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    

Antique Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Filigree Chrysoprase NecklaceBig Antique Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver On Copper Watch Fob Pendant NecklaceVtg Antique Edwardian Silver Gilt Seed Pearl Amethyst Paste Pendant NecklaceVintage 1920s Art Deco Jakob Bengel Blue Galalith Chrome Necklace ModernistVintage Art Deco Sterling Silver Filigree Crystal Rhinestone Pendant NecklaceHuge Vintage Carved Shell Habille Diamond Necklace Cameo Pendant BroochJob Lot Vintage Marcasite Set Jewellery Items Brooches Earrings Necklace EtcVtg Good Quality Long Italian Venetian Murano Millefiori Glass NecklaceRare Vintage Elegant Baroque Pearl Rhinestone Miriam Haskell Flower NecklaceVintage All Rhinestone Art Deco Necklace Juliana Style Brooches More Jewelry LotAntique Art Deco Amber Czech Glass Bead NecklaceVintage Verified Juliana D&e Cameo Brooch Earrings Necklace Book Set!!! S4654Lawrence Vrba For Castlecliff Aztec Design Vintage NecklaceAntique Art Deco Double Brass Bookchain Lucite Cherry Choker Necklace Bib VtgLawrence Vrba Massive (11" Drop) Art Deco Choker Necklace - Egyptian Pharaoh Signed Miriam Haskell Vintage Married Set Necklace Pendant Earring Flower! 6002Silver Art Deco 1920s Rare Citrine Color Crystal Bezel Open Back Necklace Nice!~Rare Vintage Eames Era Modernist Wiener Handwerk Enamel Pendant NecklaceMiriam Haskell Baroque Style Pearl Rhinestone Vintage NecklaceVintage Henkel & Grosse Signed C1969 Statement Runway Bib Necklace W CabochonsQvc Joan Rivers Ltd Goldtone 10 Color Changeable Pendant 30" Necklace B278Beautiful Antique Sterling Silver & Cabochon Moonstone Necklace With DropsArt Deco Mcclelland Barclay Sapphire Paste Rhinestone Necklace Bracelet Set Czechoslovakia Art Deco Green Mottled Glass Silver Filigree NecklaceVtg Jewelry Lot Rhinestone Necklaces Er Bracelet Pins Sets Signed Weiss Bsk 925 Vtg 1960's Signed Hobe Egyptian Revival White Acrylic 3" Bib Fringe NecklaceVintage 1930's Art Deco Egyptian Revival Snake Peking Glass Enamel NecklaceVintage Verified Juliana D&e Book Piece W/tag Rhinestone Cameo Necklace!!! S4652Beautiful Vintage Blue & Pink Foil Glass Bead Necklace Art Deco Era Sherman Sapphire & Peacock Blue Ab - 13 Pendants - Floral Cluster Necklace NrVintage Art Deco Sterling Silver Filigree Pink Paste Stone NecklaceVtg Chanel Signed Necklace Green Red Gripoix Glass Gold Tone Links - 34"Vtg 70s Givenchy Paris Ny Couture Onyx Bezel Huge Tassel Sautoir Runway NecklaceQvc Original Joan Rivers Goldtone Enamel & Crystal Egg 21.25" Necklace B269Pretty Vintage Venetian Murano Blue Glass Foil Bead NecklaceVintage Art Deco Butterscotch Amber Bakelite Bead Necklace 63g 23" LongC.1940s Dark Cherry Amber Bakelite 2-row Bead Necklace Hook Clasp 80.86gAntique Art Nouveau Deco Signed Czech Foiled Pink Art Glass Bead NecklaceSigned 925 Sterling Silver Vintage Necklace Graduated Round Bead Pendant 3137Vintage 1960's Juliana D&e Rhinestone Navette Blue Flower Dangle Ab NecklaceVintage Deco Czech Egyptian Revival Neiger Scarab Glass Bead Necklace RareVintage Cameo Mix Lot Locket Necklace Brooch Pin Earring Rhinestone Flower Se186Vintage Verified Juliana D&e "cha Cha" Book Piece Rhinestone Necklace!! S4653Juliana Huge Rootbeer & Ab Teardrop Rhinestone NecklaceMassive Vtg Oscar De La Renta Couture Orchid Flower Crystal Bib Runway NecklaceVintage Genuine And Faux Turquoise Stone Jewelry Lot Necklaces Bracelets EarringVtg Givenchy Paris Ny Couture Snake Serpent Glass Pearl Sautoir Runway NecklaceVintage 50's Prong Set Crystal Glass Rhinestone Bead Drop Bib NecklaceExquisite Vtg Juliana D&e Owl Emerald Ab Glass Rhinestone Necklace As Is Tr447*rare* Jaw Dropping Vintage Verified Juliana D&e Rhinestone Cab Necklace!! S4635A Vintage 1950s Murano Style Glass Bird, Leaf And Bead Necklace And EarringsVintage Old Jewellery Antique Victorian Coral Color Bakelite Locket Pendant HandLot Vintage Signed Art Har Style Asian Man Pendant & Related NecklacesVintage Sterling Silver Mexico Mexican Necklace Twisted Chain Bracelet Set 299gVintage Old Art Deco Egyptian Revival Silver Pharoah Head Jade Glass NecklaceJuliana Purple & Ab Rhinestone Golden Filigree Leaves Necklace Earring SetSign Lisner Vintage Necklace Flower Leaf Pendant Blue Rhinestone Silver Tn 3040Sign Crown Trifari Vintage Necklace Flower Pendant Collar Pearl Gold Tone 3695Vintage Necklace ,yves St Laurent,ysl, Limited Edition, Signed And Numbered,nr!!Vintage Art Deco Huge Cherry Red Amber Bakelite Statement Bead Necklace 28.9g