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Ten Top Trends


What are the most important directions for jewelry this year? Silver is still sizzling, judging from the number of successful new collections launched at the shows in Vegas this year.

Overall, jewelry looks this season are large and light, with dramatic scale made practical thanks to lots of open space and the addition of a wide range of interesting materials, which also give jewelry this year an organic, one-of-a-kind feeling.

In this issue, we bring you ten top trends to stock this season. But to keep it to ten, we had to leave out some of the important trends we’ve covered in recent issues: unusual rocks and minerals, sea life and nautical motifs, coins and intaglios, hoop earrings, links, and mixed media. Consider those stellar styles too when checking those holiday shopping lists.

And make sure you add one touch of whimsy—a style that just makes you, and your customers, smile.


Bangles in oxidized silver and 24k gold

SILVER Streak

There’s a wide selection of new silver to choose from this year, including high profile launches by Stephen Webster, Leslie Greene, Gurhan, Alishan, Sugarman, Stuller, Nikos, Novell, and many others. It’s a staggering selection of stylish and affordable jewelry that even your most discerning customers will be happy to add to their collections. In particular, blackened silver is a dramatic foil for gold. (And black metals are a trend in themselves.) In particular, silver cuffs, bangles, and long necklaces are must-have items perfect for layering and mixing. Many new styles have a warm accent of gold or brown diamonds to help customers wardrobe new silver styles with all the jewelry they already own.

Bangles in oxidized silver and 24k gold by Gurhan, suggested retail from $340 to $860, (877) 447-4692.

18k gold and black rhodium with diamonds

DARK & Handsome

Blackened gold, and especially silver, are everywhere this season. Blackened silver adds a vintage feeling to rose cut diamond designs or helps the color of gemstones pop. Blackened gold adds drama to high-end designs. Yossi Harari combines the two into “gilver,” an alloy of gold and silver that provides the optimum blackout. In addition to the popularity of black metals, this season there’s a new palette of brown gold and bronze, too. Chocolate gold, in particular, is a high-end trend.

Whimsical “Bunny Bot” pendant from the “Bots & Bolts” collection in 18k gold and black rhodium with diamonds by Andrea Lieberman for Mouawad, (310) 226-7870.

ring with translucent gray diamond briolettes

EARTHY Diamonds

Diamonds have gone beyond brilliance, with new styles that feature rough and translucent diamonds that are changing ideas of diamond beauty. Obviously, these edgy and innovative styles are not for everyone. But the organic feel of these unusual gems is undeniably one of the strongest trends of the year. Some styles feature rough diamond crystals, like designs by Todd Reed, Diamond in the Rough, Ruff & Cut, S&R Designs, De Beers, Parade, Julie Baker, Carolina, and Sarah Perlis. Others use translucent diamonds which are often called “icy” diamonds in rose cuts or beads in shades of gray, rust, green, brown, and tan. Designers include Neil Lane, de Grisogono, Centoventuno, Paolo Piovan, Willow & Co., Catherine Angiel, Nina Runsdorf, Hellmuth, Mattioli, John Apel, Pamela Froman, Sonya Ooten, Melissa Joy Manning, Zeira, Busatti, ZDNY, M2 by Mary Margrill, Anne Sportun, and Raul Frisneda.

Other styles use thin slices of diamonds, often with patterns of inclusions. Designers include La Reina, Barry Kronen, Gurhan, Irene Neuwirth, Coomi, Nina Runsdorf, and Saboo. Not ready to take the plunge into the organic look? Even traditional diamond jewelry styles can be warmed up with champagne and brown diamonds which are growing in popularity.

“Fringe” ring with translucent gray diamond briolettes by Nina Runsdorf, (212) 382-1243.

Pendant made with 50 percent recycled silver and ethically mined and polished smoky quartz, citrine, and white quartz

ECO Jewels

A surprising number of jewelry designers are promoting new “green” jewelry collections. Many of the new collections are made with recycled metals. Others focus on social responsible mining and cutting of the gemstones. Others just promise conflict-free gems. Still others include donations to ecological causes or carbon offsets. For example, the “Eco-Gem” collection of jewelry made from recycled metals and conflict-free diamonds from Moshe Namdar includes recycled packaging printed with soy based inks. The accompanying lab certificates are also printed on recycled paper with soy or water soluble ink. Whatever the strategy, the green movement has clearly reached the jewelry industry. Jewelers who are concerned about the environment and the social responsibility of their supply chain (as well as those whose customers are concerned) have more options than ever before.

