Throughout the decades, color trends have been documented in fashion jewelry. White has been a staple for decades and has found its way into casual and fancy jewelry lines. It has been designed for daytime, evening, and cocktail attire in a plethora of materials touting its complementing nature when paired with the latest frock. The chalk-white pallet is a decades-long favorite. But one company that is immediately associated with white jewelry didn’t enter the market until the mid-1950s.
In 1956, Monet introduced its first line of white jewelry. The company, until then, was noted for its tailored designs. The white-colored collection was more than two years in the making as the company carefully reviewed and curated a collection it felt was worthy of the Monet name. According to the company, countless designs were eliminated that did not meet the company’s quality standards. The company kept the line’s development a secret with no mention of the collection during January’s 1956 buyer’s market for the spring collections.
The motivation to establish this new line was to fill a selling gap of higher-priced jewelry in white for the spring collection. Monet later filled the price point void with 48 pieces consisting of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Once launched in late March, the line met excellent customer enthusiasm–selling out in many markets throughout the United States. Establishments that were historically conservative, adhering to only tailored lines, altered their thinking by welcoming the new designs. The positive reception resulted in these companies spending private marketing dollars for advertising—money historically designated only to tailored jewelry. The success of the line lead to another collection in the spring of 1957.
The next time you come across a piece of Monet white jewelry, you’ll know that it was not made prior to the spring of 1956.