Simple Guide to '80s and '90s Jewelry

by Sasha t on Nov 04, 2020

Simple Guide to '80s and '90s Jewelry - Jack Weir & Sons

Simple Guide to '80s and '90s Jewelry

  Are you interested in vintage jewelry or would like to expand your collection? Consider learning more about Vintage 1980’-1990’s jewelry. The 80s were known to be bold, bright, and beautiful. Often described as the most eclectic decade in fashion, it was characterized by big hair, bold colors, and big jewelry. The ’90s are one of the most memorable fashion decades in the west, known as a time of multiculturalism and rapid advancement of technology. Due to the rise of the World Wide Web, fashion easily became more homogenous as ideas, photographs, and trends could be widely circulated. 

In this blog post you will learn:

  • Fashion Icons of the ’80s and ’90s 
  • 80’s and 90’s Main Characteristics 
  • Popular Types of Jewelry 

Fashion Icons of the 80s and 90s

One of the best ways to get a feel for the jewelry styles of the 80s is to look at the fashion icons of the time. These include:

  • Princess Diana: Her jewelry was often large and featured colorful stones. 
  • Dynasty and Dallas (television series'): The flashier the better, and jewelry often featured large pearls and big earrings. 
  • Cyndi Lauper: Beads, bangles, and bold colors everywhere made up Lauper's 80s style. 
  • Madonna: Madonna wore big sparkly jewelry, long beaded necklaces, huge earrings, and it would've been difficult to guess just how many bracelets (of all kinds, in all colors) adorned her wrists at any given time. 
  • Jennifer Aniston: 90’s sweetheart, the girl everyone wants to be. 
  • Cindy Crawford: an iconic example of the Model Obsessed Generation

80’s and 90’s Main Characteristics

’80s were bright, bold, and colorful. Styles of this era revealed women’s sexuality, freedom of choice, and expression. After Madonna’s famous music video: “Like A Virgin'', women spoke freely about their desires and commemorated it with ironic wear of catholic cross jewelry and other bold looks. As for the 1990s, despite this leaning towards grunge and casual wear, there was also still an essence of glamour. For instance, high-shine fabrics like satin, sequins, vinyl, and silk were popular amongst women and were adopted especially for clubwear. Consequently, evening jewelry like fringe necklaces, diamante collars, hair barrettes, and tennis bracelets were the perfect complement. 

Popular Types of Jewelry

Earrings - 1980s earrings were large and dramatic. Oversize hoops were a staple for any 80s woman. Clip-on earrings were popular as pierced styles were often too heavy to wear. Gold disc earrings were particularly fashionable and these complemented large gold buttons that graced jackets and suits. 

Dramatic drop earrings - The drop earrings of the ’90s were dramatically long, the longer the better. Long sparkly drop earrings were a red carpet staple. The look was championed by the biggest celebrities of the decade.





Huge, ornate, princess di–level studs - During this time, obviously statement accessories were all the rage, but in particular, people loved oversized studs—Princess Diana wore these types of jewels all the time. Simple Studs were also very popular in the late 90s - timeless and classy, a look popular to this day.

Rings - Cocktail rings and other costume pieces were part of the 1980s and 1990’s style. These were worn both during the day and as evening wear and contributed to the overall sense of confidence and wealth that were part of the decade.


Tennis bracelets - in the '80s, the tennis bracelet rose in popularity as a bit of a status symbol. While the size of the diamonds may have changed from person to person, they all have the recognizable look. Round stones are set in the same four-prong basket setting. So, the look definitely spoke of a certain era. In the 1990's It's not about something big and flashy anymore. It's about everyday bling that feels modern but will never go out of style.


Heart-shaped collar necklaces - Remember those Tiffany's heart necklaces that fastened with a circle-and-bar? Those were and still are iconic. They represented the 90’s grunge yet with a romantic twist. 

Gothic crosses - After Madonna’s famous music video: “Like A Virgin'', women spoke freely about their desires and commemorated it with ironic wear of carholic cross jewelry and other bold looks. Gothic pieces had a huge renaissance during the '90s, as Jennifer Aniston demonstrates right here.





Chokers, chokers, chokers of all forms and shapes. 

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