Palladium, member of the distinguished group of noble metals, was discovered in 1802 by William Hyde Wollaston. Wollaston named the precious metal for the asteroid "Pallas" that appeared in the early summer of the same year. These days palladium is most commonly used in jewelry as an alloy in white gold, however, during the second world the use of platinum was widely restricted and palladium - with it's natural white color - was used in its stead. This vintage solitaire is fashioned in palladium with a chic flat hoop and square fishtail prongs. The center stone, a .53ct transitional cut diamond (F-G/VS2), comes with an EGL diamond certificate and appraisal.
RETRO (1935 - 1945)
World War II marked the shift from Art Deco to retro, as yet another war (and the subsequent materials rations) dictated what was available on the jewelry market. Platinum was reserved for military use, so jewelers began relying heavily on gold and experimenting with colored alloys and different finishes. Retro jewelry designs are marked by asymmetry, motifs borrowed from industrial design, and exaggerated scale.
Thanks to a hugely successful advertising campaign begun in the 1940s and funded by De Beers, the phrase “a diamond is forever” was coined and diamond rings were touted as the ONLY acceptable type of engagement ring. Carefully worded ads instructed men on how to choose a stone, and what to spend (“two months salary!”). The Gemological Institute of America developed the so-called “4Cs” of diamond grading, which was a scientific system for measuring the color, clarity, cut and carat weight of every single diamond.
The costume jewelry industry, having only been established a few decades before, began to flourish. Centered in Providence, Rhode Island, and surrounding New England towns, companies like Trifari, Monet, Hobe, and Vendome prospered as consumers gobbled up inexpensive machine-made jewels.