Jewelry Gift Giving Guide From Bygone Eras - Jack Weir & Sons

by Sasha t on Dec 13, 2023

Jewelry Gift Giving Guide From Bygone Eras - Jack Weir & Sons

Look into the past eras of jewelry design and trends and you'll find some real gems in our 2023 gift-giving guide from Jack Weir & Sons of Beverly Hills.

At Jack Weir & Sons, it should come as no surprise that we believe that jewelry is the ultimate gift. It’s not just about the beauty, the sparkle, or the awe - it’s about the stories, the history and the lasting power. Every single one of the pieces we share with you has a story, each with a peek into the rich tapestry of global history. When we look at jewelry through the lens of the era from where it came, it is especially exciting - each era echoes a distinct perspective that reflects the trends, culture and artistic movements of the time. From the striking geometry of Art Deco to the streamlined aesthetics of Contemporary pieces, every style speaks of a different point of view and to a different personality. 

We know that the holiday season can sometimes be overwhelming - where do you even begin to find something special enough for that special someone in your life?! We know this feeling all too well, so In this guide, we’ve decided to start with the style - we’ll journey through the captivating eras of jewelry so that you can find a piece that resonates deeply with the spirit of your special someone. 

Art Deco Era:

The Roaring Twenties and the early 1930s gave us Art Deco, a style characterized by bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. Think of the opulent parties in “The Great Gatsby” - that's Art Deco. In this era, it was no surprise to see women dripping in diamonds and pearls on their hands, wrists and necks. Added ornamentation through scarves and hats was also a very distinct style of the era. The design elements from this era are bold and timeless - most pieces from this era can be styled with everything from a formal gown to jeans and a tee-shirt - one of the reasons that we adore this era so much. Signature gifts from this era include cocktail rings studded with diamonds, long strands of pearls, ornate earrings and bracelets with angular, symmetrical designs.

Art Deco earring, bracelet, ring

Retro Era:

The Retro Era - the 1930s and 1940s - was a period marked by elegance and innovation amidst global upheaval. This was an era where style harmoniously blended luxury with practicality. This era, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and World War II, saw a shift towards more substantial, bold pieces, often featuring larger, colorful semi-precious gemstones and creative uses of small cuts of precious stones to form sometimes playful designs. This era also was known for its innovative use of materials while metals were being rationed for the war and gave us bakelite jewelry - an iconic plastic of the era. Signature gifts from this period could include chunky gold bracelets, cocktail rings with oversized gemstones, and brooches with patriotic motifs. Retro era jewelry offers a unique statement of resilience and timeless style.

Retro brooch, ring and bracelet

Mid-Century Era:

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, the Mid-Century era brought a revolution in jewelry design, characterized by innovative forms and an exploration of new materials. Like all eras of jewelry design, this revolution was a mirror of what was happening in the world at large - the war was over and so were the straight lines and masculine styles that went with it. The Mid-Century ushered in an era of a celebration of the natural world - whimsical portrayals of floral, celestial and animal designs abounded as did elegant sets, shorter necklines and generally more sweeping lines. Elegance really encapsulates this era - With more prosperity came more desire for fine jewelry and some of the more popular designers during this time were Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston and Oscar Heyman. That being said, this was also an era with an uptick in avant garde design - so this era's pieces range from chunky, abstract gold bangles to elegant brooches and minimalist necklaces. A Mid-Century jewelry recipient is someone who appreciates that beautiful fusion of traditional elegance with a touch of sleek modernism.

Mid century rings

Contemporary Era:

The 1990s to the present day has been marked by a shift towards minimalism, unconventional materials, and a growing consciousness of sustainability in jewelry design. Contemporary jewelry gifts include pieces that are designed with the finest materials, but can be worn in more casual settings - think  delicate stacking rings, sleek chains, and pieces that skew custom, or somehow personal to the wearer. Contemporary jewelry lovers tend to value clean, modern design and have a more minimalist perspective on fashion. 


Contemporary ring and earrings
                                                                                                                                                 (RingSerpenti studsMacri Classica Earrings)

If you are looking for the perfect piece to give this holiday season, it’s important to understand where your recipient’s personal style collides with the stories from the past. Whether it's a nod to the roaring twenties, an  innovative Mid-Century century piece, a sleek Contemporary gift, or a bombastic piece from the Retro era, there's a piece of history and a story to tell  to suit every style. We’re always happy to guide you to the perfect piece for that special someone - just give us a call here at Jack Weir & Sons - we love nothing more than to pair the perfect piece with the perfect person. 


At Jack Weir & Sons, we’ve spent the last 40 years traveling to Europe and all over the world, curating extraordinary estate jewels. JWS is where the old world meets the new world. Celebrate life, preserve history, and discover your own priceless heirloom jewel. We are extremely grateful for our clients and the ability to help people celebrate their special moments through one-of-a-kind jewelry. To share that gratitude and our strong family values, we chose to partner with Baby2Baby. So far, we've donated $125,000. A portion of every sale goes towards children living in poverty to provide them with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. 

We offer in-person and Virtual Appointments and are happy to answer any questions about your favorite jewel. 

JWS Flawless Protection Plan: 
- Free Sizing & Overnight Shipping 
- 7-Day 100% Return Policy 
- 30-Day Exchange for Credit 
- Free Appraisal with Purchase 
- 100% Authenticity Guaranteed

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