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Vintage Hollwood: Screen Gems

These Texas-tied glamour queens of the silver screen knew a thing or two about jewelry…how to wear it, how to get it and of course, how to earn it. Women today still look to these gem goddesses of the past for inspiration. Here, we take a look at the today’s very best jewelry choices of what these movie bombshells might adorn today and how you can embrace your own inner movie star wearing them, too.

Joan Crawford: Shopgirl To Socialite

In an extraordinary six decade long career, San Antonio-born Joan Crawford loved her men, cocktails and jewels. “I seem to grow more valuable to you each year,” Crawford said in the 1931 film with Clark Gable, Possessed, about a very productive love relationship rewarded with precious jewels. As a career girl, she bought as many gems for herself from her salaries at MGM and Warner Brothers as were given to her by her five husbands throughout her life. Today we think she’d still like bracelets winding up her arm, the perfect brooch and yes, the inimitable dinner ring.

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Ginger Rogers: Broadway Meets Hollywood

Fort Worth-raised Ginger Rogers won a Charleston dance contest in the 1920s that shot her to stardom in Hollywood as the perfect dance partner to Fred Astaire in their 1930’s RKO films. “He gave her class, she gave him sex appeal,” a gossip columnist wrote in that era about the teaming. She was known to love large floral-inspired pieces to adorn her décolleté, drop earrings and just about any piece that that showed a collage of stones. Today, these types of jewels still reign.

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Ann Sheridan: The Oomph Girl

Considered to be one of the most alluring movie stars of the 1940’s, on and off screen, this Denton-born, red-haired bombshell was the GI sweetheart in World War II. Actor Rex Harrison once said of her, "I was struck by her extraordinary magnetism and directness. And her distinctive quality of earthiness that never transcends to blatant sexiness.” That sexiness showed in the jewels she was known to wear in films and in real life… emeralds, diamonds and rubies. And of course diamonds. Lots of diamonds.

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Dorothy Malone: Wild As The Wind

“We had cocktail parties and I'd stay up until 5 in the morning,” Dorothy Malone recounted of social life during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Art can imitate life and her bad girl image was solidified in the 1956 film {Written on the Wind}, about Texas socialites and tycoons of the era. It’s a performance that won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and this Dallas resident continued to play roles that showcased her legendary figure. Adorning that body was usually a suite of jewels that so symbolized the 1950s jewel-matching sensibility, many given to her by French actor Jaque Bergerac, also married to Ginger Rogers.

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Cyd Charisse: Dance, Girl, Dance

As glamorous as she is talented, Amarillo-born Cyd Charisse danced her way into America’s hearts in the 1950s… and her ballet-trained legs were considered so valuable by MGM they were insured for five million dollars. There’s no doubt her love of jewelry is in her blood since her father once owned a jewelry store in her west Texas hometown. Her cool chic, love of clothes and her myriad talent helped this star shine best on the big screen, as well as being dressed at MGM by legendary designer Helen Rose. Good jewels were always de rigueur for her costumes with classic, neat and shimmering gems that worked best on her then, as well as now.