While there’s no doubt that Americans love their bright white diamonds, nothing else elicits the emotional response of color and colored gemstones. Makers and merchants who embrace color know its appeal, which is why a slew of new collections are putting a variety of shades in the spotlight.

“Color is a tremendous opportunity for retailers,” maintains Monica McDaniel, vice president, Chatham, Inc. “Color creates higher margins and expands your bottom line. It also creates options for your customer. Data shows that by exposing your customers to an assortment of color possibilities, custom sales increase exponentially.” 

Chatham

Beyond morganite encapsulating PANTONE’s 2024 Peach Fuzz, jewelry manufacturers have rainbow-like assortments to cater to every taste. At ODI, smoky quartz is set in yellow gold to complement neutrals, earth tones, greens, and metallics, making it a gem with unmatched diversity.

“Smoky quartz can be dark and moody or warm and natural,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development. “It’s great for night or day, and it’s affordable in larger sizes.”

Other collections that define ODI’s new offerings include multicolor bezel-set gemstone bracelets like the ones seen on Taylor Swift during her New Eras concert tour. Another is ODI’s LoveFire Greenland Ruby Collection and Polar Pink Greenlandic Sapphire Collection, both complete with displays, marketing materials, and books and videos “to help the sales team and the consumers better understand the rarity, provenance and value of the gems,” adds Fletcher.

ODI

Imperial’s new color-rich jewels feature enamel and lab-created blue and pink sapphire and lab-created emerald. It features the lab-growns with pearls in sterling silver offerings to “do something exploratory without a huge investment,” says Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development.

New jewels from Royal Chain feature citrine and mother-of-pearl, and at Shefi Diamonds, aquamarine takes center stage in its Aquabella Collection. At Chatham, Inc., lab-grown chrysoberyl and lab-grown Paraíba-colored spinel debuted in the last year.

Royal Chain

“Lab-grown chrysoberyl is a stunning mint green that pairs nicely in both white and yellow gold,” says McDaniel. “Lab-grown Paraíba-colored spinel is a striking seafoam blue, reminiscent of the gorgeous Paraíba tourmaline color.”

This year, more new colors drop at Chatham, including a lab-grown purple sapphire added to its loose stone color menu.

“We have received a great number of requests for purple sapphire in recent years, McDaniel continues. “We will be adding this new color to our stock items list in all the traditional shapes and sizes.”  Chatham’s lab-grown champagne sapphire, meanwhile, will be incorporated into new designs for spring-summer 2024.

“Styles will be an expansion of our latest collections, which exhibit clean lines, bezel settings, textured metals, and some geometrics,” adds McDaniel. “Shapes will include emerald cut, pear, round, as well as some of Chatham’s exclusive cuts like the onion and flame.”

Shefi

At Lali Jewelry, trunk shows are a great place for the brand to test new options and let clients dive into all available products and discover their own preferences. But heed this tip, insists Perilynn Glasner, marketing and design director: Never assume what the customer would like. “Show them more than what they asked for, and you’ll be surprised to see what piques their interest,” she says.

 

Every December, as many eagerly stock up on presents for loved ones, PANTONE, the color authority, gifts the world an extra-special lagniappe called the Color of the Year. The hue aims to excite consumers about the directional force that color can have and is seen across many categories—from clothes to interior design to accessories. For 2024 the shade is Peach Fuzz, and jewelry manufacturers are hurriedly mapping out the ways they can help retail clients offer appropriate merchandise.

Chatham, Inc.

“Color is a powerful psychological tool that should be used by retailers to convert sales,” says Monica McDaniel, vice president, Chatham, Inc. “Different gemstone colors evoke specific emotions and associations. Understanding this can help market and sell gemstones more effectively.”

PANTONE tells us that Peach Fuzz “is a velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul … capturing our desire to nurture ourselves and others.”

Makers agree with the choice, calling it a good one for all the uncertainty the world is currently experiencing.

