Topazery.com is a vintage jewelry boutique offering vintage rings, bracelets, pendants, and more. We opened our doors in 2001 in an antique mall in Charlotte, NC. Now based in Atlanta, GA, we offer an online-only collection of carefully chosen original vintage jewelry pieces which are sure to delight. Each hand-selected piece captures the mystique and romance of jewelry from a bye-gone era. Come back often to browse our ever-changing vintage jewelry collection.Read more about vintage jewelry. . . >>
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Lauren Bacall Vintage Jewelry
August 22, 2014
When movie legend Lauren Bacall recently passed away, she widened the already-large void being left behind by classic Hollywood's leading actresses and actors. Sadly, very few individuals of Bacall's caliber remain from that film era.
Bacall lit up the screen all of her own beautiful accord, but she was often featured on camera wearing some stunning vintage jewelry pieces. In fact, she loved jewelry so much that she went on to produce her own jewelry line.
Bacall's breakthrough role was her very first movie, "To Have or Have Not" in 1944 opposite Humphrey Bogart, whom she would eventually go on to marry. In the famous seduction scene in which Bacall's character utters the immortal lines, "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," the large vintage ring Bacall wears during much of the film can be spotted on her finger as she rests her hand on the marble-topped table on her way out the door.
Throughout the 1940s, Bogie and Bacall would continue to be billed together in "The Big Sleep," "Dark Passage," and "Key Largo." In several of "The Big Sleep's" scenes, Bacall is seen wearing a gingham-plaid skirted suit with several vintage bracelets circling her wrist. These vintage jewelry items are put in the spotlight when the actress raises her fingers to Bogart's dangling cigarette.
In the 1948 suspense film "Key Largo," Bacall wore a Y-shaped vintage choker with heart-shaped facets around her neck. Although the movie was filmed in black and white, color stills from the movie set reveal that these hearts were studded with emeralds in a shade of green that matched Bacall's skirt.
In one of her most famous later films, Bacall didn't even have star billing. In fact, she was listed third under Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. However, as had already become her custom, the actress earned raves for her portrayal of the gold-digging Schatze Page in 1953's "How to Marry a Millionaire." In the film's wedding scene, Bacall is dressed in a sheer lace wedding gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline and three-quarter sleeves. She finishes off the ensemble with a string of vintage pearls and a matching vintage bracelet.
Vintage Jewelry through the Hollywood Ages: 1930 to 1970
August 10, 2014
Vintage jewelry spans the era beginning in the 1930s and onward. It's not surprising then that some of Hollywood's most famous classic actresses wore jewelry on the screen that epitomizes the sought-after vintage jewelry of today. Read on to learn more about some of these big screen glittery moments.
Vintage Jewelry from 1930s Hollywood
One of America's first sex symbols, actress Jean Harlow lit up the screen with her platinum blonde hair and her thin, painted-on eyebrows. One of the hallmarks that helped make her a famous bombshell was her co-starring status with Spencer Tracy, and one of the film's where they shared the spotlight was the 1936 comedy "Libeled Lady."
In this film, Harlow wore a silver leaf brooch studded with aquamarines and diamonds. The vintage jewelry piece can be seen clipped to her long metallic scarf in a scene with Tracy.
That same year, another Golden Age icon, Greta Garbo, starred in the romantic drama "Camille," which went on to be included in Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Movies countdown. In that film, Garbo was supposed to wear a vintage choker necklace enhanced with emeralds, diamonds and pearls, but she refused to do so. That decision stemmed from the vintage necklace's sharp edges. According to the daughter-in-law of the necklace's designer, "In the scene where she was going to wear the necklace, she was required to have a cape over it. The necklace cut her from the weight of the cape, so she wouldn't wear it. The scenes filmed with the necklace ended up on the cutting room floor."
One of Hollywood's all-time greatest actresses, Bette Davis, made her color film debut in 1939 with Errol Flynn in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex." This historical drama chronicling the romance between Queen Elizabeth I and the 2nd Earl of Essex was nominated for five Academy Awards. The vintage nine-strand pearl necklace Davis wears in this movie is enhanced with gold pendants at the center of each strand that are set with red ruby stones.
