The Art Deco period began around 1910, and there are certain design elements that are seen consistently in Art Deco pieces. Art Deco jewellery remains a popular style that is often sought out at antique fairs and vintage stores, but this type of jewellery can share some of the characteristics of pieces created in the Edwardian era. So, how do you know that the ring or bracelet you are admiring is really a genuine Art Deco piece? Here are five characteristics consistent with Art Deco jewellery.
White Gold Or Platinum Was Used Exclusively
Art Deco jewellery pieces do not contain any yellow gold. Yellow gold was not at all in style during the Art Deco period, and platinum was the preferred choice for pieces early in the era. Rising platinum costs meant white gold was introduced to meet demand later in the period.
The Designs Were Always Geometric
Art Deco jewellery has a strong focus on symmetry and geometric design. This design means there is little free space on Art Deco jewellery and the design can seem industrial and detached from the natural world, which was a very modern concept in the early 1900s.
Old European Cut Diamonds Were Favoured
Modern diamond cuts were not seen in Art Deco jewellery pieces. Antique cut diamonds were used, most notably Old European cut diamonds. This type of cut diamond doesn't really sparkle like modern round diamonds. Instead, multi-coloured flashes of light are dispersed from within the diamond and the pattern of light reflection is chunkier when compared to modern cut diamonds.
The Use Of Calibre Cut Stones Was Prevalent
Alongside Old European cut diamonds, other precious stones were used frequently in Art Deco jewellery. The use of calibre cut stones was prevalent during this era. These are essentially gemstones that are custom cut to fit into the design of each piece. They are arguably the feature of Art Deco jewellery pieces that are the most defining, and they tend to be tightly spaced together, which adds to the visual impact jewellery from this era has.
Filigree Work Was Common
Intricate cut-outs in the metal, a design feature known as filigree, was a common feature in the Art Deco era and was achieved using die-cast machines. Die-cast machines aren't common in jewellery-making these days, so if you're trying to determine whether an Art Deco piece is an original or a replica, the presence of filigree is a strong indicator that a piece is indeed an original of the era.
If you'd like to find out more about Art Deco jewellery, speak to a jeweller specialising in antiques or an antique store that specialises in the first half of the twentieth century.