The excitement of attending trade shows, in addition to the face-to-face networking and educational opportunities presented, is the quest to find what’s new and exciting in the marketplace.
As it has been a minute since we’ve attended a major jewelry show, the draw to comb the aisles for the latest and greatest is top of mind for those attending JCK Las Vegas August 27-30 at the Sands Expo and Venetian Resort.
“There’s no question that there is pent up demand for people to interact in the industry. But I think the retailers coming to the show, investing the time and money to come to 100+ degree weather in the summer, are coming to see what’s new and to buy,” says Allen Rosenel, CEO for Equity Diamond Brokers (EDB), based in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1972, which recently merged with Aneri Jewels, New York, affiliate of Laxmi Diamond. “A lot of people are tired of shopping for new on Zoom.”
To make it easier for attendees to find what’s new, JCK will release prior to the show a guide listing product launches so buyers can better plan their show strategy, shared Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of the Reed Jewelry Group in a press briefing.
Explore The Plumb Club
Many new launches will be presented in The Plumb Club pavilion, best described as a show within a show, representing every product category important to retail jewelers — including diamonds, earth-mined and lab-grown, bridal and fashion jewelry; color stones; pearls; gold, silver and platinum; watches; jewelry cleaning products; jewelry displays; technology; and more.
Among the 38 Plumb Club members exhibiting in the pavilion are many manufacturers that offer both earth-mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds, including Quality Gold with True Origin LGD brand, Ostbye with Eco-Brilliance, Frederick Goldman with Love Earth, and Jewelmark with Made for You. Moreover, the pioneer of lab-grown gems, Chatham, will be showing new designs in lab-grown diamond and color stone bridal, anniversary and fashion.
New to The Plumb Club and to the pavilion this year is the vertically integrated lab-grown diamond manufacturer, Evolution Diamond, developer of private label and branded collections in lab-grown diamond bridal, fashion and men’s jewelry.
Both categories of diamonds are investing in marketing their messages to a consumer base that despite a pandemic has been buying fine jewelry, especially diamonds, earth-mined and lab-grown, to get engaged, married, and celebrate.
“During the pandemic, as people were not traveling and doing things like dining out, theater, concerts, and vacations, they invested in fine jewelry to convey messages of love and family,” says Lawrence Hess, executive director of The Plumb Club. “The pandemic brought about a renewed look at fine jewelry as an heirloom, keepsake of memories, beauty, art, and something positive.”
Steven Lerche, vice president sales and operations, Goldstar, New York says that as more people get vaccinated, and states continue to open up, domestic travel is expected to see a big upswing. While that might soften jewelry sales, Lerche is optimistic about the state of the industry overall, and believes bridal and anniversary in particular will continue to thrive in a post COVID world.
Searching for New
During the worst of the pandemic, many companies took the time to reexamine and reposition their product offerings. That is something that Novell undertook, shares Director of Sales Harry Fiorentinos, for the subsidiary of Continental Jewellery in Rahway, New Jersey.
“Our new collections are all encompassing and supported by e-catalogs that are also available for private labeling,” describes Fiorentinos. Among Novell’s new product launches at JCK Las Vegas are Duo’ and Diletta.
“Duo’ is a series of wedding ring ideas meant to help the individual choose a match that expresses their individuality,” Fiorentinos tells. “The designs are not quite matching, but have a flow and synergy about them. Diletta is a series of semi-eternity designs that are light, bright and multi-functional. They complement solitaires, halos, and other engagement styles, and offer stackable options.” Novell also expanded its traditional wedding ring collection, by providing retailers a user-friendly display that shows width, profile, color, and texture variations.
An exciting launch for Original Design Inc. (ODI) at The Plumb Club will be a collection of Greenland rubies and sapphires, tells Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development. “As a member of the Tache Alliance, our strength has always been natural diamonds, but going into 2022, we wanted to offer something new that was natural, ethically sourced, and traceable from mine to market.”
Top Jewelry Trends
In the engagement ring category, larger diamond center looks have been trending. Ostbye, the Minneapolis Minnesota based jewelry manufacturer, is launching new designs focused on classic looks that accommodate larger centers, new semi-mount styles that capture nature in modern designs, some with unique, modified halos, tells Merchandise Manager Theresa Namie.
Fletcher sees a return to traditional styling in engagement rings, with vintage details like filigree, milgrain and sapphire accents trending. For diamond fashion, a favorite style is to layer necklaces with dainty pave shapes that are versatile and can mix and match. Also, she cites ODI’s day-night pendants, like crescent moon, with white diamonds on one side, black diamonds on the other, popular.
Ostbye, too, is introducing new diamond fashion jewelry with floral and geometric elements, and EDB/Aneri will be showcasing new collections, including a series it calls Lattice, vintage-inspired openwork designs in gold, diamonds and gems.
When it comes to fashion jewelry trends, the paperclip profile continues to be a favorite, with no sign of this trend waning, as a design component in various jewelry styles in precious metals and gem accents.
“As popular as dainty jewelry is, there also is demand for larger, substantial pieces in a woman’s jewelry box. The paperclip silhouette, although available in various sizes and renditions, is perfect to layer and wear with dainty pieces that have recently been popular,” describes Allison Peck, director of design at Brevani, a division of Color Merchants in New York. “So much can be done with it. Wear it alone, pack it with charms, add a fun clasp!” The brand will be debuting new styles in its bestselling diamond paperclip collection at JCK.
Kathy Grenier, vice president, business development for Imperial in Providence, Rhode Island concurs the paperclip design is the hottest fashion style with not only diamonds but also with pearls, with the brand’s latest Chinese freshwater and 14K gold link designs a bestseller, particularly in earrings.
In fact, Sarah Cuidon, production and sales assistant for the New York based pearl house Mastoloni, finds pearl earring sales have been especially robust, with the brand’s latest pearl wire hoop styles that float or drop a Chinese freshwater pearl a huge hit — modern, everyday, affordable design.
When searching for new, don’t forget to look for the manufacturers launching new marketing and merchandising in The Plumb Club, like Novell’s digital initiatives. EDB/Aneri also is showing new leather display assortments for its merchandise that Rosenel says is bright and lively, stands out and calls to action, as well as new digital assets.
The New York based silver designer brand Samuel B. is debuting a new wooden display for its bestselling birthstone jewelry program. The 70-unit display is designed with very small footprint, best angle for product viewing, and stocks in 14 popular colors, shares Matthew Behnam.