Pendant made with 50 percent recycled silver and ethically mined and polished smoky quartz, citrine, and white quartz from the “Chrysalis” collection by Lori Bonn Designs, suggested retail $415, (510) 286-8181.

Hoops in 18k rose gold with brown diamonds

BRONZE Beauties

One of the freshest new looks this year is the growing popularity of the “bronze” look: brown diamonds set in rose gold. This warm glowing palette first appeared in Italy but its popularity has been spreading. After years of being a fashion favorite which didn’t sell through for most jewelers, rose gold seems to have finally become a viable option for many retailers. The popularity of the combination of warm rose gold with warm-toned stones like amethyst, morganite, rhodolite, and rose quartz in addition to smoky quartz and brown and champagne diamonds may be the reason why rose gold is finally making market inroads.

Hoops in 18k rose gold with brown diamonds by Hellmuth, (951) 788-6930.

blue mosaic pendant with aquamarine, iolite, moonstone, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, and tourmaline and a blue mosaic cuff with aquamarine, iolite, moonstone, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, and diamond

BLUE mood

Designers have the blues once again. Always a summer favorite, blue is so strong this year it promises to dominate the palette this fall and winter. All shades of blue gems are popular from sky-blue aquamarine and topaz to turquoise, to lapis, sapphire, and tanzanite. Since warm earthy shades are also still important, this time round blue is often set in yellow or black metal, emphasizing its warmer side.

Oxidized “gilver” blue mosaic pendant with aquamarine, iolite, moonstone, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, and tourmaline by Yossi Harari, suggested retail $16,045, (212) 463-7950. Oxidized “gilver” and 24k gold “Roxanne” blue mosaic cuff with aquamarine, iolite, moonstone, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, and diamond by Yossi Harari, suggested retail $38,490, (212) 463-7950.

Diamond and 18k gold bib necklace

the big BIB

Necklaces are more important this season and the most important silhouette is the bib. These wide necklace styles have many variations. Particularly popular are geometric styles in a v-shape that tapers to a point below the chin. Many styles feature openwork and dangling elements for added interest. Other styles arrange dangling stations in staggered lengths around the neck. Waterfall silhouettes, with a cascade of dangling elements are also popular. And in a season where jewelry styles in all categories are dramatic enough to stand alone, the bib is the boldest of necklace statements.

Diamond and 18k gold “Octangular” bib necklace by Ron Hami, suggested retail $7,180, (213) 327-0998.

cuff links in sterling silver with 14k gold and a half carat of diamonds

precious PEBBLES

Texture is still very important to add dimension and surface interest to jewelry designs. Last year, hammered textures dominated. This year, pebbled surfaces are the most important texture. These irregular grids, depending on design, can reference animal textures like crocodile or alligator. They can also suggest cracked mud or earthen forms, or the irregular islands of slate on a garden path. Pebbled textures are especially popular in silver, since oxidation darkens the recessed areas, adding contrast and dimension to the design. Other designs use diamond pavé or accents to add more luxurious contrast.

“Amari” collection cuff links in sterling silver with 14k gold and a half carat of diamonds from Stuller, suggested retail $1,709, (800) 877-7777.

Diamond and 18k gold “Croco” collection ring by Hellmuth, (951) 788-6930.

diamond and 22k gold pendant and a 22k gold pendant

CUT it out

With the high price of precious metals, the advantages of openwork are obvious. But all the emphasis on negative space is also having a positive effect on design inspiration. Cut-outs and stencil designs are giving simple geometric designs an intricate one-of-a-kind feel. Most use a geometric shape in a pattern that suggests a mosaic or architectural element. Other types of openwork like wire mesh, fret work, and filigree are important, too.

“Jharoka” diamond and 22k gold pendant and “Paisley” 22k gold pendant by Susan Gordon, suggested retail $4,700 and $5,500, (202) 258-2658. Photo courtesy of the World Gold Council.

Diamond and 18k white gold cuff bracelet

CUFF love

The bold bracelet remains important this season. Many styles feature openwork to keep shapes large and light. Other styles feature mixed media like wood, resin, stone, rubber, ceramic, and other materials. And silver cuffs are everywhere. But in a tribute to the strength of the trend, large important cuffs either in heavy well-crafted gold or encrusted in diamonds are also very important. The strong wrist statement is still a fashion essential on the red carpet and runway.

Diamond and 18k white gold cuff bracelet from Dynasty Jewelry, (852) 2368-2618.