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Top Ten Trends of 2009

What’s the must-have for this holiday season? The short answer? Value. Of course, value means different things to different customers. This year’s top trends for the holiday season represent different answers to the value question.

sterling silver necklace


The search for the right style at the right price has led many designers and manufacturers to launch new collections in silver. We’ve shown you great new silver collections for the past 18 months but there are more every month. The best new lines are bold in scale, sculptural in execution and meticulous in workmanship like the “Laughing Shaman” necklace (1) by Alberian & Aulde, suggested retail $1,500, (800) 757-4728. Tara Moor, now debuting in the U.S., has bold geometry and scale that stands out in a crowd, like the sterling silver “Atlas” necklace (2), suggested retail $535, (212) 333-2085.

18k gold pieces


More designers are turning to blackened finishes to distinguish their silver designs. Blackened silver also is the perfect companion to other metals, mixing well with polished silver and gold. Consumers see this as added value, a new jewelry color that is versatile to match everything they own, making it all look new again. Black chain is becoming popular, as in Fern Freeman’s necklaces (3) in blackened sterling and 22k gold with diamonds, suggested retail $950 to $2,100, (917) 217-1727.

Many new designs are created in blackened silver with gold shapes in patterns on top, such as Devon Leigh’s sterling and 18k gold cuff (4) with a rough diamond, suggested retail $5,200, (323) 665-4329. The 18k gold pieces on Victoria Bratberg’s “Marble Honeycomb” cuff (5) shake as the wrist moves, suggested retail $9,000, (646) 315-4053.

pearls and gems set in sterling silver


With budgets tight, there’s more demand for opening price points. Silver and collectible beads, the two hottest categories, are helping retailers to build traffic and repeat business. The strength of sales of these items have led many retailers to expand their choice of offerings in this category. Manufacturers have responded with a great selection of new styles. This Artistry onyx and sterling ring (6) retails for just $100, (888) 674-3250.

There are also interesting new designer silver collections at affordable price points. Spanish enamel brand Bagues-Masriera launched the “Clin D’oeil” collection in sterling silver with colorful fun styles for younger consumers, like this silver and enamel ring (7), suggested retail $200, (34) 93-412-2460. Yvel launched the new Daniel by Yvel collection with pearls and gems set in sterling silver, like this aquamarine cocktail ring (8), suggested retail $295, (866) YVEL-LTD.

pavé diamonds


Designers looking to create unique one-of-a-kind styles that don’t break the bank are discovering the charms of colorful patterned ornamental gems. Agates, jasper, patterned rocks, fossils, and other unusual minerals offer individual looks at an affordable price. Drusy is very popular, with its surface covered in tiny sparkling crystals. Melissa Joy Manning is known for her work with drusy and agate like the stations on this long necklace (9), suggested retail $1,815, (212) 219-2194. Erica Courtney’s 18k gold, diamond, and drusy earrings (10) are one-of-a-kind, suggested retail $8,880, (323) 938-2373. Dara Dubinet sets moldavite in a blackened sterling silver ring (11) with pavé diamonds, suggested retail $12,315, (310) 804-1315.

translucent diamonds


In addition to unusual gem materials, familiar stones are now appearing in new organic and asymmetrical shapes. Even diamonds are cut in slices or flat faceted irregular shapes. Yossi Harari’s “Roxanne” necklace (12) features organic-looking fire opal in 24k gold and oxidized gilver, suggested retail $13,750, (212) 463-7950. Nina Runsdorf’s 18k gold earrings (13) feature flat translucent diamonds in an unusual color, suggested retail $34,500, (212) 382-1243.

18k gold necklace


It’s the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the Summer of Love has come again to jewelry design. Peace signs, the words peace, love, and bliss decorate colorful jewelry styles from Jordan Scott and Mark Patterson. Peace signs add that hippie-chick flavor to Dana-David’s peace hoop 14k gold earrings (14), suggested retail $1,010, (800) 837-1570.

It’s also the re-dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Zodiac styles are back, both as individual charms and in designs featuring all the signs. This 18k gold necklace (15) from Old World Chain includes dangling satin discs with the 12 signs hand-engraved on both sides, suggested retail $3,200, (917) 455-6452. Mizuki’s sterling silver heart peace sign pendants (16) combine both sentiments, suggested retail $210 to $255, (212) 941-0332. Chad Allison’s large “Heritage” 18k gold pendant (17) has all 12 signs, suggested retail $3,450, (212) 278-8669.

collectible bead bracelet


Collectible beads are the hottest category today. A variety of styles are now available from a wide range of manufacturers, including personalized beads for local communities. Personalization adds emotional value. Halia’s “Monarch” bracelet (18) has charms starting at $18, (780) 454-0736. Why are collectible bead bracelets so hot? As one retailer told us, “No one just buys one bead.” Collectors fill bracelet after bracelet. Also growing are collectible bead accessories, like adding Rembrandt’s traditional charms to your collectible bead bracelet. The trend is so strong that many retailers are not just selling Pandora, they’re opening Pandora stand-alone stores.

slider bracelet


The trend for personalization just gets stronger. Designers are creating new collections around the idea of designing your own. Swarovski recently opened a new store in New York, Crystallized, that helps customers make their own jewelry, a step up from the charm bars and collectible bead craze. Lori Bonn’s new slider bracelet (19) collection revives and modernizes the Victorian slide, a collectible craze of its own. Her slides can be slid on and off easily for mixing and matching. Slides start at $19, the bracelet is $39, (510) 286-8181.

sterling silver ring


Autobots aren’t the only Transformers this summer. Rings from Simon G. and Io Si cleverly turn into pendants. Many companies have collections of charms for earrings that can also be worn as pendants. Tresor’s diamond earrings (20) come with different colored drops, (201) 606-2612. Erica Courtney’s 18k gold and diamond bead hoop earrings (21) detach from the post and become bangles, suggested retail $9,600, (323) 938-2373. Kameleon’s interchangeable center sterling silver ring (22) has an assortment of pop-in elements to choose from, suggested retail for ring $69 and “JewelPops” $20 to $40, (866) 431-4484.

18k white gold ring


With economic pressure reducing budgets, styles that combine many diamonds to look like one larger stone continue to grow in popularity. More manufacturers are innovating in this category, with computer controlled manufacturing allowing for precise invisible setting. The private label “Cipriani” collection (23) from Jude Frances has a designer look at attractive price points, earrings suggested retail $4,297, (949) 553-8860. The new Magnificut from Brands 88 has a more traditional look—this 18k white gold ring (24) features a 1 carat look yet has .66 carats total weight, suggested retail $2,695, (214) 688-0088.