In 1892, just before the turn of the century, Daniel Swarovski Jr., son of a Bohemian gem cutter called Daniel Swarovski, devised a stone-cutting machine driven by electricity. The use of this equipment revolutionized the method by which rhinestone jewelry was produced. Cutting crystals used to be a time-consuming manual procedure, but modern tools have made this task much faster and easier. The fact that this could be done flawlessly by hand may be the single most important point. The machine set in motion the mass manufacture of superior rhinestones, unaffected by the amount of lead in the stones.
Swarovski single-handedly changed the nature of competition in the antique and jewelry industries. The invention of the stone-cutting machine ushered in a new, more affluent era for the sector. Alternatively stated, Swarovski is the business that facilitated the cheap mass production of rhinestones. In addition, they influenced the development of a new field.
The Victorian and Edwardian eras are generally associated with the opulent jewelry that was fashionable at the time. Those at the top of society often adorned themselves lavishly with glitzy jewelry.
Imitation gems, also called rhinestones, rhines, and rhinestones, have been widely used in lieu of their more costly counterparts in every manner of jewelry since Swarovski’s discovery in the early 20th century. Even if the supply of natural rhinestones from Austria has been depleted for quite some time, imitations made of paste, strass, or diamante remain popular. A family business that began in Gabon, Swarovski is now headquartered in Austria. Regardless, his stones are unquestionably high-quality.
Antique Rhinestone Jewelry Comes in a Wide Variety of Types and Styles
Paste, commonly known as rhinestones, may be fashioned into a broad range of jewelry, including but not limited to rings, tiaras, necklaces, brooches, pins, bracelets, studs, earrings, and buckles. Rhinestones may be shaped into any form you can imagine. Among the Vintage rhinestone jewelry these are noteworthy.
Varieties of Rhinestone Jewelry from the Past
These embellishments have appeared in many various types and styles throughout the years. Among the most well-known of these periods are Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and the Mid-Century Modern.
These pieces of antique rhinestone jewelry often feature organic or floral patterns with curving lines. Most of these jewelry pieces date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of the designers gave these rhinestones an extra special touch by using figural themes like women, animals, children, and birds.
The Art Deco era
Art Deco rhinestone jewelry makers were more interested with experimenting with new geometric forms and patterns than anything else. Because of this, jewelry may assume several shapes. The most recent vintage rhinestones of this style were manufactured in the early 1940s. If you see a piece of jewelry with a lot of sparkle and ornate detailing, you can be sure it was fashioned using rhinestones.
Quickly after the conclusion of World War II, factories throughout the world started cranking out jewelry, especially rhinestone jewelry, for women to wear as a symbol of the newly created worldwide peace. Snowflakes, stars, and other geometric forms were among the themes used in the designs.