The World of Vintage Jewellery November 19 2014


This week in #SusansWorld I explore some of the countries that made a mark on the world of vintage costume jewellery.


Daniel Swarovski was born in Bohemia and developed his innovative glass cutting techniques here. He moved his company, Swarovski, to Austria when his sons joined in the early 1900s. 

Aside from the fame brought to Bohemia by Daniel Swarovski, Bohemia was also an area renowned for replicating the look of pearls. Instead of using glass, Bohemian jewellers would cut mother of pearl into beads, and then shaped and polished them until they resembled the 'real thing'.


Austria was the birthplace of the ‘rhinestone’ {from the Rhine Valley}. Swarovski was the first to mass produce these cut crystals. Swarovski subsequently worked with Christian Dior to create an iridescent crystal that would reflect the colour of the wearers' clothes - it was named Aurora Borealis (AB) after the Northern Lights


Christian Dior licensed much of their costume jewellery production to German company Henkel & Grosse.


Though the Trifari family roots began in the 1880s in Italy, Luigi Trifari’s grandson, Gustavo, emigrated to America and established the company there.  In the early 1930s, Alfred Phillipe joined as head designer. His impressive design background included elite companies Cartier and Van Clef & Arpels.