Mid-Century Jewelry – Making it Personal

Mid-Century Style. Amanda snake hero.
Mid-Century Style. Amanda snake Mobile Hero

With the golden age of Hollywood going full tilt, movie stars–from the zany Lucille Ball to the alluring Ava Gardner—brought back the joy of glamour and, of course, that included gorgeous jewelry. And screen icons were not the only ones adorned with beautiful jewels. Everyone enjoyed the art of accessorizing on some level, sporting everything from breathtaking diamond earrings, to a single strand of pearls, to whimsical brooches embellished with bright gemstones. There was–and is–something for everyone.

Taking a look back, yet firmly planted in the 21st century, our Lang sparkle specialists style their favorite jewels from the marvelous Mid-Century.

How to Wear it Then & Now

Mid-Century Style. Ava Gardner.

As we trudge through the winding TSA check line at the airport wearing “airplane comfort” fashion, be aware that, once upon a time in its early days, commercial air travel was a glamorous affair. Case in point, the stunning Ava Gardner—bedecked in diamond brooches–at New York’s Idlewild airport upon her return from Paris in 1954.

Mid-Century Diamond Double Clip Brooch.

Evoking the dizzying days of Hollywood glamour, these fabulous, ultra-sparkling double diamond-diamond spray dress clips, paired with sartorial classics, create an understated—yet striking—statement.

BW Midcentry Woman

Oh my, what to do with the waiting-to-be-adorned space created by an off-the-shoulder neckline and fully exposed ears? Why drape and clip it with diamonds, of course!

Mid-Century Diamond Flower Earrings.
Mid-Century Emerald Cut Diamond Necklace. 33 cts.

Sparkling spectacularly with ribbons of baguettes and clusters of bright round brilliant cuts, a pair of showstopping ear clips or a stunning statement necklace may be the only jewels you need for your fancy night out on the town, or even during the day—if you dare.

Mid-Century Style. BW Photo Woman Wearing Pearls.

The pearl necklace was an iconic jewel of the Mid-Century. According to Grace Kelly, “The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens.” Queen Elizabeth must have thought so, as did Audrey Hepburn, and Michelle Obama. The always-on-trend jewel has also made its way to the necks of the men on the street as well as to those of celebrities such as business mogul Pharell Williams, Elton John, and all-star outfielder and power-hitter Joc Pederson of the Atlanta Braves.

Double Strand Pearl and Diamond Necklace.
Double Strand Pearl and Diamond Clasp.

Always perfect–and even better with a fancy diamond clasp—the classic, yet eternally au courant, pearl necklace is a must-have jewel.

Into every girl’s life, a little diamond should fall.

Elizabeth Taylor

Lang Style

Kaye –Sales Associate and Resident “Diamond Girl”

Mid-Century Style. Kaye with Coral Necklace.
Mid-Century Style. Kaye Diamond Brooch.
Boucheron Diamond and Platinum Ear Clips.

Kaye LOVES diamonds. And no wonder—she looks fabulous in them! Here, she is wearing a brooch that, in her words “…is like the Fourth of July—a fireworks display that brings a smile to my face.” Adding extra dazzle is a pair of stunning Bucheron earrings, ablaze with icy white round brilliant cut and baguette diamonds. Kaye always wears diamond earrings because she “…loves how they light up my face!” Indeed, they do. However, nothing compares to the radiance of her smile. For a pop of pretty color, she draped her neck with a double-strand coral necklace—the contrast is delightful.

While diamonds are—as Marilyn Monroe would say—a girl’s best friend, Kaye is sometimes in a moonstone kind of mood. She says that she loves wearing moonstones on dark fabric because it shows off their blue glow that is “magical and serene.” Glowing against her black sweater is a necklace of 27 lustrous blue-sheen moonstones set in gleaming 14K gold bezels. A celestial beauty.

Natalia – Stunningly Stylish Sales Associate

Mid-Century Style. Natalia Wearing Dress Clips.
Mid-Century Platinum-Diamond Clips-Brooch
Mid-Century Platinum-and Diamond Ear-Drops

“I love dress clips; they go with everything I like to wear. Very versatile, changes the look of an outfit.” On any given day at Lang, Natalia is decked out in dress clips. As she says, they are so versatile—perfect for a fancy soiree or, as our lovely fashionista proves, they are quite capable of taking a crisp white shirt to a higher sartorial level. And why stop there! The sparkle continues on her ears with kinetic, captivating, and artfully asymmetrical diamond earrings.

Mid-Century Style. Natalia Hand on Chin.

Natalia’s jewelry creed? “More is more!” This is especially true for her when it comes to bracelets—one just won’t do. Worn with a classic white shirt, a bracelet of curvy crisscross ribbons set with baguettes and round brilliant cuts adorns her wrist. Natalia likes that she can wear it day or night and that it looks great with her diamond rings. It also looks great with her
Mexican fire opal ring that adds a pop of juicy color. On her other hand, she has paired a Cartier rolling ring (an engineering marvel) with a diamond band. And on her wrist? More bracelets, of course!

Amanda — Calm, Cool, and Collected Restoration Coordinator

Mid-Century Style. Amanda Snake.
Diamond and Enamel Snake Brooch.
Modernist Lapis and Gold Earrings.

Amanda has a classic style with a cool twist—kind of modern-day Audrey Hepburn. She favors solid neutrals which are a perfect canvas for jewelry. Wearing her own layered necklaces, she has added a dash of serpentine flair to her coat lapel with this exotic snake brooch, beautifully decorated with enamel. Amanda thinks it’s a fun piece that gives her “Valentine vibes.” Finishing off her super chic look is a pair of Modernist lapis earrings. She “…loves the modern take on this normally traditional stone. Lapis has always reminded me of the East Coast.”

Mid-Century Style. Amanda Wearing Watch.
Oscar Heyman Carre-Cut Diamond Line Bracelet.

Who doesn’t swoon over a diamond bracelet—especially one by Oscar Heyman. This one was made for Amanda. In her opinion, “It is a beautiful, traditional statement piece that can be worn both casually and for dressy occasions.” Pairing it with her Cartier watch, and pearl bracelet (plus sassy red nails), Amanda creates a marvelous mix of classics that is always in vogue. Audrey would love it.

Inspired? Shop our collection to find your perfect Mid-Century mix.

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    Mid-Century Aquamarine and Diamond Spray Brooch

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    Like drops of cool blue water, a pair of refreshing pear-shaped aquamarine drops glisten and glimmer below trios of slender, bright-white and sparkling marquise…

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