Mimicking the dance moves and clothes of the decade, jewelry style in the 1970s was outlandish, proud and boisterous. This was the era of statement, strong and bold statement and jewelry was a culprit in this cause. Ethnic-inspired jewelry also hit the scene to complement the hippie movement, marking the 1970s jewelry scene as a global one.
Another common look of the 1970s displayed turquoise and silver. Inspired by Native Americans, with beaded necklaces and peace symbols (also reflecting the political and cultural movement of the times), this style went away from fancy and expensive jewelry. Although other colors were featured prominently, turquoise and silver signified the cool and peaceful thoughts of the time period. Puka shells, charm bracelets and other mishmashes were used, as were cameo pieces. There was also a fascination for the majestic, things like mood rings which changed colors depending on the person’s body temperature were quite the rave. Puzzle rings also were common. These rings utilized bands that fit snuggly together in patterns. People enjoyed taking them apart and putting them back.
These styles lent themselves well to being cheap costume jewelry, which spread across the United States because so many young hipsters were able to afford and flaunt them. Designs consisted of hearts, animals and peaceful items and also war related symbols due to the presence of the Vietnam War. They also consisted of unique and independent-feel shapes, signifying freedom and freshness like the wearers themselves. Like other eras, jewelry had a direct lens into cultural and political events.The 1970s was the time of disco, baggy pants and self-expression and actors like John Travolta of “Grease” and Farah Fawcett of “Charlie’s Angels” influenced the scene heavily. These films encouraged sexual awakening and self-expression which was reflected prominently in jewelry style. Statement pieces were influenced by a spiritual awakening and a call for equality, right on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement. The need to call for peace and awakening influenced jewelry trends in the form of statement necklaces and symbolic pieces on bracelets, anklets and earrings.