The Golden Age of Hollywood Glamour

The Golden Age of Hollywood Glamour

The period from the 1920s to the 1960s is widely regarded as Hollywood's golden age. At the time, American film production companies like MGM, Paramount, and Warner Bros., among others, dominated motion pictures, controlling everything from casting to shooting to distribution. Each production studio relied heavily on a Hollywood star to drive box office success. As a result, the best actresses of all time, many of whom are Academy Award winners and classic film stars, have emerged. 

Many consider the golden era to be the most influential era in society because many moviegoers were inspired by the fashion worn both on and off the screen. Many fashion designers today draw inspiration from famous starlets such as Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few who influenced the simple yet elegant fashions of Old Hollywood. 

We've chosen a few of our favourite old Hollywood icons to look at the glamorous jewellery they've worn on the big screen and from their personal collection. 

Grace Kelly 

American film actress Grace Kelly is notably known for her undeniable beauty and effortless elegance style. Kelly rose to stardom from her work with director Alfred Hitchcock in films such as ‘Dial M for Murder, ‘Rear Mirror’, and ‘To Catch a Thief’. At just 26 years old she left her Hollywood days behind as she married Prince Rainier III in 1956. The former actress has been gifted jewels fit for a Queen, many by her now husband. 

Emerald Cut Engagement Ring 

When Prince Rainier III proposed to Grace Kelly, he gifted her not one but two engagement rings by French Jewellery Maison Cartier. The first ring is a band designed with diamonds and rubies to represent the flag of her soon-to-be country Monaco. Her second ring is an impressive 10.84ct emerald cut diamond ring with baguettes set on a platinum band. 

 The Bains de Mer tiara and the Cartier Diamond Necklace 

Other Cartier pieces owned by the princess are the Bains de Mer Tiara and a spectacular diamond necklace. The Diamond necklace was just another gift from her husband and is estimated to be between 58 and 64 carats as the tiara was a wedding gift from Société des Bains de Mer features three ruby and diamond elements and is customisable into brooches and necklace pendants.

 We can certainly imagine Grace Kelly wearing this Cartier Tri-Colour trinity ring and our radiant diamond ring produced by Italian jewellery designer Picchiotti, as it was no secret that the French jeweller was one of her favourites and her love for emerald cut diamonds. Although this diamond ring does not feature an emerald cut as the centre stone, it features a beautiful Asscher cut diamond as well as emerald cut diamonds set within the shoulders.

Marilyn Monroe  

Marilyn Monroe got her start as a popular photographer’s model and rose to fame after she signed a short-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox and took on the stage name as we now know her. Monroe was an icon for portraying the comedic character of a blonde bombshell in her films and one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s. Her role as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has forever associated Marilyn with diamond jewellery thanks to Monroe's rendition of the song "Diamond Are a Girls Best Friend”. 

Moon of Baroda 

One of the most extraordinary pieces worn by Marilyn Monroe is the Moon of Baroda. When it was discovered near the city of Hyderabad between the 15th and 17th centuries, it weighed 25.95 carats. The Diamond’s fancy yellow colour and high clarity were transformed into a 24.04 carat antique pear shape. 

Monroe was immediately drawn to the diamond when she first laid eyes on it. It was the largest diamond she had ever worn in her life. Monroe famously wore the Moon of Baroda in 1953 to promote the release of Howard Hawks' film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes while singing the film's signature song, “Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend”. 

Diamond Eternity Ring 

One piece of jewellery she was often seen wearing was her diamond eternity ring gifted to her by her baseball star husband Joe Dimaggio. The pair married on January 14, 1954, in San Francisco while spending the holidays with Joe’s family. 

Marilyn was given a platinum diamond eternity band with 35 baguettes cut diamonds as a hopeful symbol of an enduring relationship, promising a life eternal that Marilyn was likely longing for, one of love, companionship, and partnership. 

With her strong association with diamonds, we would have loved to see Marilyn Monroe wear this elegant vintage 18ct Gold & Diamond Necklet paired with this eye-catching 4.14ct diamond solitaire ring.

