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Age of Glamour

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© Bulgari Vintage Collection N1150

"Coin" necklace: Bulgari, 18-karat gold and historical gold coins. Rome, Italy; c. 1980.

The 1800s and 1900s saw many of the finest designers apply their artistry to jewelry for the elite. Today, most of the gold supply--78 percent of the yearly total--is made into jewelry. Modern jewelers often use a variety of new forms and exotic combinations of gold and other metals. With concerns over the environment, many jewelers advocate and encourage the use of recycled gold or the use of more environmentally conscious "green" gold; that is, gold recovered using less destructive and toxic methods.

Armful of Luck

Charms have been worn by men and women for centuries to ward off evil spirits. But they became fashionable when Queen Victoria was seen to wear miniature portraits around her wrist. In the 1950s, charm bracelets became the must-have accessory for teenage girls.

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© Bulgari Vintage Collection N1382

"Parentesi" necklace: Bulgari, 18-karat gold. Rome, Italy; 1982.

The necklace is set with eight coins ranging from the 1500s to the 1900s, including Italian ducats of Charles V and Joanna (1506-1516), Tunisian francs of 1891 and 1898, Guatemalan reales of 1860 and Egyptian coins dated 1923-1929.

Parentesi Necklace

Starting in the 1970s, Bulgari began unveiling a collection of jewelry featuring a double horseshoe-like pattern inspired by elements of Roman architecture. This 18-karat-gold necklace, part of the "Parentesi" Collection, was created in 1982.

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© Tiffany & Co. Archives A2003.47

Picasso "Gold" Brooch: Tiffany and Company, designed by Paloma Picasso, 18-karat gold. New York; 1988.

Picasso "Gold" Brooch

This 18-karat-gold "Gold" brooch, designed by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co. in 1988, was an extension of the original Scribble collection, a component of the Graffiti line commissioned by Tiffany in the 1980s.

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© Cartier Collection. Photo: Nick Welsh

Tank wristwatch purchased by Elizabeth Taylor: Cartier Paris, Gold, sapphire, crystal and enamel; 1959.

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© Cartier Collection. Photo: Nick Welsh

Necklace with detachable palmette clip brooches: Cartier, Gold and diamonds. Paris, France; 1958.

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