Timeline: The ‘Modern Era’

The 'Modern Era'

General History
  • Prohibition in the U.S.
Tolkowsky's Ideal Proportions.
Jewelry History
  • Marcel Tolkowsky Publishes Diamond Design, Detailing the Cut and Proportions of the Modern Brilliant (‘American’ or ‘Ideal’ Cut), Following Scientific Standards First Discovered and Developed by Henry D. Morse.

  • Buccellati Established in Italy.
    U.S. Suffrage Button in NAWSA's Official Yellow Color with 12 Stars Representing the States Where Women had Full Suffrage. Photo Courtesy of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian.
    General History
    • The Nineteenth Amendment is Ratified, Giving Women the Right to Vote.

    • First Regular Radio Programs Begin Broadcasting in Pittsburgh.
    Art Deco Geometric Diamond Clip Brooch.
    Jewelry History
    • Art Deco Jewelry Evolves (c.1920s)
      Golden Funeral Mask of King Tutankhamun.
      Discoveries & Innovations
      • Howard Carter Discovers King Tutankhamen’s Tomb in Egypt.
      Raymond Yard Maker's Mark.
      Jewelry History
      • Yard jewelry Firm Founded in New York City.
        Discoveries & Innovations
        • Synthetic Pearl Essence for Simulated Pearls Invented, Called H-Scale.
        Example of Etruscan Granulation.
        Jewelry History
        • Egyptologist Caroline R Williams Discovers the Granulation Technique Used by Ancient Goldsmiths.
          Poster for the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris 1925 by Robert Bonfils (1886-1972)
          General History
          • Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes is Held in Paris.
          Discoveries & Innovations
          • Synthetic Spinel, Inadvertently Produced by Flame Fusion Process in 1908, Now in Worldwide Use.

          Jensen, Georg Maker's Mark
          Jewelry History
          • Jensen is Awarded the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition.

          • Firm of Trifari, Krussman & Fishel Established.
            Injection Molding.
            Discoveries & Innovations
            • The First Injection Molding Machine Patented by Eckert and Ziegler in Germany.
            Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis.
            General History
            • Charles Lindbergh Flies Solo Nonstop New York to Paris.

            • Motion Picture with Sound First Publicly Shown (Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer).
            Discoveries & Innovations
            • Cellulose Acetate, Trade Name Lumarith, Introduced by Celluloid Corp.

            • Cartier Patents Spring System for Double Clip Brooch
            Flato Maker's Mark
            Jewelry History
            • Schiaparelli Establishes ‘Maison Schiaparelli’ in Paris.

            • Paul Flato Opens Salon in New York.
              Graph of Wall Street Crash, 1929.
              General History
              • The Great Depression Begins with the Stock Market Crash.
              Trabert & Hoeffer- Mauboussin Maker's Mark .
              Jewelry History
              • Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin Merger Agreement.

              • Black, Starr & Frost Merger with Gorham Corp., Until 1966.
                Chrysler Building Spire, by Carol Highsmith.
                General History
                • Chrysler Building Completed in New York City.
                Expo Unions des Artistes Modernes, UAM POMPIDOU. Credit: The Good Old Dayz 7.
                Jewelry History
                • Ernest Oppenheimer Becomes Chairman of De Beers, Creates Diamond Corporation.

                • Formation of Union des Artistes Modernes, Paris.
                  Empire State Building.
                  General History
                  • Empire State Building Becomes New York’s Tallest.
                  Discoveries & Innovations
                  • The ‘Duette’ Pin Back Mechanism for Double Clip Brooches Patented by U.S. Costume Jewelry Manufacturer Coro.
                  Spratling, William Maker's Mark
                  Jewelry History
                  • William Spratling Opens the First Silver Workshop in Taxco, Mexico.

                  • Robert M. Shipley Founds the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
                    Franklin D. Roosevelt
                    General History
                    • Franklin D. Roosevelt Elected President of the USA.
                    Winston, Harry Maker's Mark
                    Jewelry History
                    • 14k Gold Replaces 12k and 15k in Britain, by Decision of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London.

