Art deco is a style of architecture, design, art, clothing and jewelry popularized in the 1920’s that makes heavy use of geometric shapes, symmetrical lines and patterns, and a strong use of color. Art deco was influenced by the advent of the industrialized machine age, new technology, jazz music, archeological discoveries and women gaining voting rights and liberation for the first time. Art deco drew inspiration from Ancient Egyptian, Greek, African and Chinese cultures. Motifs like zig zags, sunbursts, arrows, pyramid shapes, scarabs, sphinxes, rockets, dragons, panthers, gazelles, and greyhounds were widely used.
Long, pendant and chandelier earrings worked well with the bobbed haircuts of the time. Flapper dresses were complimented by multiple strands of extra-long beads, often pearls, strung around the neck, hanging down to the stomach. Women wore multiple bracelets and cuffs to accentuate short or sleeveless dresses. Plastic Bakelite bangles stacked atop each other were also popular, as they clinked together as the women danced to jazz music. Wealthier women wore diamond and gemstone tennis bracelets with square settings and over-sized cocktail rings. White metals, such as platinum and white gold, were also popular, as they symbolized futurism. Geometric cuts of stone, such as emerald, Asscher and trilliant, were often employed, as angular designs were paramount in art deco.
People still seek out dynamic and bold art deco jewelry today, as this golden age of design continues to exert its influence.