And of course no discussion of 1930s Hollywood starlets would be complete without mention of Vivian Leigh in her iconic Scarlett O'Hara role. In one particular scene, while seated at the dining table with Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, she can be spotted wearing a vintage draping diamond necklace that features regal amethyst ovals and teardrops. The necklace is so synonymous with the Margaret Mitchell adaptation that it will never be rented to a movie studio again.
Other classic actresses of the 1930s who were famously photographed wearing spectacular vintage jewelry were Marlene Dietrich, who frequently wore pieces from her own private collection during filming; Kay Francis who was captured dripping head to upper torso in vintage pearls; and Irene Dunne in a diamond ring and vintage diamond bracelet.
Vintage Jewelry from 1940s Hollywood
As Hollywood moved into a new decade, the vintage jewelry seen on the big screen reflected not only the industry's growing budgets but also a leaving behind of the Depression era's tightening of the purse strings. As a result, the jewelry pieces became much more elaborate. A shining example of this tendency is the bib necklace worn around the neck of actress Ona Munson in "Shanghai Gesture," a 1941 film noir.
Encircled all the way around the neckline with diamonds, the vintage necklace showcases a large, round burnt orange topaz at the center of the throat. A cascade of triple-tiered topazes and diamonds drizzled down the décolletage. It's no wonder it has been called "the most spectacular necklace in the world."
Five years later, in 1946, movie goers were treated to the musical comedy "Ziegfeld Follies." Judy Garland has a standout satirical performance in the film, beside Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, as a movie queen conducting an interview. During her screen time, she wears a vintage lariat necklace.
The year 1947 saw two of classic Hollywood's greats making magic on the screen, not only with their acting performances but also with the jewelry they wore. First, one of the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Stars of All Time, Rita Hayworth, starred in the musical comedy "Down to Earth," in which her wrists are decorated with vintage snake bracelets.
That same year, Katharine Hepburn, beside her frequent co-star Spencer Tracy, starred in the western drama, "Sea of Grass," the most commercially popular of the pair's films. While seated at the piano in a red velvet ball gown, Hepburn wears a two-piece vintage brooch fashioned into a dart. The brooch is arranged diagonally across her torso to give the appearance of an arrow piercing through her heart.
Vintage Jewelry from 1950s Hollywood
Arguably the most famous actress to grace the big screen was Marilyn Monroe and she did it in grand style in the 1953 musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Her "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" number as gold digger Lorelei Lee remains iconic to this day. Who could ever forget the pink satin bustier dress and matching long-sleeved gloves that she wears as she coos the song?
To get the lyrics' point across, she tops the ensemble with a collection of spectacular vintage diamond bracelets and an unforgettable necklace. Known as the Moon of Baroda, the necklace features a 24-carat pear-shaped yellow canary diamond. The necklace dates back centuries, making it an antique. What is interesting to note, however, is that Monroe rarely wore diamonds in her off-screen life, preferring instead elegance through simplicity.
Another Hollywood actress known for her elegance, Grace Kelly, starred in the musical comedy "High Society" in 1956. Co-starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, the film went on to become one of the 10 highest grossing of the year. Shortly after its debut, Kelly went on to become the Princess of Monaco. The vintage chandelier earrings dripping with pearls that she wears in the movie are certainly befitting a real-life princess.
While all of this was happening on the big screen, another gracefully elegant woman was awaiting her turn in the spotlight. Future first lady Jackie Kennedy would soon become synonymous with the pearls she wore around her neck. Most of the pearls she wore during her husband's presidency came from her mother, Janet Bouvier, prior to Jackie's marriage to President Kennedy. A vintage 1950s piece -- the triple-strand pearls Jackie was most famously photographed in -- featured an antique Art Deco clasp.
Vintage Jewelry from 1960s Hollywood
Although officially released in 1961, the movie version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" had a decidedly 1950s vintage flair to it. That's because the book on which it was based was published in 1958. Gaga for jewelry store Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly has earned Hollywood immortality for the vintage pearl and diamond necklace she wears in the film. It serves as the pièce to résistence to Hepburn's ensemble of Givenchy little black dress, long matching gloves, cigarette holder and diamante hair ornament. Featuring multi strands of pearls with a diamond centerpiece, the vintage necklace helped define a new generation of style.
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