                    • Harry Winston Opens a Retail Jewelry Business in New York City.
                      Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.
                      General History
                      • Construction Begins on Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (Completed in 1937).

                      • Prohibition Repealed.

                      • Gold Taken Out of Circulation.

                      • Century of Progress World Fair Opens in Chicago.
                      Discoveries & Innovations
                      • Lost Wax Process, Used in Dentistry Since c. 1910 Reintroduced for Mass Production of Jewelry Castings with Vulcanized Rubber Models (c.)

                      • Diamond Producers Association Formed, Diamond Trading Co. Created.
                      Invisibly-Set Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, Front.
                      Jewelry History
                      • The Invisible Setting (Serti Invisible) Patented by Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels (Introduced in USA in 1936).
                        Ruby and Pearl Lip Brooch, Henry Kaston for Dali. Photo Courtesy of Sotheby's.
                        General History
                        • Salvador Dali Exhibits Surrealist Paintings in New York City.
                        Discoveries & Innovations
                        • Synthetic Emeralds (Igmerald) Developed by IG-Farben, Germany, First Seen by Gemologists.

                        • Patent for the Clip Back Earring Finding for Unpierced Ears Granted to Eugene Morehouse for B.A. Ballou.
                        Ruby and Diamond Ludo Bracelet with Coordinating Buckle and Mordant.
                        Jewelry History
                        • Ernest Oppenheimer Creates the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Diamond Cartel.

                        • Van Cleef & Arpels Introduces the “Ludo Flexible Strap Bracelet”.
                          General History
                          • French Luxury Cruise Ship Normandie Arrives in New York.

                          • U.S. Works Progress Administration Inaugurated.
                          Jewelry History
                          • The Jewelers’ Circular merges with The Keystone to become Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone.

                          • D. Lisner & Co. introduces ‘Bois Glacé’ jewelry, their trade name for colorless phenolic plastic (Bakelite) laminated to wood.
                            General History
                            • George V of Great Britain Dies, Succeeded by George VI.

                            • BBC Inaugurates Television Service; General Broadcasting Begins in U.S. in 1941.

                            • Life Magazine Owned by Henry Robinson Luce Became a Popular Weekly Until 1972. (Founded 1883, Stopped 2000.).
                            Van Cleef & Arpels Serti Mysterieux Ruby and Diamond "Millennium" Brooch, 2000. Photo Courtesy of Christie's.
                            Jewelry History
                            • Invisible Setting (Serti Invisible) Introduced by Van Cleef & Arpels.
                              General History
                              • The International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques in Modern Life Held in Paris.

                              • First Feature-Length Animated Film, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
                              Clip Brooch
                              Discoveries & Innovations
                              • Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Introduces Acrylic Plastic, Trade Name ‘Lucite’; also Patents Nylon Fiber.

                              • Double-Pronged Hinged (Dress) Clip Introduced (c.)
                              Rubel Ballerina Brooch.
                              Jewelry History
                              • Boucheron, Cartier, Mauboussin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Others Display Figural Jewels of Colored Gold and Gemstones at Paris Exposition.

                              • Paul Flato Opens his Los Angeles Establishment.

                              • Van Cleef and Arpels Makes ‘Marriage Contract’ Bracelet for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.
                                Approaching Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944.
                                General History
                                • World War II Begins in Europe.

                                • The New York World’s Fair, Titled ‘The World Of Tomorrow’ Opens.

                                • Gone With The Wind Premiers.
                                Synthetic Emerald Created by the Renowned Chatham Company, est.1938, San Francisco.
                                Jewelry History
                                • First Commercially Successful Synthetic Emerald Process Marketed by Carroll Chatham of San Francisco, CA (the Term ‘Chatham Created Emerald’ First Used in 1963).

                                • The House of Jewels at the New York World´s Fair is Sponsored by Tiffany & Co., Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham, Udall & Ballou, Marcus & Co., and Cartier New York.

