Turquoise-Colored Beads By Decade

It’s unbelievable to think that the craft of jewelry making goes back more than 100,000 years before human civilization. As the DLEX design team prepares to debut a new collection, we have been considering the amazing design and history that goes into each of these pieces, specifically the history of turquoise-colored beads. DYLAN LEX always aspires to innovate and reimagine the styles that came before us.

Here are some iconic jewelry styles from the past 100 years that have taken beading to the next level.

1920s and 30s Art Deco turquoise jewelry and drawing of woman from time period

Paradoxically, this century old design movement was born from a desire to participate in the modern age. Jewelry pieces, including beads, were patterned into uniform shapes and geometric designs. The perfect accessories for an industrial future.

While Art Deco designs were revolutionary, they took much of their stylistic inspiration from Ancient Egyptian jewelry and patterned Native American beading like that of the Sioux tribe.

1950s costume turquoise jewelry and photo of woman from time period

In the span of 20 years jewelry went from futuristic and angular to glitzy and playful. With the advent of costume jewelry, wearing bold and colorful jewelry was suddenly affordable.

Women of the 1950’s had more spending power than the generations prior and used it to create looks that were color coordinated, decorative, and shapely. Beads were especially vital for the style staple of the time, multi strand necklaces!

1970s and 80s western trend turquoise jewelry and photo of woman from the time period

Turquoise as a stone has been a part of almost every fashion age but during the 1970’s and 80’s, Native American and Western turquoise designs became an exciting trend. These pieces started appearing in the early 70’s counterculture and “prairie” style in the form of large cuffs and bracelets. In the 80’s the popularity of western turquoise grew to include turquoise beaded bolo ties and encrusted belt buckles. All of the designs of this age were the inspiration or direct craftsmanship of Native American tribes such as the Navajo and Hopi.

1990s and 2000s novelty turquoise jewelry and lifestyle image

The 90s and 2000s were a time of fashion variety. Unlike the decades prior, this period was known for novelty trends as opposed to gradual style change. Pieces like Jelly sandals, denim vests, airbrushed t’s came and went relatively quickly.

This stands true for jewelry trends as well. Power beads in particular were a huge trend for this moment. They could be adorned with charms and stacked four or five to an arm. Adults and kids all got to participate in this style trend. What were once ancient prayer beads used to aid Buddhist practices became a staple in daily wear for young millennials.

2020 turquoise jewelry and fresh looks lifestyle images

With all of this incredible fashion history top of mind, it is fascinating to take a look at our newest designs and think of the influences and decades of jewelry inspiration that have brought us to this moment. It makes you realize how truly cyclical fashion is.

Which trend inspires you the most? Let us know in the comments.