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Retro: Reviving Style Periods in Modern Fashion

Retro: Reviving Style Periods in Modern Fashion

Vintage jewellery has an unmistakable allure that continues to fascinate. Among the many style periods that make up the world of vintage jewellery is the Retro period. This period took place from around 1935 to 1950 and was characterised by bold designs and vibrant colours. In addition, this style had a unique charm that is still loved by collectors and fashion-conscious individuals. In this blog, we will elaborate on the history, characteristics and enduring appeal of Retro-vintage jewellery.

The history of Retro jewellery

The Retro period took place during and after World War II. These times of economic uncertainty and conflict had a significant impact on jewellery design and materials. As the world slowly recovered from the hardships of war, people began to long for luxury and beauty in their lives again. This desire was reflected in the jewellery of the time, exuding a sense of optimism and abundance.

During the war years, there was a scarcity of precious metals and gemstones, which led to innovative solutions among jewellery designers. Unconventional materials such as gold-plated metal, synthetic gemstones, and even plastic were widely used. After the war, when precious metals and gemstones became available again, they were often combined with the previously used materials, leading to unique and often bold designs.

Characteristics of Retro jewellery

Retro jewellery is known for its big, bold designs. Brooches, bracelets, rings and earrings from this period are often strikingly large and decorative. Colours are vibrant and range from rich, deep tones to bright, cheerful colours. Synthetic gemstones such as aquamarine, citrine and synthetic rubies were often used to achieve this vibrant look.

The Retro period spawned a number of iconic motifs that are still popular today. Flowers, bows, animals and abstract shapes were common themes. These motifs were often combined with geometric patterns and striking symmetrical designs, resulting in jewellery that was both elegant and playful.

Technological advances during the Retro period played a major role in jewellery design. New techniques such as the clustered setting, where small gemstones are placed close together to give the illusion of larger stone, became popular. The use of multi-gold tones (combinations of yellow, pink and white gold) also gave jewellery a unique look.

Important designers of the Retro period

Van Cleef & Arpels is a name synonymous with luxury and sophistication. During the Retro period, this French jewellery house created some of its iconic pieces. Their designs are characterised by the use of colourful gemstones and intricate patterns, often inspired by nature.

Cartier is another design from the world of luxury jewellery, they also had a major influence on the retro style. The brand's designers during this period were often bold and innovative, using many geometric shapes and exotic materials. Cartier's famous 'Panther' motif was introduced in the 1940s, so this is a classic example of retro jewellery.

The last designer we will name in this blog is David Webb. David Webb is an American jeweller who was known for his bold and colourful designs. His work from the Retro period is highly sought after for its unique combination of classic elements with a modern twist. In addition, those jewellery pieces were often very large and eye-catching, with lots of use of colourful enamels and gemstones.

The appeal of Retro jewellery

Retro jewellery has a timeless quality that continues to set them apart. Pieces from this era were extremely versatile, ranging from bold designs to classic elements. As such, they could easily be integrated into both modern and traditional styles today, contributing to their enduring popularity.

Vintage jewellery from the retro period are not only beautiful accessories, but also valuable investments. Retro jewellery is sought after by collectors because of its rarity and historical value. In addition, these pieces retain their value, and may also increase over time.

Apart from the physical value of retro jewellery, a number of people also feel a strong emotional attachment to Retro jewellery. This feeling arises especially when the pieces have been passed down from generation to generation. Heirloom pieces are already full of stories and memories of generations gone by, which gives them a special sentimental value.

Wearing and caring for jewellery

Retro jewellery can make a statement in any outfit. Below, then, will be some tips for incorporating them into your wardrobe:

  • Brooches: Add a brooch to a blazer or scarf for a touch of vintage glamour.
  • Bracelets: So you can pair an eye-catching Retro bracelet with a simple dress for an elegant look.
  • Earrings: You can recognise Retro earrings by their colour and size. They can boost a simple outfit.

To preserve the beauty and value of Retro jewellery, it is important to take good care of them. You can do this by keeping them:

  • Store well: It is important to keep jewellery in a dry, cool place. Preferably in a jewellery box to avoid scratches.
  • Good to clean: Use a soft cloth and mild soap to gently clean the jewellery. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the metal or stones.
  • Maintain well: We advise everyone to regularly check and maintain your jewellery by a professional. This will ensure that the settings remain sturdy and the stones stay safely in place.


The Retro period has left an impressive impression on the world of jewellery. With bold designs, bright colours and iconic motifs from this era, jewellery continues to inspire and fascinate people. For collectors and vintage jewellery lovers alike, Retro jewellery is a unique piece you will want to own. Retro jewellery offers a rich history and timeless beauty that has stood the test of time.Due to the unique combination of style, history and craftsmanship, Retro jewellery is often more than just an accessory. They are seen as works of art that bring the glamour of the past to the present.

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