Elizabeth Taylor 

Known for her American motion pictures, Elizabeth Taylor is most noted for her unique beauty and her portrayals of volatile and strong-willed characters. Not only did the actress mark the golden age of Hollywood with her talent, but she was also known for her incredible taste in jewellery with an impressive collection which enabled her charismatic personality to shine even brighter. 

Pear Shape Diamond 

One of the most famous pieces in her collection was a 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond that her husband Richard Burton bought at auction for over a million dollars. Originally, the actress wore the diamond as a ring, but Taylor declared the impracticality of this claiming “even for me it was too big”. She then opted to have it mounted on a necklace by Cartier. 

Cartier Set 

The actress Cartier ruby set was a gift from her third husband Mike Todd while on holiday with friends in the south of France. It is said Todd appeared with red leather jewellery boxes revealing several diamond and ruby pieces he’d purchased for his young wife at Cartier. Delighted by her gift and eager to try on her new jewellery, Taylor used the pool’s surface to help her see her reflection wearing the new pieces due to the lack of mirrors outside the villa.

Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery collection is no doubt filled with the most extravagant pieces. We would imagine she would have dazzling cocktail ring such as this sapphire & diamond dress ring or this Colombian emerald & diamond ring.

Joan Collins 

With a legendary acting career that spans over 70 years, 89-year-old Joan Collins is best known for playing Alexis Colby on the U.S television series, dynasty from 1982-1989. Collins' charitable work earned her the title of Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to charity. Most notably donating the proceeds of jewellery from her personal collection to the leading children’s hospice charity in the U.K. The actress is known for her extravagant jewels as she embodies the Hollywood glamour for which she is known. 
During an interview with Bonhams Magazine, Collins revealed she loves to reward herself with buying luxurious jewellery. "I do buy jewellery for myself as a reward. It's something I highly recommend. I think more women should do it...I do hope my jewels in the sale will inspire women. Now we are edging into a more normal life, aren't we all are looking forward to putting on a fabulous frock, piling on jewellery and plunging into the fray?" She informs the magazine.

Tiffany & Co Enamel Bracelet  

 Powells Vintage acquired a unique piece of jewellery from Joan Collins' personal collection. Dame Joan Collins previously owned and wore this Tiffany & Co hinged bangle made of 18ct yellow gold from the 1960s. It has a lovely twist design with blue and white enamel detailing and a very secure box clasp with an additional safety chain for added security.

The story goes, Collins bought the bracelet while in Rome, Italy while walking down the Via Condotti near the Spanish Steps when she saw it in the window and bought it on impulse.

Audrey Hepburn 

Audrey Hepburn is one of the few celebrities that has managed to stand the test of time as women today continue to draw fashion inspiration from her original look and style. Her most iconic role was in Truman Capote’s 1961 adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A true Hollywood classic, loved and cherished by many. 


A widely known fact about Hepburn is her profound love for pearls. The classic and understated style of Audrey Hepburn has become synonymous with the simple and elegant pearl. According to son Luca Dotti, Hepburn loved pearls because of their purity and the fact that they were made by nature.  

Hepburn's most recognisable and most iconic look is from the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her character Holly Golightly is introduced wearing an elegant column dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy, a pair of satin elbow-length gloves, tortoiseshell Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses and layers upon layers of pearls which elegantly flowed down her back complimenting the low-cut design of her dress.  

If you're looking to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn in an elegant yet subtle way, we would suggest this delicate pearl and diamond necklace. On the other end of the spectrum is this incredibly rare 1920s Tiffany & Co. diamond bracelet. Paired together creates the perfect combination of diamonds.

Whether you are a fan of the Old Hollywood aesthetic or are looking for a gift for someone who adores classic movie stars and glamour, these one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery will make a stylish and affordable addition to any fashionista's collection.

 Sources: JCK , Bonhams , Tatler , Veranda , The Adventurine , William Goldberg , Studio Blinder  , Vogue , The Court Jeweller  , Forbes