                                • Van Cleef & Arpels Opens an Office in New York.

                                • Verdura opens his shop in New York.

                                • Sam Kramer Opens his Shop in Greenwich Village.
                                General History
                                • France Falls under German Occupation.

                                • The Bank of France Bans all Gold Trading.
                                Discoveries & Innovations
                                  Hydrothermal Synthetic Quartz Produced by AT&T Bell Labs, USA..
                                Zolotas Lion Head Bracelet.
                                Jewelry History
                                • The Greek Lalaounis, at age 20, Becomes an Apprentice at Zolotas in Athens.
                                  General History
                                  • The USA Enters the War with the Japanese Bombing of Pearl Harbor.

                                  • First U.S. Television Broadcasting Begins.
                                  Schlumberger Maker's Mark
                                  Jewelry History
                                  • Jean Schlumberger Opens Shop in New York, Joins Tiffany & Co. in 1956.

                                  • 10% Luxury Tax on Jewelry in USA Raised to 20% in 1944.

                                  • Craft Horizons, the First National Magazine for Crafts in the USA is Published by the Handicraft Cooperative League.
                                    General History
                                    • Rationing of Consumer Products (Sugar, Coffee, Gasoline) Begins in the U.S.
                                    Discoveries & Innovations
                                    • Polyethylene Formulated by Earl S. Tupper and DuPont, Tupperware Introduced in 1946.
                                    Jewelry History
                                    • Use of Platinum for Jewelry Prohibited in USA.

                                    • White Metal Restricted by U.S. Government, Sterling Silver Used as Substitute in Costume Jewelry.
                                      General History
                                      • Postal Zones Added to Addresses of Large Cities in USA.
                                      Jewelry History
                                      • Luxury tax on jewelry raised to 20% in the USA.
                                      Discoveries & Innovations
                                      • Sugilite Discovered by Ken-ichi Sugi.
                                      United Nations Symbol
                                      General History
                                      • World War II Ends.

                                      • Roosevelt Dies, Harry Truman Becomes President of the USA.

                                      • United Nations is Formed, Holds First Session in 1946.
                                      1900-1983 Suzanne Belperron.
                                      Jewelry History
                                      • Suzanne Belperron Forms Partnership Herz-Belperron with Jean Herz in Paris.

                                      • Mexican Government Requires Marking of Sterling Silver with ‘Spread Eagle’ Assay Mark.
                                        Opal Doublet/Triplet Examples.
                                        Discoveries & Innovations
                                        • Opal doublets first made in Australia, triplets around 1960.
                                        David Webb Maker's Mark.
                                        Jewelry History
                                        • David Webb Opens Office in New York, Salon in 1963.

                                        • Jerry Fels Founds ‘Renoir of Hollywood’ in Los Angeles, CA.

                                        • First National exhibit of American Studio Artists’ Jewelry Held at Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
                                          General History
                                          • Couturier Christian Dior introduces ‘The New Look’.

                                          • Copyright Laws Re-Enacted by U.S. Congress, Expanded to Include Illustrations of Merchandise and Designs for Art Works.
                                          Synthetic Rutile Showing a High Amount of Dispersion. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Hunt.
                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                          • Synthetic Rutile Introduced as a Diamond Simulant.

                                          • Synthetic Star Corundum Becomes Available, Production by Linde From the USA.
                                          Linde Star Synthetic Sapphire.
                                          Jewelry History
                                          • Synthetic Star Rubies and Sapphires (Linde) First Marketed.

                                          • Costume Jewelry Manufacturers Begin Abandoning Design Patents in Favor of Copyrights, Using the © as Part of a Maker’s Mark.

                                          • Metalsmithing Workshops Series for War Veterans Begins, Ends in 1951.
                                          General History
                                          • Jewish State of Israel Declared, Admitted to U.N. in 1949.

                                          • Truman Elected to Full Term as President of the USA.
                                          De Beers A Diamond is Forever
                                          Jewelry History
                                          • De Beers Diamond Corp. Launches the Slogan ‘A Damond is Forever’.
                                            General History
                                            • German Federal Republic (West Germany) Proclaimed.

