Estate Jewelry

The Seventies Strike Back

70s FAshion Jewelry

The fashion forecast for this spring and summer is a deluge of Seventies influences. Everything from hippie and bohemian chic to military khaki and eclectic mix & match prints were revamped for the 21st century woman when Spring/Summer 2015 collections debuted last fall.

Runway looks for Spring/Summer 2015

Runway looks for Spring/Summer 2015 (Photo courtesy of The Trend Spotter)

Hitching a ride on the groovy ’70s trend is the bright and bold vintage jewelry from the decade, pairing perfectly with fashion’s latest take on the era that brought us caftans, crushed velvet, bell bottoms and boleros. Jewelry design in the ’70s was split between one-of-a-kind, often commissioned, pieces set with exquisite stones and more mid-priced jewels for the fashion-conscious woman increasingly buying jewelry for herself.

L'Officiel magazine, 1972

L’Officiel magazine, 1972

Meeting this new demand, the world’s premiere jewelry houses like Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Tiffany introduced seasonal collections inspired by the current trends in fashion by using colorful non-precious materials. Coral, turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, onyx and rock crystal were mixed and matched in compelling combinations evoking the flair in fashion at the time. The American designer David Webb widely experimented with the mixing of colors using hardstones, enamels and yellow gold to create voluminous shapes in his jewelry.

Gold, Coral and Green Onyx Pendant-Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, France

Gold, Coral and Green Onyx Pendant-Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, France. Photo courtesy of Doyle New York

Suites became popular, too, comprising long chains with a pendant drop, earrings and typically a ring. The introduction of carved woods was a new concept, used extensively in the collections from Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels. Moreover, influences from India and its jewelry swept over the West as seen in the cabochon stones, stylized flowers, sautoirs, girandole and pampille pendant earrings, and vibrant color schemes like ruby, emerald and diamond.

A superb emerald, ruby, and diamond necklace, by Bulgari (est. $300,000 - $400,000)

A superb emerald, ruby, and diamond necklace, by Bulgari, circa 1970. Photo courtesy of Christie’s

The 1970s also marked the comeback of yellow gold, setting nearly everything in the rich warmth of the precious metal. Diamonds, traditionally set in white gold or platinum, became more suitable for wear during the day when set in yellow gold, which gave the flashy gem a more casual look. Yellow gold played a large part in jewelry made solely of the metal, with designers and houses continuing to experiment with the material in unprecedented ways.

A Pair of Bi-Colored Gold Hoop Ear Clips, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1970 (FD Gallery)

A Pair of Bi-Colored Gold Hoop Ear Clips, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1970 (FD Gallery)

Texture and volume, color and dynamism characterized jewelry of the 1970s, creating a suitable segue for today’s Seventies-inspired styles for the season. On the secondary market, there’s plenty of jewels to choose from…

1970s Faraone Chrysoprase Diamond Gold Sautoir and Bracelet

An exquisite Faraone 18k gold sautoir designed as alternating diamond-set and chrysophrase circular links with a detachable bracelet and detachable matching pendant of a quatrefoil design. Necklace measures 31.5″ long and .75″ wide (including 7.25″ bracelet and 2.25″ pendant). Total approximate diamond weight is 16 carats. Necklace, bracelet and pendant all signed Faraone with gold marks and maker’s marks. The workshop which crafted this piece was a well known manufacturer for Bulgari as well as Van Cleef & Arpels. The quality of workmanship is evident in the feel, flow and movement of this piece. Circa 1970s (Robin Katz Vintage Jewels)

Van Cleef & Arpels Large Flower Brooch 1970s

Van Cleef and Arpels Large Flower Brooch, circa 1970s 18K Yellow Gold, set with Diamonds, Lapis Lazuli and White Bone. Having a Double pin- clip back. Signed, Numbered and Having French Hall Marks. (N. Green & Sons via 1stdibs)

David Webb Carved Lapis Lazuli Chrysoprase Ruby Diamond Pendant

David Webb Hardstone Pendant – Mounted in 18k gold, the carved lapis ingot of this 1970s David Webb pendant is offset by a ring of chrysoprase, deep hued cabochon rubies, and a sprinkling of quality diamonds. (Mahnaz Collection)

A pair of 18kt, lapis, gold and enamel A. Clunn earrings. The button-shaped top portion is a bezel-set lapis cabochon that is intersected by the diamond-shaped lower portion of enameled red with bands of 18kt gold at each corner. (Macklowe Gallery)

A pair of 18kt, lapis, gold and enamel A. Clunn earrings, circa 1970s. The button-shaped top portion is a bezel-set lapis cabochon that is intersected by the diamond-shaped lower portion of enameled red with bands of 18kt gold at each corner. (Macklowe Gallery)

Gilbert Albert, "Lost my Marbles" Gold and Agate Ring, circa 1970 (Kimberly Klosterman via 1stdibs)

Gilbert Albert, “Lost my Marbles” Gold and Agate Ring, circa 1970 (Kimberly Klosterman via 1stdibs)

Georges Lenfant Gold French Puzzle Bracelet

Georges Lenfant Gold French Puzzle Bracelet, Paris, circa 1975 (Steven Fox Jewelry via 1stdibs) 

Carved White & Pink Coral, Diamond & Gold Sautoir Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet Suite, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1970 (Hancock's)

Carved White & Pink Coral, Diamond & Gold Sautoir Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet Suite, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1970 (Hancock’s)

A pair of gold doorknocker style earrings with double hoop pendants, one in carved tiger's eye, in 18k. Circa 1970 (Kentshire)

A pair of gold doorknocker style earrings with double hoop pendants, one in carved tiger’s eye, in 18k. Circa 1970 (Kentshire)

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Corinne de Longuemar
    April 10, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    My dear, u forgot to mention René Boivin Jeweller in Paris who is the “father” of that jewellery style. If u need pictures, kindly contact me.

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