in angular patterns. Tutti frutti bracelets featured colorful arrangements of rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, often arranged in Egyptian motifs. Watches were miniaturized and were designed to look like bracelets.
GEMS COMMONLY USED
• Diamond • Emerald • Sapphire • Ruby • Onyx • Cultured Pearls • Jade • Marcasite • Lapis Lazuli • Carnelian • Amethyst In addition to old European cut and old mine cut diamonds, fancy-shaped diamonds were used in Art Déco Era jewelry. Marquise, emerald cuts, half moons, trapeze, and triangle-shaped step cuts were used in Art Déco Era jewelry.
Sapphires, rubies, and emeralds were set amongst diamonds in colorful, tutti frutti jewelry. These gems were often hand-carved into fruit or floral motifs, inspired by Indian carving techniques.
Cultured pearls remained very popular throughout the Art Déco Era.
COMMON MOTIFS • Geometric Designs • Egyptian Motifs
In 1922, King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered, which inspired a revival of Egyptian jewelry styles. Scarabs, pharaohs, pyramids, lotus blossoms, and the eye of Horus were common motifs of Egyptian Revival jewelry.
Art Déco Jewelry Gallery
(All photos courtesy of Scott Papper, GIA GG, AJP, Global Gemology & Appraisals)