Retro (1940s and 1950s)

Multi-­strand pearl necklaces were popular in the 1940s as cultured pearls were more affordable than real pearls and worn by movie stars like Lauren Bacall and Hedy Lamarr. The war affected jewellery production in Europe, so cultured pearl necklaces and pearl rings were set in sterling silver alongside imitation gemstones. Jewellery in the 1950s took on a surrealist and playful nature after the seriousness of the war era with coloured pearls making an appearance. Real pearl necklaces were still reserved for those with class and wealth. Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy were the epitome of style and elegance with their demure single strand pearl necklaces.