Style Characteristics
Amorphous, organic abstract shapes with jagged edges and textured metal interspersed with gemstones reflected fine art of the period. East Indian-inspired necklaces and earrings played off heightened interest in the culture of India. Animal motifs were either highly stylized or realistically rendered during this decade.

John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960 and assassinated in 1963. A U.S. patent for a synthetic diamond process was issued in 1960. The National Stamping Act was amended in 1961 to require a maker's trademark on precious metal jewelry. In that same year, Audrey Hepburn starred in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and the Americans and Soviets put the first men in space. Elizabeth Taylor was Cleopatra and David Webb opened a salon in New York in 1963. In 1964, war began in Vietnam and the Beatles performed live for the first time in the U.S. The U.S. put a man on the moon and the Woodstock music festival took place in 1969. Successful production of gem-quality synthetic diamond crystals larger than 1 carat was achieved in 1970.

Metals & Stones
Yellow gold, platinum and silver were all widely used. Natural gemstone crystals and "drusy" gemstones - micro-crystals forming on a matrix - are incorporated into textured gold designs. Cabochon gemstones such as turquoise were mixed with round brilliant diamonds and other faceted stones in yellow gold. Women continued to wear pearls with a preference toward baroque shapes. Enameling on gold was also a popular technique.

Important Designers
French makers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Chaumet held their own, but were no longer considered "cutting edge." More adventurous designers in the U.K., such as Andrew Grima, Hirsch Kutchinsky and Wendy Ramshaw, achieved greater recognition. In Italy, Bulgari and Buccellati continued to expand their international domain. In the U.S., David Webb was the darling of the decade. Schlumberger for Tiffany, Verdura and Schepps created new signature designs. William Ruser of Beverly Hills became Hollywood's "Jeweler to the Stars" and Arthur King was the high-end, avant-garde jeweler of New York.

In the 1960s, round brilliants were set pavé or sprinkled randomly throughout a textured gold setting. Baguettes and other rectangular cuts were also popular. In the freewheeling, experimental atmosphere of the 1960s, design took precedence over technology. No significant new developments in diamond cutting or processing took place until the latter part of the twentieth century.