The person who is most famously accredited with coining the term Retro style jewellery would be Francois Curiel. He was the head of the jewellery department for the famous Christies Auction House that is located in New York back in the 1970s. Another term for retro style jewellery could also be cocktail jewellery, which got its origination from top jewellery designers Van Cleef & Arpels out of France. American jewellery designers got a lot of influence from this type of jewellery that Van Cleef & Arpels was able to create. In 1939 they were able to bring over some of their unique jewellery designs to the Worlds Fair that was held in New York, and when World War II broke, jewellery designers in the United States used this style to create a lot of their own Retro style jewellery until the end of the war.
Much of the Retro jewellery of these times was set forth as very large, oversized pieces of jewellery that was bold. You could find three dimensional jewellery pieces using the colours of rose, green, and gold along with other massive gemstones like emeralds, amethyst, and citrines. These were often accented with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Necklaces, watches, and bracelets all reflected the glamorous lifestyle that you would find in the world of entertainment giving off the feel of a larger than life attitude and a world of escape for those who were trying to get away from the wartime events that were taking shape during this time period.
Another big event that really set the tone for the 1930s was when King Edward VIII decided to leave his position so he could continue his relationship with Wallis Simpson, which led to him marrying her later on. The couple has several very unique diamond jewellery pieces and some of the most famous jewellery pieces worn by the Duchess of Windsor, as she became known, were made by top jewellery designers like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. Hardly affected by the war, jewellery production continued to impress and amaze those who wanted to feel and have part of the rich and famous lifestyle. Precious gems and gold jewellery pieces were seen in those days as a great way to have capital during a time when paper money was very uncertain. Retro jewellery designers took advantage of this situation and were able to create some of the most unique and memorable pieces in history, creating truly beautiful fashion jewellery masterpieces.