Jewelry of the 60’s and 70’s: The times, they were a changin’

It may seem odd to think of 60’s/70’s jewelry as vintage. But while we sang about revolution, there was  a revolution in jewelry design, materials, and style. Colors became bolder, with higher contrast (i.e., turquoise and coral), uncut crystals took the place of polished gems, and formath-1l pieces turned into more casual settings.

Reflecting the rise in pantsuits, miniskirts, and loungewear, jewelry lines became cleaner and more understated than previous eras. Traditional jewelers of Europe were eclipsed by their American counterparts, such as Elsa Peretti and Harry Winston.

Peretti’s fluid, simple beans, hearts, and ovals mimicked the casual atmosphere of the era. Peretti, whose jewelry has been sold through Tiffany’s since the early 1970s, specializes in simple forms and understated, clean lines.


On the other end of the spectrum, Harry Winston paired elegant, classical jewels with updated settings and modern advertising for a whole new spin, as you can see from this ad. Generations know his gems from the Oscars and Emmys, including the Isadora Diamond, an 80-carat yellow diamond that is named for Isadora Duncan, which was worn by Whoopee Goldberg when she hosted the Oscars.

If you have Peretti pieces or other jewelry of the 60’s/70’s — or maybe pieces have been passed down to you by relatives — they may be worth a second look (and a fresh appraisal). There is a strong/solid market as GenXers discover the clean lines and understated sophistication of these pieces. (And Mad Men’s recent popularity doesn’t hurt, either!) Before you decide to sell or trade in these jewels, be sure you know their worth.

As always, let me know what I can help with!

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