McDaniel says that it’s “human nature to seek out things that bring us hope and joy. With its warm and inviting tone, Peach Fuzz is an endearing color that accomplishes just that!”

Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development for ODI, says the Color of the Year “influences everything from textiles to interior design to graphic design and … consumers’ jewelry choices. The Pantone color trend report can be a useful tool when choosing product for your store.”

Shefi Diamonds

Surbhi Jain agrees. “It’s crucial to emphasize its role in driving sales, enhancing brand image, and connecting with the ever-evolving tastes of consumers,” says the marketing director for Shefi Diamonds. “Encouraging retailers to embrace this annual color trend positions them as forward-thinking and responsive to the dynamic landscape of design.”

In terms of product, Peach Fuzz offers many opportunities to match its color and complement others. For starters, nearly every firm interviewed calls morganite a near perfect match for the PANTONE color.

Shefi Diamonds has a Peach Blossom brand featuring morganite in both bridal and fashion styles, and its Cinnamon Dulce collection pairs morganite with champagne diamonds, creating a “harmonious combination,” says Jain.

ODI

Lab-grown gemstone maker Chatham is well prepared for Peach Fuzz requests given its three different shades of champagne-color lab-grown sapphire, one of which has “richly saturated peach dominant undertones,” notes McDaniel. In Chatham’s upper-end Legacy Collection, lab-grown champagne sapphires are set in 18k rose gold. In fact, Chatham even planned to expand offerings in this material before the PANTONE announcement was made.

“We started to see an increased demand for this color preference since this past summer of 2023,” McDaniel continues. It’s a similar story at Imperial, which debuted rose gold, morganite, and freshwater pearls—peachy pink and white—together long before the Color of the Year was a consideration.

They did so because it was pretty, and now Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development, wonders if Peach Fuzz will “reignite interest” in its morganite selections. Regardless, sharing trend information like the Color of the Year “helps establish Imperial as a source retailers can count on not only for pearls,” she explains.

Imperial

Royal Chain, too, is banking on the appeal of rose gold and white freshwater pearls, and is positioning that look as an ideal companion for Peach Fuzz–color gems and accessories.

And while Lali Jewelry’s Perilynn Glasner, marketing and design director, will use Peach Fuzz as a backdrop on social media to make her company’s SKUs—some with complementary shades of aquamarine, blue topaz, and green amethyst—pop, others are keen to pair last year’s shade with this new one.

Fletcher is among the enthused. “Because this year’s color falls right next to last year’s Viva Magenta and almost directly across from 2022’s Very Peri, Peach Fuzz blends nicely with either one,” she explains. “So, if you’re someone who buys into the color every year, you now have some great stacking opportunities.”

America’s love of diamonds isn’t by accident. Mid-20th century marketing efforts from De Beers, including Its “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign and the two-months’ salary guideline for purchasing an engagement ring, have ensured that more than half of all fine jewelry sold in the U.S. features diamonds. Yet as popular as diamonds are, they’re not immune from challenges on the world stage. Two wars—Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas—are affecting how manufacturers obtain and sell the gems, while lab-grown diamond manufacturing is the ultimate market disruptor, causing prices of both mined and lab-made diamonds to fluctuate wildly as of late. Below, we unpack the facts about these situations and offer a snapshot of the newest diamond jewels available to collectors.

Diamond Difficulties?

Two major diamond centers—Russia and Israel—are in the grip of turmoil for different reasons that are equally disturbing to international jewelry markets. Sanctions against Russia and a looming ban on Russian-origin diamonds exceeding 1 carat in size have forced firms to scrutinize their diamond sourcing while cut and polished diamonds out of Israel have sometimes faced delays.

Jasani

Diamond imports from Russia have been banned in the U.S. since 2022, though those cut and polished in other countries have still gotten through because of the substantial transformation clause set in place by the government. The goal of that measure was to give time to businesses to find new sources.

