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Fashion Forward: Roughing It
The latest gem cuts delighting jewelry designers are a little rough round the edges.

With organic, nature-inspired jewelry designs among the most important trends for 2006, the perfect example of the natural look isn't always perfect. Rather than the pristine and polished look of traditionally cut gemstones, the latest gem cuts are a little rough around the edges. These shapes, such as "rough cut" briolettes, maintain more of the precious stones' real face. Irregular, asymmetrical, and "tumbled" cuts add the natural look to high-end jewelry designs. Even precious metals are being molded into naturalistic forms like nuggets, sometimes also combined with naturally shaped baroque pearls. In the extreme, diamonds and gemstones are used in their unadorned natural crystal forms. It's truly the ultimate in back-to-nature luxury.

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Lava rock necklace from Jennifer B. Designs
Lava rock necklace from Jennifer B. Designs, suggested retail $320, (917) 674-4643.
© Chris Trayer