                                            • Israel admitted to UN
                                            The Hope diamond. Image Courtesy of The Smithsonian Institute.
                                            Jewelry History
                                            • Harry Winston Purchases the Hope Diamond. His ‘Court of Jewels’ Exhibit Opens in New York, it Tours the USA for the Next Four Years.

                                            • Marshall Field Closes Craft Shop for Jewelry & Metalware.
                                              Mid-Century Gemstone Gold Bombe 'Sputnik' Ring. c. late 1950s.
                                              Jewelry History
                                              • Fifties Jewelry.
                                                General History
                                                • Color Television Introduced in the USA.
                                                Jewelry History
                                                • The Metal Arts Guild Organized in San Francisco.
                                                  Queen Elizabeth II Wearing Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara. Also, What Appears to be Another Kokoshnik as a Necklace (Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara?)
                                                  General History
                                                  • George VI of Britain Dies; Succeeded by Elizabeth II.

                                                  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Elected President of the USA.
                                                  Strontium Titanate.
                                                  Discoveries & Innovations
                                                  • Strontium Titanite is Introduced as a Diamond Simulant.
                                                  Buccellati Maker's Mark.
                                                  Jewelry History
                                                  • Italian Jeweler Buccellati Establishes a Salon in New York City.
                                                    Marilyn Monroe c.1953.
                                                    General History
                                                    • Marilyn Monroe Sings ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
                                                    Trifari Krussman & Fishel Inc. Maker's Mark
                                                    Jewelry History
                                                    • Mamie Eisenhower Wears Trifari Faux Pearls to Inaugural Ball.
                                                      Diamond Press - Used to Create Diamonds in a Laboratory.
                                                      Discoveries & Innovations
                                                      • First Successful Production of Synthetic Diamonds at General Electric, Process Patented in 1960, Large Gem-Quality Crystals Produced in 1970.
                                                      Jewelry History
                                                      • De Beers Institutes the Annual Diamond International Awards for Original Designs in Diamond-Set Jewelry.
                                                        General History
                                                        • Atomically Generated Power First Used in the USA.
                                                        Jewelry History
                                                        • Swarovski Corp Introduces the ‘Aurelia Borealis’ Color Effect for Rhinestone and Crystal in Collaboration with Cristian Dior.

                                                        • Strontium Titanite Introduced to the Public as a Diamond Simulant.
                                                          Cohen, Julius Maker's Mark
                                                          Jewelry History
                                                          • Julius Cohen Opens Up his Jewelry Salon.

                                                          • Jean Schlumberger Joins Tiffany.
                                                            Sputnik Stamp, USSR.
                                                            General History
                                                            • USSR Launches First ‘Sputnik’ Satellite on Oct. 4.
                                                            General History
                                                            • Universal Exhibition Opens in Brussels, Belgium.
                                                            Discoveries & Innovations
                                                            • Chatham Introduces Flux Melt Synthetic Ruby.
                                                            General History
                                                            • John F. Kennedy Elected President of the USA.

                                                            • Birth Control Pills Introduced to the Public.
                                                            Discoveries & Innovations
                                                            • Opal Triplets First Made (c.1960)

                                                            • Process for Synthetic Diamonds Patented in the USA.

                                                            • Synthetic Overgrowth of Emerald on Goshenite Successful: Leichleitner Emeralds Enter the Market in Small Numbers.
                                                            General History
                                                            • Both the Soviets and the USA Put the First Men in Space.
                                                            Jewelry History
                                                            • International Exhibition of Modern Jewelry (1890-1961) Held in London.

                                                            • U.S. National Stamping Act Amended, Requiring a Maker’s Trademark.
                                                            Graff Maker's Mark
                                                            Jewelry History
                                                            • Laurence Graff Opens up his First Shop in Hatton Garden, London.
                                                              General History
                                                              • Kennedy Assassinated. Lyndon Johnson Becomes President.