Recent plans from industry groups aim to carry out the wishes of nations belonging to the Group of Seven (G7), which are determined to ban Russian diamonds entirely. And in an early December meeting, G7 members revealed they would introduce “import restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia, by January 1, 2024, followed by more phased restrictions on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries targeting March 1, 2024.”

Further, G7 members who import large volumes of rough diamonds must establish “a robust traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds within the G7 by September 1, 2024.”

Some big players in U.S. jewelry manufacturing have been fielding compliance inquiries from select clients.

                                                             Novell

“Many of our customers are insisting on stones which are not of Russian origin,” says Lachish Awad, manager of customer service at Jasani.

As a sightholder, KGS Jewels obtains most of its diamonds from De Beers’ sources, including a new manufacturing facility in Botswana. Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, says the Russia issue isn’t really affecting KGS’s business, though questions do periodically arise from clients. “They ask if we are in compliance to make sure they are protected,” he says.

For Shefi Diamonds, the Russia-origin question is even less of an issue. “The majority of the diamonds we use are sourced from Australia and then cut in India,” explains Surbhi Jain, head of marketing. “Therefore, the potential impact on our operations is somewhat mitigated by the diversified nature of our supply chain.”

ODI/Original Designs

And given that Novell “isn’t in the center stone business,” says sales manager Rick Mulholland—Novell makes wedding bands—both wars have had minimal impact on operations. Similarly, Awad, who sources from Israel, a hub for cutting important stones, is relieved that his business, too, hasn’t (yet) been affected.

According to some interviewees, bigger issues than these wars—if you can believe it—exist in pricing and driving home the desirability of diamonds.

“The uncertainty surrounding diamond prices and the upward trend in gold prices may pose challenges for our business,” says Shefi Diamonds’ Jain.

For Sandeep Shah, president of Sandeep Diamond, the dearth of consumer marketing to inspire diamond desire is a larger problem.

“There is a lack of creation of desire from the miners, retailers, and wholesaler—all of the stakeholders in the diamond and jewelry industry,” he says. “[The industry] is alienating consumers by not doing enough to attract them to stores to buy diamond jewelry—mined or lab grown.”

Trending Designs

Complicated pricing and origin issues aside, customers seek out stores for fresh diamond jewelry looks. Manufacturers and supplier partners rarely disappoint in this arena, turning out many an innovative diamond-encrusted design. And based on insights just shared by The Plumb Club community, next season’s styles are already shaping up to be memorable ones.

For starters, manufacturers who take the annual trek to the VicenzaOro fair in Italy in January routinely find artistry and craftsmanship from the country inspiring. Both Jasani and KGS Jewels sent teams to the fair in January 2023 to see the newness. Standouts included textured collections—“Textures were in the majority of designs,” says Lachish Awad, Jasani’s manager of customer service—and bezel-set diamonds as well as initial pendants. KGS’s Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, recalls the importance of rope and beaded designs in yellow gold, which he expects retailers to embrace in 2024.

Lali Jewels

As far as motifs, insects are still trending, as are geometric shapes, minimalist styles, spiritual influences, and flora and animals. Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI, is debuting a CoExist collection for 2024 that includes “universal symbols of peace, enlightenment, and balance along with religious icons,” she says.

She didn’t need to look far for inspiration—simply turning on the news was reason enough to create this inspiring collection.

“The designs are not only about personal expression, but also symbols of connection, commonality, and community,” she adds.

At KGS, ladybugs and dragonflies are in favor, but not this winged creature: the butterfly. It’s been trending heavily for some time now, so a break is in order. “We’re going to stay away from them,” Bachu notes.

And while not a trend, something his firm will explore is event-driven collections. Say, for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the like. Options include diamond bracelets for Mom, diamond pendants for sweethearts, and diamond cufflinks for Dad, among other possibilities.

“We want to develop collections that directly speak to consumers on these occasions,” he says. “While we’re making jewelry all year round, customers are buying for those specific times.”

