CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION

By: John Hogan

Rhinestone jewelry has been the rage amongst the fashionable and couture clothing designers since the turn of the twentieth century (circa 1900). It reached its first zenith during the early 1950s up to about 1970s.

WEISS USA RHINESTONE BROOCH , C. 1950

WEISS RHINESTONE BROOCH

RHINESTONE BROOCH, TRIANGULAR & TRI COLOR, C. 1950-60

RHINESTONE TRI COLOR BROOCH

For about twenty years it took a downward swing that was brought on by a demand for artisan or designer sterling silver jewelry. Mexican designer sterling jewelry became the rage for about the next twenty years. The desire for glitz or rhinestone jewelry never really lay dormant amongst the high fashion clothing and jewelry designers of Hollywood. The glitter of New York and Hollywood kept the glitz movement very alive.

When we refer to Marilyn Monroe as having said "diamonds are a girl's best friend", we must remember many of her glitzy jewelry pieces were not actual diamonds rather they were rhinestones that were designed with great brilliance by some of the leading rhinestone jewelers of the world. Some of the very best cut crystals in the production of rhinestone jewelry in the world were imported into the United States and Canada from Austria and Switzerland. One main producer of the best crystals was Swarovski of Switzerland. Many high fashion jewelry designers bought nothing but the best in order to execute their creations. Swarovski was their main source of quality crystals. After all Swarovski crystal contains 32% lead in order to maximize refraction.

Two names out of the many renowned jewelry designers namely Weiss and Sherman had produced what I call crystal blue persuasion, reminiscent of one of the best songs of 1969 by Tommy James & The Shondells. With the rainbow spectrum we know as Aurora Borealis, Weiss and Sherman had produced some of the world's best fashion jewelry to meet the demands of aristocratic society of their market place. Of course Sherman of Montreal, Quebec was the most renowned rhinestone jewelry designer of Canada who began in the mid 1940s up to 1971. When wearing jewels from such designers, every girl could live out her fantasy of being a runway model or a starlet. Whether it was a night at the opera or a night of ballroom dancing, it was always a red carpet affair. To be seen and heard was the objective!

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