1970s Jewellery and 70s Costume Jewellery

1970s Jewellery: Retro, Native and Bright

1970s Pendant NecklaceThe early 1970s saw a complete turn in trends and styles in respect of costume jewellery, with a return to handmade values and ethnic jewellery which incorporated traditional standards of craftsmanship. Natural materials were used such as feathers, bone and exotic woods, Native American turquoise and silver pieces were also popular, along with pieces made of beaten metal, stones and earthenware beads. Also, brightly coloured enamels which were integrated into bangles, flower brooches and necklaces which was a continuation from the 1960s trends, were also fashionable.

Unlike the 50s and 60s which saw high end quality pieces of costume jewellery being produced, during the 1970s, the quality of costume jewellery degraded as a result of the influx of cheap chain pieces in the early part of the 70s. Out of all the eras so far, the 1970s really stands out as being the decade that was least focused on jewellery. Nevertheless, lightweight plastic pieces of costume jewellery, particularly oversize plastic earrings and bangles, still remained popular. Gold tassel pendants and fob watch pendant on long gold chains were also on trend during this time.

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1970s Jewellery: Punk and Anarchy

1970s Lucite Pop Design BraceletDuring mid to tail end of the decade, punk rock emerged, Vivienne Westwood pushed the boundaries further with fashion to really bring punk to the forefront by ripping up t-shirts and accessorising them with "punk jewels"- safety pins, metal spikes and razor blades which filtered down into pieces of costume jewellery.

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