Have you seen Aurora Borealis jewellery? It shines with all the colours of the rainbow or the Northern Lights it is named after. Aurora Borealis stones are really beautiful. They make up some of the loveliest pieces of vintage costume jewellery available.
The Aurora Borealis ( or AB for short) effect
This is actually a very thin clear metallic coating on glass . It refracts light so that it appears like a rainbow to us. The process for creating the effect was developed in Austria by the great crystal makers Swarovski. Christian Dior helped a lot with this process. We usually see the aurora borealis effect in vintage necklaces.
Aurora Borealis Jewellery
The first Aurora Borealis pieces of jewellery were expensive high-end designer pieces. They were first sold in the mid-1950s. Please note that any jewellery with Aurora Borealis stones in cannot date before this time. Most of it dates between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s when it was high fashion. I have seen some writers on vintage jewellery say that production ended in the mid-1960s. That’s not true as a quick search on-line will show new pieces are available to buy these days. Glass stones with the AB effect are available both as beads which make up very glamorous necklaces and as diamante. These can be set into a wide variety of vintage brooches, earrings, necklaces and even rings. They are also available in several underlying colours with crystal clear being the most common. The blues are very attractive and I also come across them in golds and reds.
I recommend looking out for vintage necklaces with AB stones in. These shimmer and shine especially under artificial light. The necklaces can be single or multi-strand and can have glass beads in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Aurora Borealis jewellery is easy to identify. Once seen, never forgotten. I usually have a small selection of necklaces set with AB beads available with prices from about £30. This depends on the number of strands and the complexity of the beads.