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Today’s lesson is on jewelry trends and, as trends tend to be, it is quick and surface; cliff note style. We have tried to quickly capture the jewelry of a decade in a few fast sentences, so hold on and enjoy…



1950’s- All about contradiction. Hollywood Glam was in full swing. Yet, on the other hand, the 50s were a time for caution in the United States and the rest of the world.

The style was traditional and stable as opposed to trendy. Choker necklaces, pins and brooches were the must have pieces. Nature was the main source of inspiration for designers. Florals, moon shapes, birds, snowflakes, and insects were favorite images.


1960’s- Revolutions were happening. The styles changed from traditional to brighter and bolder colors. The 1960s brought a popularity of acrylic and plastics: easily made in a variety of colors and shapes, and due to an increase in urban crime; people did not want to attract unwanted attention from criminals. Sad but true.

Longer necklaces emerged from the popular chokers of the 50s and were often accented with a single, medium sized pendant usually representing an animal. Bangles continued to be as popular as they were in the 1950s, however, the style did change a bit from flashy gem-encrusted bangles to bright plastic solid colors.


1970’s- The conflicts around the globe over the past decades increased a desire to be more involved with nature. Images of frogs, mushrooms, ferns, and the ever popular owl were joined with icons like the peace and dove symbols.  Materials like hemp and leather began to make their way into the fashion world for a more organic look. Very small glass beads, known as seed beads, were at the forefront of the ‘70’s trend too.


1980’s- Businesses were booming during the 1980s. Big and glitzy was the style. It was a time of endless fads and trends. Many styles were short lived. The designs were inexpensive, this meant that younger generations were buying more, setting trends, and influencing designs.

Asymmetrical designs were popular. Religious symbols such as crosses were often worn as large pendants on necklaces and earrings. Stacking colorful bracelets sometimes made of “jelly” plastic or dozens of thin metal bracelets worn at once was a trend. Men began wearing jewelry as well, such as earrings worn in one ear, various wrist watches, and sunglass styles.


1990’s- An importance in class and economic status became a strong influence. The world of high fashion was increasingly popular and brand names became important. Consumers wanted items with names, designer brands, logos, and signature patterns easily recognized. Personalized jewelry that featured names or places were also popular.

The trend in jewelry was body piercings. Jewelry for the belly button, eyebrow piercings, multiple ear piercings, nose, lip, and tongue brought new categories to the old jewelry counter.


So, there you have it. Five decades of jewelry trends. Our homework… we will dive into the 2000’s and report back soon.