Raquel Welch 1973 wearing a turquoise squash blossom necklace

70s jewelry: Hippie boho to disco glam

Feb 9, 2024 | boho jewelry

70s jewelry styles represented two ends of a fashion continuum: rustic boho and disco glam.

Big hoop earrings took center stage with 70s jewelry

Hitting both ends of the fashion continuum, hoops were popular in both hippie drum circles and with glam disco clubbers.

In North America, conservatism reigned with earrings for European women since the Mayflower.

Big hoops in the 70s was, for us, something new.

Ancient Egyptians wore hoops. So have Africans across the continent, also likely for centuries. Mexican and American indigenous peoples wore them, too.


Roma communities (aka Gypsies) are usually depicted with small and large hoops on both men and women.

Boho jewelry Boho Gypsy style | minusOne jewelry

(Read about different Boho jewelry styles.)

But in Western Europe and the US, large hoop earrings weren’t really in style until the 1970s, when fashion got radical.

Vogue UK July 1975
Vogue UK July 1975

Shop hoop earrings from the 70s – new vintage style at minusOne.

Elizabeth Taylor signature jewelry: hoops!

Already a celebrity, but yet to be in the autumn of her years, Elizabeth Taylor rocked big hoops.

Looking back at old photos of Elizabeth Taylor, it’s easy to realize how she became a style icon who launched her own jewelry line.

I love seeing celebrity photos with jewelry being worn more than once.

Elizabeth Taylor appears to have loved this double rung set of gold clip on hoops for at least a decade…

…unless that hair style with Richard Burton really aged her. Which is entirely possible.

And what was the fashion world thinking with all the beaded necklaces? I have nightmares of dying in a tomb strangled by them. There are just so many.

But look who else loved hoops…

cher loved hoops!

Shop hoop earrings at minusOne.

70s hoops earrings at minusOne jewelry
hoop earrings at minusOne

70s hoops earrings at minusOne jewelry
hoop earrings at minusOne

70s jewelry trended in silver

Although 70s disco glam fashion preferred gold jewelry, boho style 70s jewelry favored silver.

This was due in part to Native American design influences on popular 70s jewelry style.

artie yellowhorse sterling turquoise post earrings

The cool tones of turquoise, frequently the stone heart of Native American jewelry design, is complemented better by silver’s cool tones than by the yellow warmth of gold.

Indians in Mexico also flooded a thirsty 70s jewelry market with innovative and chunky figural sterling pieces, and with lightweight beaded pieces of liquid sliver.

70s jewelry: Focus on liquid silver

Liquid silver is made from small tubular beads strung together, made to look like a single, continuous strand of silver.

It helped satisfy 70s jewelry need for fringe.

What does liquid silver feel like? Liquid silver feels like water in your hand.

70s silver jewelry: TAXCO

Tourism to Mexico was at an all-time high, so Taxco pieces also were brought back to the US as souvenirs.

Taxco is a small city in Mexico’s Guerrero state, known for its silver jewelry studios.

All 70s jewelry marked Taxco, usually with additional 925 sterling marks, are highly collectible today.

Rumblings are that in the 2020s, silver is making a comeback. But that’s ridiculous.

Silver never goes out of style.

Boho 70s jewelry used natural materials

1970s jewelry – especially the boho 70s style jewelry – featured natural stones like turquoise, coral, abalone, and other natural resources like wood, feathers, and shells.

Abalone shell in 70s jewelry design

Abalone is an iridescent shell that in 70s jewelry was used for inlays.

Like turquoise, abalone pieces are unique, so jewelry made with it are always one of a kind.

copyright GAFTreasures on Etsy

This abalone shell is sold on Etsy as an incense burner.

Imagine this shell cut into shapes and placed in mosaic style. 1970s jewelry designers who followed the Boho aesthetic seemed to love the organic patterns of light and color available to them in abalone.

Turquoise was popular in 70s Boho jewelry

Indian jewelry designers in Southwest United States introduced the artisan jewelry market to the semi-precious natural stone turquoise.

Tourists traveling to the southwest, brought back turquoise in Zuni pieces from New Mexico, and Navajo turquoise jewelry from the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Cher’s signature jewelry in the 70s, in addition to hoops, was turquoise.

Cher, 1975, Douglas Kirkland, People Weekly wearing turquoise
Cher, 1975, Douglas Kirkland, People Weekly wearing turquoise

Cher, 1975, Douglas Kirkland, People Weekly wearing turquoise

Cher, 1975, Douglas Kirkland, People Weekly wearing turquoise

The song “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” by The Raiders topped the charts in 1971.

In 1973, Cher’s “Half Breed” was performed on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.

With Cher as their Hollywood style celebrated icon, American Indian folk costume and heritage were the focus inspirations for 70s Boho.

70s jewelry focus on turquoise: the Squash Blossom Necklace

Racquel Welch rocked a signature squash blossom necklace beginning in the 60s through the 70s.

The classic turquoise necklace design called a Squash Blossom.

The squash blossom reflects the agricultural heritage of Native American tribes.

The crescent pendant symbolizes protection and warding off evil spirits, embodying the spiritual connection to the natural world.

The shape of the repeating blossom motif varies from artist to artist, but all squash blossom necklaces incorporate a repeating design on either side of the center crescent.

Squash blossom necklaces are highly collectible, and the most basic example can sell online at auction for around US$1,500.00.

More elaborate examples will sell for ten times that.

These pictures of Racquel make me wonder if Squash Blossom was referencing a motif that had nothing to do with vegetables.

70s men wore gold necklaces

70s men loved their bling, and whether they were setting the fashion or following it, necklaces for men were in.

By the mid-70s, the Bee Gees were on top with “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love”.

Hall & Oates got the memo. They broke into the top ten with Rich Girl in 1977.

Stevie Wonder chose to wear this trend a little differently.

Heishi necklaces were a trend in 70s jewelry

George Harrison’s signature piece was a heishi bead choker necklace.

The Beatles were broken up in the 70s, but their personalities remained in fashion.

There was George, then there was this guy.

70s jewelry got hammered

Rustic boho or disco glam, hammered yellow gold was IN.

See Meghan Markle wearing her hammered gold disc earrings.

wide hammered gold bracelet cuff | minusOne jewelry
wide hammered gold bracelet cuff | minusOne jewelry

Narrow hammered gold bracelet cuff | minusOne Cuff Collection
Narrow hammered gold bracelet cuff

Hammered gold oval earrings | Tailored Classic Everyday
Hammered gold oval earrings | Tailored Classic Everyday
Narrow hammered gold bracelet cuff | minusOne jewelry
Narrow hammered gold bracelet cuff | minusOne jewelry

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