Retro (1940-1955)

The Retro Era began at the peak of World War II, introducing the Retro era as borne out of strife– though one wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at the colorful, vibrant jewels that define this era. Remembered as a period of peacetime, the post-war part of the Retro era is fondly remembered as the celebration of America – and it’s loud, brash American jewelry. 

Retro-Era Jewelry advertisements were directed towards women, who finally had individual spending power.
Trifari jewelry Ad     Vendome Jewelry Ad


With a large portion of the men at the time serving in World War II, women began working more than ever, meaning with more disposable income and spending power, they could buy their own jewelry for recreational purposes, rather than depend on gifts from their spouses. Fashion and jewelry – like the women who carried this era – took on a stronger profile in society and culture, especially during World War II.

Retro-era jewelry ad
Retro-Era Style Jewels

In a change from the Edwardian and Art Deco Era’s white metals, styles of this period are characterized by the use of gold – often rose gold – as platinum was rare post-WWII. Bold designs with vibrant metals and colorful lower-cost stones, such as citrines, aquamarines, topazes and tourmalines, became the new standard, as jewelry continued to become commercialized and accessible.