Retailer and end user feedback drive other decisions. Based on this input at Ostbye, Sparkle Lane was born. It’s a diamond-set sterling silver line of whimsical yet classic touches like fluted accents. “We worked with a few of our top retailers and created this based on their suggestions,” observes Theresa Namie, merchandise manager.

Other top-of-mind design trends include bold gold, diamond hoops, signet rings, and medallion-style pendants. In the gender-neutral department, styling is masculine but smaller than men’s pieces and includes dog tags, chunky link bracelets, and huggie earrings.

Prices, too, have an influence on collection directions. For example, the decreasing prices of mined and lab-grown diamonds are causing manufacturers like Jasani’s Awad to lower their diamond jewelry prices. “Corrections are also in process for past collections,” he says.

         Jasani

And with the price of gold increasing, daintier styles are inevitable. Plus, platinum prices have never been so attractive—especially when compared to gold. That’s why ODI is answering their retailer’s call for classic platinum designs with mined diamonds (think hearts, crosses, and anniversary bands among other styles).

Another category that’s trending for the manufacturer? Luxury silver and diamond pieces like Cuban links pavéd in rocks.

Finally, with lab-grown diamond prices in a freefall, the relative calm of the mined diamond space—minus a less-triggering price drop phenomenon—presents an opportunity for wedding jewelry maker Novell. Sales manager Rick Mulholland points to its Diamond Delite Collection of machine-set diamond numbers, with appealing styling and the intrigue of the natural diamond story.

“Each diamond carries a unique narrative, often born from a remote mining location, and can be passed down through generations,” he says. “This rich history and heritage can significantly elevate the value of a natural diamond.”  

Lab Grown Landscape

Prices are fluctuating in the diamond market for both mined and lab-growns. As awareness of man-made diamonds spreads and intrigues consumers, availability and better qualities have mushroomed, spreading faster through the market than a California wildfire. This scenario has led to drastic lab-grown price drops, as typically happens with the evolution of any new technology and paved the way for a decrease in mined-diamond desire among consumers, according to some manufacturers. Once shoppers learned that they could spend less for a bigger, more beautiful lab-grown diamond, prices on mined diamonds dropped, too.

To Sandeep Shah, president of Sandeep Diamond, the price of mined diamonds is inconsequential. The bigger issue, he says, is diminished demand at the retail level for mined diamonds “coupled with the cannibalization of mined-diamond demand by lab-growns,” he says.

Shefi Diamonds

Others agree, including David Gaynes, vice president of sales at Indigo Jewelry, and Surbhi Jain, head of marketing at Shefi Diamonds.

“The emergence and growth of the lab-grown diamond sector has introduced a level of instability to the overall diamond market,” says Jain.

KGS’ Jewels’ Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, has a firm grasp of the mined-versus-lab-grown landscape. Lab-growns give consumers a bigger bang for their buck, and retailers can make a healthy profit. And the mall merchants who stock his lab-grown diamond jewelry are seeing twentysomething shoppers coming into stores to buy.

“They normally shop on Blue Nile, James Allen, or Brilliant Earth, but they’re going into mall jewelers now because of lab-growns,” observes Bachu. “A consumer can get a 2 ct. lab-grown for the price of a small natural; they’re not thinking about what it will be worth in two years. Older customers love lab-growns because they can buy a ring and still take a trip.”

Shah agrees. “This is a consumer-driven business,” he says. “Clients dictate what sells.”

As far as pricing, there’s no doubt that lab-growns and jewelry set with them have dropped, but their “retail prices have not dropped as much as wholesale prices on a percentage basis,” says Gaynes.

Jeffrey Cohen, president of Craft Lab Grown Diamonds, agrees. “Over the next 12–18 months, I expect the gap between wholesale and retail prices to shrink, meaning we will see significant price decreases at the retail level,” he says.

