Changes in Fashion – Jewellery in the 1970’s

found in: Antique Jewellery


I am often asked “how different was it in the 1970’s when I was buying and selling jewellery?” In the 1970’s, 18th and early 19th century pieces were in high demand, they were relatively easy to find and our stock comprised of at least 30% of jewellery from this period. Indeed, the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair in Park Lane, where we exhibited annually, had a date line of 1830. This meant that only jewellery before this date could be brought into the Fair. Nowadays, it would be impossible to impose such an early dateline as early pieces are so difficult to find. Equally tastes and fashion have also changed and 18th century jewellery is no longer in “vogue”.

I am often asked “how different was it in the 1970’s when I was buying and selling jewellery?”

Antique Emerald, Natural Pearl and Diamond Floral Brooch/Pendant, English circa 1865. £26,000


Jewellery of this period was often made as complete suites comprising necklace, matching earrings, bracelet and detachable pendant. Today, in general, these items have been split up and sold separately as the occasion to wear such a set is now rare.

Despite a lower demand, I still enjoy finding these more rarer pieces to add to my stock. Very recently I was fortunate to be able to acquire a most wonderful early Victorian 19th century piece of jewellery that we would have stocked on a regular basis in the 70’s. It is a brooch/pendant, set with a fine coloured Columbian emerald centre together with natural (oriental) pearls and old cut diamonds. It sits in it’s original case by the well known London jewellers of the time, Watherson & Sons. It dates from around 1860 and is most spectacular in wear.

Today the demand for 18th century Georgian jewellery is confined to the collectors and a niche market. I do however, have a few wonderful examples of Georgian pieces in stock….but I’ll save that for another time!