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    

Fine Rare Antique Victorian Bohemian Rose Cut Garnet Pearl Flower NecklaceRare Vintage Machine Age Art Deco Jakob Bengel Germany Chrome Galalith NecklaceRare Lush Vintage Haute Couture Rhinestone Red Glass Drop Collar NecklaceVintage Art Deco Czech Lapis Blue Glass Dangle Pendant Filigree NecklaceRare Vintage Saphiret Art Glass Aurora Borealis Rhinestone Collar Necklace1930/40s Guilloche Enamel Sterling Silver Flower Pendant Necklace Charles HornerDazzling Vintage Jomaz Rhodium Plate Crystal Rinestone Choker Necklace EarringsRare Vintage Trifari Open Back Set Ruby Red Glass Rhinestone Collar NecklaceAntique Victorian 19thc Red Orange Salmon Coral & Gold Bead Choker NecklaceAntique Victorian Gold Filled & Gilt Pools Of Light Orb Locket Pendant NecklaceRare Ornate Vintage Art Nouveau Napier Sterling Silver Necklace & EarringsGivenchy Shimmering Vintage Long Gold Tone Rope Chain Pendant Tassel NecklaceVintage Art Deco Czech Blue Glass Enamel Pendant NecklaceRare Antique Victorian Natural Genuine Faceted Baltic Honey Amber Bead NecklacePretty Vintage Pat Cheney Teal Enamel Floral Sterling Silver Necklace Juliana Vintage Necklace Flower Pendant Margarita Rhinestone Blue Ab 3046Vintage Kenneth Lane Kjl Impossible To Find Jeweled Fantasy Runway NecklaceClassic Vintage European Machine Age Art Deco Silver Marcasite NecklaceVintage 1930's Art Deco Cherry Red Vauxhall Czech Glass NecklaceVintage Schiaparelli Blue Rhinestone Necklace Earrings Set Demi Costume Jewelry Vintage 1930's Art Deco Czech Blue Glass Modernist NecklaceVintage Old Art Deco Brass Flower Red Venetian Glass Bead Festoon Charm NecklaceSchreiner Unsigned Massive Fuchsia Pink Rhinestone Necklace Earring SetSuper Juliana D&e Rhinestone Bib Collar Necklace Huge Drippy & DazzlingSigned Boucher Vintage Necklace Flower Rhinestone Pearl Silver Tone 3000Vintage Coral Glass Fringe 15" Necklace, Silver Catch ,good ConditionAntique Victorian Mourning French Jet Glass Wide Collar NecklaceJuliana Book Piece Golden Mesh Colorful Rhinestone Necklace Earring SetFabulous Real Coral Beads Antique Victorian 10k Gold Clasp Old Estate Necklace Miriam Haskell Verified White & Orange Green Leaves Glass Bead Lariat Necklace8mm Genuine Rock Crystal & Sterling Silver Bead Necklace Pools Of Light MintVintage Old 1940's Cherry Red Bakelite Geometric Charm Celluloid Chain NecklaceMcclelland Barclay Purple & Ice Rhinestone Vintage NecklaceAntique 1910's Victorian Edwardian Carved Shell Cameo Seed Pearl Dangle NecklaceVintage Juliana Blue Rhinestone Necklace Earrings Set Demi Vtg Hobe Victorian Revival Art Glass Rhinestone Festoon Necklace Earrings SetBeautiful Vintage Signed Ciner Rhinestone Cabochon Necklace Gorgeous!107grams Antique Cherry Amber Bakelite Necklace And Bracelet Tested SimichromeHigh End Vtg Uns Weiss Pink Baguette Necklace Signed Coro Script Earrings Lot!!Vtg Karl Lagerfeld Couture/runway Buttons Necklace Pendant Chanel Designer-ex-nrVintage Art Deco Era Natural Amber Faceted Bead Necklace 21 Grams, 22inch LongVintage Signed Trifari By Kunio Matsumoto Clip Earring Bracelet Necklace Rv 1465Miriam Haskell Baroque Style Pearl Necklace Earring SetRare Bakelite Necklace And Bracelet Set - Reverse CarvedFabulous Victorian Bookchain Antique Old Estate Heart Locket Book Chain NecklaceVintage Coral Glass Bead, 15" Necklace ,silver Catch, Good Condition~rare Art Deco Egyptian Revival Czech Green Glass Necklace Signed 1920s StunningVintage Huge Art Deco Venetian Millefiori Murano Swirl Glass Bead Necklace 130gRare Antique Art Deco Cherry Amber Bakelite Barrel Prayer Bead Faturan NecklaceVintage Chanel Paris 80s Designer Runway Leo Lion Cc Logo Multi Chain NecklaceAntique Victorian 19thc Carved Shell Cameo Pendant Necklace Faux Tortoise ShellLanvin Paris Signed Cherry Amber Bakelite 33.5"graduated Bead Necklace 132 GramsMiriam Haskell Blue Glass & Silver Baroque Pearl Vintage NecklaceFabulous Art Deco Cranberry Glass Stones Dangle NecklaceGood Antique Butterscotch Egg Yoke Amber Necklace 33.7 GramsFabulous Floating Opal 12k Gf Vintage Estate Opalite Pendant Necklace In Box1980s Retro 50 Plastic Bell Clips Charms W/ Necklace Chain Vintage Coro Signed Blue Opal Art Glass Rhinestone Floral Silver Choker NecklaceStunning Vtg White Milk Glass Rhinestone Necklace Signed Weiss Clip Earrings LotFabulous Antique Carved Blue Peking Glass Estate Necklace