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Different decades have produced different styles of costume jewelry:
Art Deco strove to be very modern, symmetrically geometric as opposed to the free-flowing curves of earlier styles. It emphasized geometric forms such as spheres, rectangles, and polygons, arranged in symmetrical patterns with vivid, contrasting colours. Art Deco was also influenced by designs from all over the world, including African (especially Egyptian), East Asian, and Persian. Long pendants, bangle bracelets, and cocktail rings were very popular, along with elaborate accessory items such as cigarette cases and holders
In the Retro period, natural materials merged with plastics. Since the war in Europe drove many European jewelry firms out of business and many designers immigrated to America, the focus was on American-made jewelry with a distinct American look. The style was coluorful, bold, and elaborate, abandoning the geometric patterns of Art Deco to instead emulate the glamour of Hollywood. Flowers, bows, horses, ballerinas, and sunbursts were all popular images for Retro jewelry while moonstones and bakelite were popular materials to craft them out of.
The Art Modern period developed after World War II; jewelry designs became more tailored, traditional, and understated as the big bold Retro style went out of style. Large, chunky bracelets became popular as did poodle pins and Christmas tree pins (and other Christmas jewelry as well). Jade, opal, citrine, topaz, and rhinestones were some of the most popular stones used.