The 1950s were a time of Marlin Brando, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor. These stars still capture our heart with their timeless presence and classic beauty both on and off the screen and radio. Emulating any of these icon's styles was the ever prevailing trend of the time and no matter the look you went for it was sure to be a hit as long as it was sophisticated with a bit of sass. The 1950s were a time of cautious stability both in the United States and in the rest of the world, and this is highly mirrored in the traditional, but statement making pieces of jewelry that were popularized during this generation.
Pairing larger pieces with smaller ones was a popular trend during the 1950s. The larger bracelets made popular by such stars as Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend” were flashy and marvelous when worn with a cocktail dress at a formal event. Pairing such a bracelet with a toned down, drop-style pearl earrings would balance the look and create an air of sophistication with refined taste.
Choker necklaces, a necklace that sits close to the throat, was an extremely popular style during this era and would often times be embellished with gem-patterned floral sprays or other type of arranged groupings. Again, this larger piece would be worn with a subtle watch and earrings to complete, but not overpower, the look while keeping the attention on the statement piece. Chokers were available in many styles and price range. The most popular chokers were those using richly colored gemstones to offset the stark white diamonds and pearls that were also popular.
Nature was the main source of inspiration for many designer jewelry pieces of the early 1950s. Floral arrangements, like the one mentioned above, were common as were jacket pins that featured moon shapes, floral symbols, birds, snowflakes, or similar geometrical patterns. Blues, reds, golds, greens, and other natural colors were popular along with the ever present diamond in pieces of jewelry, both designer made and factory produced. Polished stones were also used quite freely for designs in the 1950s, again pulling elements from nature to be included in designs for daily wear and costume jewelry. Towards the later half of the 1950s, however, plastics began to take a forefront in the jewelry designs allowing synthetic pearls, gems, and other beads to begin gaining popularity as they were more readily available to the jewelry designer and purchaser.