       Ostbye

In terms of volume sold, that situation is a different story, says Lachish Awad, manager of customer service at Jasani. “While sales of mined diamond jewelry have fallen, sales of lab-grown diamonds have increased,” he says.

Because of this volatility, manufacturers like Ostbye are leaning more into mined diamond designs.

“It’s easier to maintain the pricing for our retailers,” says Theresa Namie, merchandise manager. “Price is our biggest factor, as it fluctuates so much, making it harder for the retailer to invest in lab-grown diamonds.”

ODI, too, is sticking with naturals. First, the firm believes in the intrinsic value of mined diamonds and their value to source communities when responsibly obtained. Second, ODI wants to ensure that the consumer has the best information available to make an informed purchasing decision.

Cohen, a supporter of both mined and natural diamonds, knows there’s a place for both.

“It has always been our strategy to sell either mined or lab grown based upon each’s unique selling proposition and strengths,” he says. “There are great opportunities available for both, as long as approached the ‘right’ way.”

 

Complicated pricing and origin issues aside, customers seek out stores for fresh diamond jewelry looks. Manufacturers and supplier partners rarely disappoint in this arena, turning out many an innovative diamond-encrusted design. And based on insights just shared by The Plumb Club community, next season’s styles are already shaping up to be memorable ones.

For starters, manufacturers who take the annual trek to the VicenzaOro fair in Italy in January routinely find artistry and craftsmanship from the country inspiring. Both Jasani and KGS Jewels sent teams to the fair in January 2023 to see the newness. Standouts included textured collections—“Textures were in the majority of designs,” says Lachish Awad, Jasani’s manager of customer service—and bezel-set diamonds as well as initial pendants. KGS’s Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, recalls the importance of rope and beaded designs in yellow gold, which he expects retailers to embrace in 2024.

Lali Jewels

As far as motifs, insects are still trending, as are geometric shapes, minimalist styles, spiritual influences, and flora and animals. Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI, is debuting a CoExist collection for 2024 that includes “universal symbols of peace, enlightenment, and balance along with religious icons,” she says.

She didn’t need to look far for inspiration—simply turning on the news was reason enough to create this inspiring collection.

“The designs are not only about personal expression, but also symbols of connection, commonality, and community,” she adds.

At KGS, ladybugs and dragonflies are in favor, but not this winged creature: the butterfly. It’s been trending heavily for some time now, so a break is in order. “We’re going to stay away from them,” Bachu notes.

And while not a trend, something his firm will explore is event-driven collections. Say, for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the like. Options include diamond bracelets for Mom, diamond pendants for sweethearts, and diamond cufflinks for Dad, among other possibilities.

“We want to develop collections that directly speak to consumers on these occasions,” he says. “While we’re making jewelry all year round, customers are buying for those specific times.”

Retailer and end user feedback drive other decisions. Based on this input at Ostbye, Sparkle Lane was born. It’s a diamond-set sterling silver line of whimsical yet classic touches like fluted accents. “We worked with a few of our top retailers and created this based on their suggestions,” observes Theresa Namie, merchandise manager.

Other top-of-mind design trends include bold gold, diamond hoops, signet rings, and medallion-style pendants. In the gender-neutral department, styling is masculine but smaller than men’s pieces and includes dog tags, chunky link bracelets, and huggie earrings.

Prices, too, have an influence on collection directions. For example, the decreasing prices of mined and lab-grown diamonds are causing manufacturers like Jasani’s Awad to lower their diamond jewelry prices.

“Corrections are also in process for past collections,” he says.

         Jasani

And with the price of gold increasing, daintier styles are inevitable. Plus, platinum prices have never been so attractive—especially when compared to gold. That’s why ODI is answering their retailer’s call for classic platinum designs with mined diamonds (think hearts, crosses, and anniversary bands among other styles).

Another category that’s trending for the manufacturer? Luxury silver and diamond pieces like Cuban links pavéd in rocks.

