A Timeline of Jewelry Styles and Designs

For time immemorial, jewellery has been a luxury desired by everyone. It has retained its status as an expression of the self and also managed to safeguard its value. However, despite its seemingly timeless nature, jewellery has also undergone continuous change over the last decade. What was considered to be the “in” thing in, say, the 60’s, is now regarded as ‘retro’ fashion.

Here is a timeline of the evolution of jewellery design dating from the 1950’s till current times, so you can identify the exact period that your favourite style was born in.

The Glitzy 50s

The 50s were a period of strictly imposed gender norms, where women began to break expected standards and explore new domains. They started to express themselves as independent, unique individuals, and the styles of the decade echo this desire. Catchy styles were in trend and often used bright, dominant colours. Ring fashions were popular and were designed using big gemstones with faux pearls. Flexible rhinestone necklaces and multistring bracelets were other favourites as well. Copper jewellery was another growing trend of the period and arose as an alternative to crystals.old earring designs

The Thrifty 60s

The 60’s observed a change in the status of jewellery. Jewellery was now seen less as a representation of wealth, and more as an expression of style and professional craftsmanship was in demand, as was handcrafted jewellery. This resulted in the production of intricate designs using low-cost materials rather than expensive metals and gems. Black and white palettes began to take the place of gold, and oversized monochromatic designs were the vogue. Sleek designs replaced glitz and sparkle, and classy geometric patterns were immensely popular. Crumpled and hammered textures were another loved choice of the decade.

earrings designs1960

The Timeless 70s

The 60’s and 70’s are popular for their timeless retro designs which are in trend even today. The 70s jewellery were all about making a statement, and their large sizes and flamboyant colours are proof of this. Disco inspired designs were popular and so were large gemstones and oversized pearls. Rustic designs also came into fashion at this time and hippie styles were a favourite. Women tended to wear layered jewellery and large dangling ear pieces in the period of the 70s. Our collection of long earrings will inspire you to step back in time and adorn yourself in styles from the 70s.

Timeless 1970s

The Extravagant 80s

The 80s saw the growth of designs that were loud and bold. Enormous brooches, large rings, heavy danglers were all in vogue, just as were the bright and flashy colours. Pure gold began to be replaced by coated gold and imitation jewellery, and beads started to take the front seat. Crystals made a return during this time and pearls were the style of this decade. Princess Diana and Madonna are evidence of the explicit styles of this time and were looked up to as being style statements of flashy accessorizing.

Extravagant 1980s

The Transforming 90s

From the 90’s the styles begin to blend together with the trends that are “in” even in current times. The 90’s saw the decline of extravagant jewellery into comparatively simplistic and elegant designs. Bracelets were a huge favourite of the time and slinky gold bracelets were everyone’s choice of accessory. Toe rings, chains and ankle bracelets came into the picture and tended to be made of pearls and crystals, smaller than the stones used in the decade preceding this. Hoop earrings were another style popular in this decade.

Current Styles

Today, jewellery ranges from elegant to junk, from posh to hippie with different styles in each category. People prefer simple styles and monochromatic colours are loved by all. Layered jewellery has transformed into single strand designs and pearls and glitzy gold have been replaced by diamonds and light crystals among other gemstones. Chokers, multiple piercings, simple bracelets and chains, and ear cuffs are the popular choices now but of course are constantly changing.

The evolution of jewellery designs is affected deeply by the significant historical changes across the decades. The once bold and eye-catching jewellery adorned by women has now transformed into tasteful and minimalist designs establishing the growth in their positions on the social ladder. Jewellery has hence maintained its position as a tool to express oneself, so find a piece that you feel speaks for you now with Gehna.

Disclaimer: The jewelry images used in this blog are not designed or owned by Gehna. They belong to their respective owners and are used here only for educational purposes.


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  • Vikas

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this informative article with us on Jewelry. We know that jewellery is a very precious for us and Now we know that how jewellery design is change as the time change.

  • Akshay Sharma

    Hi, Thanks for the post amazing collection of Designer and Jewellery.

  • nk4eva

    No matter what the era is, jewelry is loved in all forms. Great Blog!