The word “bling” wasn't added to the Merriam Webster dictionary until 2006, but the concept has been familiar to costume jewelry designers for decades. One of their favorite expressions of bling was the necklace, which is perhaps the showiest of all jewelry forms, thanks to the way it puts its bright baubles and sparkling effects front and center.

Hollywood stars such as Joan Crawford were hip to costume jewelry necklaces early on—she was a regular client of acclaimed costume jeweler Miriam Haskell. Vintage Haskell necklaces are among the designer’s most sought-after pieces. Some have only a single strand of faux pearls. Others have multiple strands in matching or different sizes and hues—from traditional white to smoldering dark brown. Even the clasps are opportunities for embellishment, with pearls, rose montées, and filigree decorating their ends.

Legendary designer Coco Chanel was another fan of costume necklaces, providing faux-pearl and glass-bead necklaces to such stars as Katherine Hepburn and a very young Elizabeth Taylor. After World War II, Christian Dior combined faux rubies or emeralds with sparkling rhinestones. Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, and Vivian Leigh are just a few of the other influential movie stars who routinely wore costume necklaces.

One designer whose main focus was Hollywood was Eugene Joseff. His company, Joseff of Hollywood, designed stunning costume jewelry necklaces for such films as “A Star is Born” (1936), “Casablanca” (1942), and “To Catch a Thief” (1955). In that Alfred Hitchcock classic, Grace Kelly wore a Joseff necklace with a spectacular strand of fake diamonds.

Indeed, by the 1950s, costume jewelry necklaces had become so respectable that Mamie Eisenhower felt perfectly comfortable wearing Trifari costume jewelry to the 1953 inaugural ball.

To match the First Lady’s pink satin gown (dripping with 2,000 rhinestones), Trifari’s Alfred Philippe designed an "orientique" pearl choker with matching three-stranded bracelet and earrings, each laden with eight pearls. Three sets were made: one for the First Lady, a second for the Smithsonian, and a third for the Trifari archives. Mrs. Eisenhower was so pleased with the ensemble that she had Trifari make jewelry for her second inaugural ball in 1957.

Other collectible vintage costume jewelry necklaces include Coro’s Vendome rhinestone-studded chokers, Elsa Schiaparelli’s “shocking pink” lava-rock collars, and Stanley Hagler’s faux coral floral necklaces.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Researching Costume Jewelry

Researching Costume Jewelry

Jewelry lovers, venture through this amazing database of vintage jewelry articles, catalogs, and brochures, as well… [read review or visit site]

