About Retro Jewelry
The Retro era in jewelry dated to the 1930-40s. These ten years brought us a distinct look that has been highly admired through the years.
During the World War II the entire world was changing, and jewelry world was under the influence as well. For instance, the bracelets were often designed by using the geometry of tank treads. In order to confront that brutality, for some of the pieces jewelers reinstated Victorian floral motifs in a romantic and even fragile way. That approach resulted in a vast variety of brooches. Butterflies, flowers, starbursts, birds, and animals flooded jewelry market during retro era.
Some of the materials — such as platinum — were hard to find and even forbidden to be sold. That’s why retro jewelry was often made of yellow, rose and even green gold alloys.
Shortage of gemstones forced jewelers to use semi-precious stones: citrine, aquamarine, amethyst. Pave technique allowed to achieve a big look with little diamonds. Another sign of that time was enamel that was used to accentuate the stone or even replace it.
About Enamel Jewelry
Enamel jewelry is beloved for its glossy, colorful appearance. Enamel has been in jewelry making since the 1200s in China and Persia. It was flourishing again during the Art Nouveau era and had its comeback in the 1970s.
Enamel is a specifically formulated glass powder or a paste applied to a metal. After the application it gets heated up to 950°C.
Here are some of the most popular enameling techniques in jewelry making:
It’s the most complicated to execute among enameling techniques. Plique-a-Jour was especially popular among such the Art Nouveau artists as Rene Lalique, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Peter Carl Faberge. The name can be translated from French as “to let light in”. The method allows light to go through the piece and make it glow. It’s done by applying the enamel powder in between of the little metal sections while using the foil to hold it together. After the enamel solidifies, the foil gets removed. This process creates a stained-glass appearance with delicate colors and lights comes from within.
Cloisonné – or hard enamel – is done by layering enamel past the metal line. But first the design is stamped into a metal base. Then it gets polished down to the level of the metal. Due to the lengthier process, Cloisonné is considered more durable and higher quality.
This technique begins with the design being engraved onto to the metal. Then the enamel is filling the etchings. To achieve a vibrant color that meenakari jewelry is famous for, the piece is polished with organic acids. A layer of the transparent enamel finalizes the process.
We have a great selection of enamel jewelry online, or you can see it in person while visiting our store in Beverly Hills.