From flapper dresses to pinstriped suits, the 1920s was an era that defined fashion. No element of the roarin' '20s was quite as unique as the accessories. Beaded jewelry was all that jazz and handmade lampwork pieces were an iconic testament to the fashion scene of the time. Discover the rich, rowdy history of prohibition-era gems -- and how you can incorporate lampwork beads into your own wardrobe!

Gatsby Era Chic

roaring 20s flapper dress

Long Beaded Necklaces

The first things that come to mind when imagining the 1920's are short, short dresses and long, long necklaces. Plastic beads made of Bakelite or Lucite were often found among the crowds. However, glass beads were the bell of the ball! The movers and shakers of the era matched beaded dresses with luxurious lampwork beaded necklaces. 


Classical geometric shapes were very popular, as well as Sautoir necklaces which ended in a tassel. Interestingly, clashing colors complimented bright dresses in shades of red, gold, white, and green. Knotting the back of the necklace at the nape of the neck was intended to draw attention to sultry, low-backed dresses.

all jazzed up

More Bang for your Bangles

Fashionistas of the prohibition era had one rule; the more bangles, the better! Chunky, glasswork bangles adorned every arm. Solid bracelets as well as handmade lampwork beads drew inspiration from the jewelry of ancient Egypt. Adopted from Cleopatra and made fabulous by the jazz clubs of the day, the bangle aesthetic is even noted in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic, The Great Gatsby. The mystique and beauty of Daisy is captured in a single phrase; "when she moved about there was an incessant clicking as innumerable pottery bracelets jingled up and down upon her arms."

The Great Gatsby

Shades of topaz and gold were a signature of this indulgent era.

Head-Turning Earrings

Deco-style earrings and chandelier earrings mirrored the necklace aesthetic of the '20s in accentuating length and color. The shine of precious stones framed the spunky bobs and feather headbands. Lampwork crystal earrings were a stunning hallmark of high-class ladies. Bold colors are also a great way to capture the spirit of the 1920s for your own collection. 

Looking for more fashion inspiration? Contact our artisan jewelry gurus today!

Photo Credits:

June 16, 2019 — SWCreations Jewelry

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