The Allure of Art Deco Jewellery

Art Deco is a shortened form of Exhibition Internationales des Arts Decoratifs et industries, an event known in English as the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts.

The Art Deco is a style that was first seen in 1925. It emerged as a result of multiple exhibits at the World’s fair. The World’s Fair was held in Paris, France. Initially, Paris, and France, was believed to be the origin of art deco.

However, over the years, several pieces of art deco jewellery have been discovered dating back to 1905 in both Belgium and France. However, it took around two decades for art deco jewellery became popular.


This type of jewellery usually comprises of a combination of plastic, pearls, rubies, gold, chrome and steel. All these materials are shaped and designed into geometric designs. Some of these geometric designs include circles, squares, triangles, arcs and rectangles. Art deco jewellery comes in a wide range of styles. The style consists of hammered metal, glass and machined. 


Characteristics of Art Deco Jewellery

There are specific characteristics of art deco jewellery that are consistent throughout period pieces. Below are the most common characteristics; 

  • Most art deco jewellery is made using white gold or platinum. White gold was initially used during the 1915 art deco era. This was after the costs of platinum gold kept rising hence creating a need for a cheaper light-coloured metal.

  • Art deco jewellery features old European cut diamonds. There isn’t a piece of authentic art deco jewellery featuring modern round diamond cuts. This is only found in pieces that have been modified.

  • Art deco styles feature geometric designs. Most, if not all, of the jewellery feature either geometric or symmetric designs. Such designs include geometric shapes, less free space and an industrial feel to the designs.

  • Another characteristic is that they mostly feature calibre cut stones. These are custom gemstones which are cut to fit a particular jewellery design. This means that the gems are spaced tightly against metals and sometimes other rocks. This influences the overall design of the jewellery.

  • Additionally, they feature a filigree work. Filigree designs feature small intricate cut-outs that were popular at the time of the Art Deco era. It is almost impossible to see work like this done after or before the period.

 emerald art deco

What is the difference between Art Deco Jewellery and Art Nouveau Jewellery?

Both art nouveau and art deco art movements emerged as a result of a significant event. Both styles have also embraced modernist elements. However, there are substantial differences. Below are the main differences between these two art styles; 

  • Origin- the main difference between Art deco and Art Nouveau emerged in the late-Victorian era. The main characteristic of Art Nouveau pieces is that they are mostly centred around the curves. This style was specifically typical between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. On the other hand, art deco emerged in the 1020s.

  • Event- as mentioned earlier, both art deco and art nouveau emerged as a result of an event. Art deco emerged as a result of the Industrial Revolution, and art nouveau emerged as a result of world war I.

  • Shapes and lines- Art Nouveau consists of flowing lines and ethereal beauty. These elements incorporate natural elements like vines and flowers. The natural features can also include animals and insects. They can either be imagined or real. On the other hand, art deco consists of rectangular lines that are frequently combined with circles. They are also often combined with geometrical designs like pyramids and zigzags.

  • Applications- Art Nouveau designs are applied in an array of disciplines including graphic arts, furniture, interior decorations, fine arts as well as architecture. On the other hand, art deco has remained a decorative style of art. It is also used in jewellery. 

Additionally, art nouveau leans towards a more organic style, while art deco is more polished.



How To Find Genuine Art Deco Jewellery?

Art deco has influenced a wide range of industries. However, the industry that has mostly been impacted by art deco is the jewellery industry. The market is packed with a wide range of art deco jewellery which you can purchase.

Sadly, wannabe art deco designers have also come up with a knock of pieces that you may be fooled into thinking are genuine art deco jewellery. There are modern and vintage art deco pieces in the market. Even the vintage ones can be knockoffs. Below are some elements to look into when looking for genuine art deco jewellery;

  • Their vertical lines and geometric shapes significantly define art deco pieces. This is the first thing you should consider when looking for genuine pieces.

  • They also contain dramatic colour contrasts as seen in the first pieces in the early 1920s. Any piece without this element does not fall in the category of art deco.

  • Most art deco pieces use design elements from traditional or ancient cultures. Often, the antique design elements are combined with a little bit of modernization to create beautiful, timeless and sophisticated pieces. 


If you are looking for the best and most genuine art deco pieces, also make sure to deal with genuine jewellers. Make sure you are purchasing from a genuine dealer with a good reputation. 

It would also help if you carried out some research on the dealer and the concept of art deco before making a purchase. It always helps if you go into a transaction with some knowledge. Also, consider the elements mentioned above. 

Here at Charles Hart Jewellers we are proud to say we are one of the UK's oldest family run jewellery business at 200 years old. 

Art Deco Engagement Rings 

Art deco engagement rings are the most sought after type of engagement rings in the market. The engagement rings are popular because they are often big and bold.

These are elements that women love about their engagement rings. The rings also feature a design element that makes them sophisticated and very aesthetically pleasing.

They also have a very distinguishing characteristic and a timeless value. They do not feature any delicate elements hence the reason why they are referred to as timeless.

The market provides vintage options as well as newly manufactured ones. Common types of art deco engagement rings are; cluster, halo and pave rings. They can be made of diamond or sapphire.

art deco engagement ring




Art Deco Jewellery Designers 

Jewellery designers are an essential part of the art deco industry and movement. The designers embrace the elements of the style, including the vertical lines and simple yet repetitive geometric patterns.

The whole aim of the industry is to come up with elegant and sophisticated jewellery pieces that are timeless.

ruby art deco ring

Art deco designers often use platinum and white gold as this is a significant element of the style dating from the time when it emerged. They also incorporate geometric shapes and vivid colours.

The contrast helps to capture what jewellers and artists refer to as capturing the spirit of the time. Designers also use dramatic colour contracts as a way of expressing optimism towards the future and the difference between the era of art nouveau and art deco.

The diamonds are also cut in geometric shapes like trapeze, half-moon and tringle, among others. These are just the traditional cuts styles. 

However, over the years, art deco designers and jewellers have advanced their craft and are currently making more complexly designed pieces.

The designers are using platinum, sapphire and other metals in addition to platinum and white gold. They also often borrow design elements from ancient cultures.

The contract between the old civilisations in modern times is what makes the pieces fascinating and timeless. Ancient motifs can also be applied to add flavour, allure and elegance to the designs.

The Most Expensive Art Deco Jewellery

Genuine art deco pieces are often costly. However, the market is packed with a wide range of options from which people can get what they want at desirable costs. The most expensive art deco jewellery is vintage pieces.

They can either be brooches, rings or pendants. The price of the pieces is influenced by the type of material used (mostly diamond and sapphire), the size and type of piece. 

We Buy Art Deco Jewellery

We buy art deco jewellery or we can sell on your behalf for a commission. To find out more about commission based selling please click this link 

September 16, 2020 — CG Hart