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However we do have thousands of magnificent pieces of silver and jewellery available for you to view online. Browse our store using one of these categories.

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Browse these categories under "Retro Jewellery"

The collection above includes pieces from the Retro era, in addition to impressive items inspired and crafted in the Retro style.

All of our Retro jewellery featuring gemstones and/or diamonds are accompanied with an independent gemstone and diamond grading report card and/or certificate in addition to free, insured, global shipping.

AC Silver offer a 14 day return policy, and include a free ring sizing service.

Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years experience within the antique industry, handpicks all vintage jewellery for sale.

vintage retro jewellery

Retro was originally a specific art movement dating from the 1940s to the 1950s. ‘Retro’ was a genre of pop art developed to satisfy a need for bold and eye-catching designs that would be easy to reproduce.

Retro style is anything that is vintage of at least fifteen or twenty years, but that is mainly employed when talking about clothing. But, most commonly “retro” is simply used to describe anything, objects or attitudes of the recent past that no longer seem “modern”.

The term “Retro” as applied to jewellery is credited to François Curiel, the head of the jewellery department for Christie’s Auction House in New York in the early 1970’s. Retro Art marks the 1940s to 1950s – the period of massive, voluminous, sculptural, sumptuous pieces of jewellery; signet rings, tank rings and their geometrical forms were very popular.

During the Second World War, jewellers suffered from a low quantity of gemstones. Importing coloured gemstones was partially prohibited, therefore many jewellers used synthetic ones for the most part, and diamonds would be second-hand diamonds that would have been removed from existing pieces of jewellery.

Retro jewellery originated in France. Van Cleef & Arpels were the first to exhibit any Retro jewellery designs; creating a collection that was exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Moreover, when World War II broke out, these exact pieces of jewellery were retained in New York thus influencing contemporary American jewellery designers for the next 5-10 years.

Retro jewellery appeared during a really difficult time of war, the main idea being to distract individuals from the tough reality of everyday life. Hollywood, the movies universe and a fantasy life were also hugely influential and jewellery became oversized, bold, colourful, and full of life in those sad times! The jewellery was glamorous and eye-catching.

In addition to all the synthetic stones that were used, a variety of semi-precious stones that were previously not quite as fashionable were now employed. Very vibrant examples would be: amethysts, citrine and aquamarines, swiftly becoming the “It Thing”. Really bold cuts were extremely popular too: emerald cuts, baguette cuts.

Interestingly this movement brought a way to escape the dark reality of the 1940’s. The harder times were becoming, the more “enchanted and lively” jewellery became. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, the United States entered World War II and pieces of American Retro jewellery of this time were whimsical and enchanting: birds, flowers, dancers, ballerinas, hearts and bows were recurrent designs of the period.

Vintage 3.78 ct Colombian Emerald and 2.18 ct Diamond Dress Ring in Yellow Gold
Price: GBP £24,950.00
34.22 ct Aquamarine and 1.28 ct Diamond, 15 ct White Gold Cocktail Ring - Art Deco - Vintage Circa 1950
Price: GBP £13,950.00
Vintage 5.12ct Colombian Emerald and 3.45ct Diamond Bombe Ring in 18ct Yellow Gold
Price: GBP £13,950.00
15.65 ct Pink Tourmaline and 6.90 ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Necklace - Vintage Italian Circa 1990
Price: GBP £12,950.00
25.23ct Aquamarine and 3.40ct Diamond, Platinum Dress Ring - Vintage Circa 1950
Price: GBP £12,045.00
0.65ct Ruby, 0.60ct Emerald and 0.90ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Bracelet - Vintage Circa 1990
Price: GBP £11,950.00
5.14ct Ceylon Sapphire and 0.96ct Diamond, Platinum Dress Ring - Art Deco - Antique Circa 1930
Price: GBP £11,950.00
45.09ct Aquamarine and 0.96ct Diamond, 18ct White Gold Cocktail Ring - Vintage Circa 1970
Price: GBP £9,845.00
2.28ct Diamond and 0.52ct Ruby, 18 ct Yellow Gold Dress Ring - Vintage French Circa 1940
Price: GBP £8,950.00
40.35ct Aquamarine and 18ct Yellow Gold Cuff Bangle - Vintage Circa 1980
Price: GBP £8,950.00
96.65 ct Tourmaline and Peridot, 18 ct Yellow Gold Bracelet - Vintage Circa 1980
Price: GBP £8,525.00
Gemstone and 14ct Yellow Gold Jewellery Suite - Vintage Circa 1970
Price: GBP £7,950.00
4.45ct Thai Ruby, 1.90ct Zambian Emerald and 3.85 ct Diamond, Platinum and White Gold Spray Brooch - Antique Circa 1935
Price: GBP £7,950.00
0.89ct Ruby and 0.50ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Bracelet by Kutchinsky - Vintage Circa 1960
Price: GBP £7,950.00
13.04ct Aquamarine and 0.20ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Cocktail Ring - Vintage Circa 1970
Price: GBP £7,950.00
2.89ct Diamond and 18ct Yellow Gold Flower Brooch - Vintage French Circa 1950
Price: GBP £7,950.00
21.68ct Aquamarine and 0.38ct Diamond, 14ct Yellow Gold Bracelet - Art Deco Style - Vintage Circa 1960
Price: GBP £7,645.00
1.20ct Diamond and 18ct Yellow Gold Bracelet - Vintage French Circa 1950
Price: GBP £7,645.00
0.80ct Sapphire, 1.72ct Diamond and 18ct Yellow Gold Dress Ring - Art Deco Style - Vintage French Circa 1960
Price: GBP £7,645.00
0.25ct Diamond and 18ct Yellow, Rose and White Gold Ladies Watch - Vintage Swiss Circa 1940
Price: GBP £7,645.00
Blister Pearl, Sapphire, Ruby, 1.28ct Diamond and 14ct Yellow Gold Eagle Brooch
Price: GBP £6,950.00
Vintage Pink Sapphire Brooch with Tourmaline and Diamonds
Price: GBP £6,950.00
26.16ct Emerald and 0.95ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Brooch / Pendant - Vintage French Circa 1980
Price: GBP £6,950.00
South Sea Pearl and 30.15 ct Pink Tourmaline, 18ct Yellow Gold Brooch - Vintage French Circa 1990
Price: GBP £6,950.00

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International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
National Association of Jewellery UK's trade association NAJ