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

It looks like we're not in Kansas anymore with Elizabeth Rowlands' site on vintage costume jewelry from the 1940s a… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Plate Emerald Glass Rhinestone Choker NecklaceVintage Pennino Rhodium Plate Rhinestone Emerald Green Glass Flower NecklaceVintage Art Deco French Pate De Verre Green Glass Flower Necklace3/strand Sign Miriam Haskell Baroque Pearls Rhinestone Flower Necklace Jewelry Art Deco Venetian Opaline Foil Glass * Murano * Bead Necklace * Full Of FireVtg Art Deco Silver Bezel Set Aquamarine Openback Open Back Crystal NecklaceVintage Art Deco Amethyst Glass Bead Flapper Sautoir Dangle NecklaceAntique Art Nouveau Gold Filled Jeweled Heart Locket & Slide Chain NecklaceStunning Rare Trifari Jewels Of India Jeweltone Pearl NecklaceAn Old Stock $1200 Oscar De La Renta Signed Sample 800 Crystal Feather NecklaceHobe Vintage Jewelry Set Necklace Earrings Bracelet Red White & Blue Beautiful!Vtg Art Deco Signed Czech Coral Pink Glass Flower Cluster Necklace Earrings SetVintage Jewellery Fabulous Sterling Silver Daisy Flowers Link NecklaceVintage Jewellery Stunning Signed Czech Art Nouveau Pendant NecklaceVintage Art Deco Czech Glass Peking Enamel NecklaceVintage Verified Juliana Gold Plate Orange Topaz Rhinestone Collar NecklaceVintage French Art Deco Machine Age Turquoise Glass Bib Necklace Vintage Jewellery Wonderful Chunky Venetian Millefiori Bead NecklaceAntique Hallmark 800 Amethyst Paste And Clear Paste Lariat Dangling NecklaceSigned~hobe Crystal Rhinestone Diamond Runway Necklace Vintage Costume JewelryUnusual Antique Art Nouveau Gorham Sterling Silver Enamel Pendant NecklaceVintage Bakelite Butterscotch/amber Bead Necklace 24"~55gAntique Art Deco Genuine Faceted Honey Cognac Amber Bead NecklaceVintage 1940’s Unsigned Miriam Haskell Glass Crystal Dangle Bib Cluster NecklaceFrench Hallmark Sterling Silver Stunning Art Deco Paste/crystal NecklaceJewellery Designer Sophie Harley Sterling Silver Charm Drop Necklace Rare Vintage Incredible Signed Florenza Brooch Necklace Earring Aurora BorealisArt Deco Egyptian Revival Neiger Brothers Czech Scarab Pharaoh NecklaceVintage Sandor Silver Tone Bezel Set Blue Glass Stone Collar NecklaceJob Lot Of Vintage Necklaces - Many Simulated Pearl - D11Vintage Juliana D & E Rhinestone & Gold Art Glass Flower Dangle NecklaceVintage Antique Art Deco 1930s Iris Rainbow Venetian Glass Crystal Bead NecklaceRare Vintage~ Signed Trifari Demi Parure Necklace & Bracelet Set RhinestoneAntique Victorian Gold Filled Seed Pearl Pocket Watch Slide Chain Necklace 50"Vintage Jewellery Wonderful Jakob Bengel Machine Age Pendant NecklaceVintage Venetian Art Deco Opalescent Purple Foil Gold Glass Bead NecklaceAntique Edwardian Gold Filled Saphiret Glass Pendant NecklaceVtg 1940’s Art Glass Pearl Rondelle Rhinestone Book Chain Dangle Bib NecklaceVtg Kenneth Lane Kjl Couture Mogul Deco Emerald Gripoix Lapis Amethyst NecklaceTested Vintage Faceted Cherry Amber Bakelite Graduated Bead Necklace-35.2gArt Deco Vintage Style Iris Enamel /glass Flower Necklace Flower ��Vtg Art Deco Egyptian Revival Coral Dangle Necklace Bracelet Earrings Parure SetUnusual Vtg Juliana Gold Plate White Rhinestone Enamel Flower Pendant NecklaceVintage Jewellery Super Speckled Venetian Millefiori Spatter Bead NecklaceVintage Art Deco Bohemian Peacock Bi Colour Foil Czech Glass Bead NecklaceVintage Schreiner Rhodium Plate Crystal Rhinestone Collar NecklaceVintage Cherry Amber Style Art Deco Long 74 Bead Necklace Faturan Komboloi 51 GrVintage Big Heavy Baltic Amber Beads Necklace Egg Yolk Butterscotch 90 GramsVintage Jewellery Delightful Crystal Heart Robin Bird Pendant Necklace SignedAn Impossible To Find Vintage Signed Trifari Color Combination Cabochon NecklaceDramatic Miriam Haskell Gold Bead Waterfall NecklaceSign Miriam Haskell Large Baroque Pearls Necklace Jewelry Stunning Vintage Estate Pink Celluloid Flower 16" Necklace!!! 5136kVtg 1930s Art Deco Enamel Flower Bouquet Pendant Silvertone Glass NecklaceAntique Victorian Etched Peacock Jeweled Locket Charm Necklace Pendant Gold Tone1920's Venetian, Glass, Wedding Cake, Bead Necklace, Unusual.Antique Jewlery Lot Sterling Silver Rings Necklace Maltese Cross Brooches BeadsLouis Vuitton Gold Plated Lv Logos Flower Charm Necklace Pendant Top #1438aBeautiful Vintage Art Deco Czech Purple Amethyst Glass Filigree NecklaceRare Hobe Demi Parure Amber& Rhinestone Beaded Necklace Bracelet Vintage Jewelry