                                                              • U.S. Post Office Introduces the ZIP Code.
                                                              Jewelry History
                                                              • The Term: Chatham Created Emerald First Used.

                                                              • David Webb Opens Salon in NY.
                                                                General History
                                                                • Vietnam War Begins.
                                                                Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                • Commercial Production of Gilson Flux Melt Emeralds Starts.
                                                                Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                • Hydrothermal Emeralds Become Commercially Available. Production by Flanigen, Quintesse, Linde From the USA
                                                                Jewelry History
                                                                • Black, Starr & Frost Ends Merger with Gorham Corp.
                                                                  Tanzanite and Diamond Ballerina Ring
                                                                  Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                  • Tanzanite discovered in Tanzania.
                                                                  Yttrium Aluminum Garnet - YAG
                                                                  Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                  • YAG Becomes Commercially Available.
                                                                  U.S. Moon Landing Stamp.
                                                                  General History
                                                                  • U.S. Moon Landing.

                                                                  • Woodstock Music Festival.
                                                                  General History
                                                                  • Richard Nixon Re-Elected U.S. President
                                                                  Round Brilliant-Cut Cubic Zirconia.
                                                                  Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                  • Cubic Zirconia Skull Melt Process Patented, CZs Commercially Marketed in 1976.

                                                                  • Gilson Produces Synthetic Opal and Synthetic Turquoise.
                                                                  Retro Diamond and Ruby Double Clips
                                                                  Jewelry History
                                                                  • The Term Retro is Introduced
                                                                    Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                    • Synthetic Alexandrite First Marketed by Creative Crystals From the USA.
                                                                    General History
                                                                    • President Nixon Resigns as a Result of Watergate (1973).
                                                                    Tsavorite Garnet Ring.
                                                                    Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                    • Tsavorite Garnet Discovered in Kenya.

                                                                    • Synthetic Citrine (Hydrothermal) Becomes Commercially Available.

                                                                    • Chatham Introduces Flux Melt Synthetic Blue Sapphire.
                                                                    Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                    • GGG Becomes Commercially Available.

                                                                    • Synthetic Amethyst (Hydrothermal) Becomes Commercially Available.
                                                                    General History
                                                                    • U.S. Bicentennial.

                                                                    • The Microprocessor is Introduced.

                                                                    • Apple II Personal Computer, 1977.
                                                                    Jewelry History
                                                                    • CZ Commercially Marketed.

                                                                    • National Stamping Act Amendment Introduces the Marking of Plumb Gold (e.g. 14 KP) Meaning Exact (No Tolerance).
                                                                      JAR Maker's Mark
                                                                      Jewelry History
                                                                      • Joel Arthur Rosenthal Discreetly Opens JAR with his Partner Pierre Jeannet.
                                                                        Marina B Maker's Mark
                                                                        Jewelry History
                                                                        • Marina Bulgari Opens her Own Store in Milan: Marina B., Another in New York City in 1986.
                                                                          The Open Pit of the Argyle Diamon Mine near Kununurra Australia.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Main Pipe of the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia Discovered, Mining Company Commissioned in 1985.

                                                                          • Sugilite, Named After Professor Ken-ichi Sugi, Begins Appearing On the Market (Discovered 1944).

                                                                          • Gem Quality Red Beryls in Wah Wah Mountains, Utah.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • De Beers and Sumimoto Start Synthetic Diamond Production.
                                                                          Paraiba Tourmaline.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Tourmalines Discovered in Paraíba Brazil.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Flux Melt Spinel Becomes Commercially Available.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Diffusion-Treated Sapphires are Brought On the Market for the First Time (c.)
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Synthetic Forsterite is Produced as a Peridot Simulant by Mitsui Mining, Japan.
                                                                          Discoveries & Innovations
                                                                          • Synthetic Moissanite Becomes Commercially Available, Produced by C3 Inc. USA.
                                                                          General History
                                                                          • Death of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, King Charles III Succeeds Her.
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