TIVOL’s Golden History: Looking Back 65 Years


“That’ll Be the Day” blasts on the radio as you fry your morning breakfast. That pound of bacon sets you back just 60 cents of your $4,550 annual salary. Copies of the new books “The Miracle Worker” and “Atlas Shrugged” rest on the coffee table of your living room, ready to be read after the final episode of “I Love Lucy” airs on CBS. And the booming jet travel industry leaves you wondering what’s left to be explored in the wake of the first launch into space. Welcome to 1957.


Gold Taxi Whistles, Bangle Bracelets, & Diamond Encrusted Watches

Just over a decade after joining the family business, Harold Tivol wrapped up 1957 with two store locations (TIVOL downtown Kansas City and TIVOL Country Club Plaza), a glowing reputation as a respected and trusted jeweler, and a catalog collection of unique bracelets, rings, watches, and eclectic offerings. The landscape of the world changed significantly between the time TIVOL first opened in 1910 to the late 1950’s; But one thing remained the same. Gold remained timeless.


So timeless, in fact, that it set the standard. The Gold Standard: a system used as the standard for many currencies around the world. But who measures the price of gold?


The price of gold is determined through trading in the gold and derivatives markets, but a procedure known as Gold Fixing (which originated in London in 1919) provides the daily benchmark price for the industry. Back when TIVOL was founded, the price of gold was a modest $20.67 per ounce. Today it sits at $1,824 per ounce. In 1957? It was just $35 per ounce.


Let’s take a look at how that is reflected in the Christmas 1957 TIVOL catalog. A peek inside reveals some interesting pieces you can’t find in stores today.


Vintage Jewelry at TIVOL


Unique Offerings from 1957

Hidden gems inside the holiday gift guide dating back 65 years include a golden hand pin from Italy, A 14K gold TIVOL turtle sporting an amethyst shell, a 14K solid yellow gold toothpick, and an antique (meaning it was antique in the mid-century) diamond studded perfume vial.

You won’t find pieces like that today in stores, but TIVOL continues our legacy of sourcing incredible gold jewelry from sought-after designers, and beautiful diamonds from around the globe, to date.


Gold pieces in 1957 included simple bangle bracelets engraved with “sweet nothings”, gentlemen’s gold and garnet cufflinks, a sapphire and gold money clip, and our favorite find…a solid gold taxi whistle - which would have been both a showstopper and car stopper for anyone who carried it.


What unique things will we uncover as we dive into TIVOL history?


Stay tuned for the next Flashback Friday installment.