Finally, with lab-grown diamond prices in a freefall, the relative calm of the mined diamond space—minus a less-triggering price drop phenomenon—presents an opportunity for wedding jewelry maker Novell. Sales manager Rick Mulholland points to its Diamond Delite Collection of machine-set diamond numbers, with appealing styling and the intrigue of the natural diamond story.

“Each diamond carries a unique narrative, often born from a remote mining location, and can be passed down through generations,” he says. “This rich history and heritage can significantly elevate the value of a natural diamond.”  

Prices are fluctuating in the diamond market for both mined and lab-growns. As awareness of man-made diamonds spreads and intrigues consumers, availability and better qualities have mushroomed, spreading faster through the market than a California wildfire. This scenario has led to drastic lab-grown price drops, as typically happens with the evolution of any new technology and paved the way for a decrease in mined-diamond desire among consumers, according to some manufacturers. Once shoppers learned that they could spend less for a bigger, more beautiful lab-grown diamond, prices on mined diamonds dropped, too.

To Sandeep Shah, president of Sandeep Diamond, the price of mined diamonds is inconsequential. The bigger issue, he says, is diminished demand at the retail level for mined diamonds “coupled with the cannibalization of mined-diamond demand by lab-growns,” he says.

Shefi Diamonds

Others agree, including David Gaynes, vice president of sales at Indigo Jewelry, and Surbhi Jain, head of marketing at Shefi Diamonds.

“The emergence and growth of the lab-grown diamond sector has introduced a level of instability to the overall diamond market,” says Jain.

KGS’ Jewels’ Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, has a firm grasp of the mined-versus-lab-grown landscape. Lab-growns give consumers a bigger bang for their buck, and retailers can make a healthy profit. And the mall merchants who stock his lab-grown diamond jewelry are seeing twentysomething shoppers coming into stores to buy.

“They normally shop on Blue Nile, James Allen, or Brilliant Earth, but they’re going into mall jewelers now because of lab-growns,” observes Bachu. “A consumer can get a 2 ct. lab-grown for the price of a small natural; they’re not thinking about what it will be worth in two years. Older customers love lab-growns because they can buy a ring and still take a trip.”

Shah agrees. “This is a consumer-driven business,” he says. “Clients dictate what sells.”

As far as pricing, there’s no doubt that lab-growns and jewelry set with them have dropped, but their “retail prices have not dropped as much as wholesale prices on a percentage basis,” says Gaynes.

Jeffrey Cohen, president of Craft Lab Grown Diamonds, agrees. “Over the next 12–18 months, I expect the gap between wholesale and retail prices to shrink, meaning we will see significant price decreases at the retail level,” he says.

In terms of volume sold, that situation is a different story, says Lachish Awad, manager of customer service at Jasani. “While sales of mined diamond jewelry have fallen, sales of lab-grown diamonds have increased,” he says.

Because of this volatility, manufacturers like Ostbye are leaning more into mined diamond designs.

“It’s easier to maintain the pricing for our retailers,” says Theresa Namie, merchandise manager. “Price is our biggest factor, as it fluctuates so much, making it harder for the retailer to invest in lab-grown diamonds.”

       Ostbye

ODI, too, is sticking with naturals. First, the firm believes in the intrinsic value of mined diamonds and their value to source communities when responsibly obtained. Second, ODI wants to ensure that the consumer has the best information available to make an informed purchasing decision.

Cohen, a supporter of both mined and natural diamonds, knows there’s a place for both.

“It has always been our strategy to sell either mined or lab grown based upon each’s unique selling proposition and strengths,” he says. “There are great opportunities available for both, as long as approached the ‘right’ way.”

Two major diamond centers—Russia and Israel—are in the grip of turmoil for different reasons that are equally disturbing to international jewelry markets. Sanctions against Russia and a looming ban on Russian-origin diamonds exceeding 1 carat in size have forced firms to scrutinize their diamond sourcing while cut and polished diamonds out of Israel have sometimes faced delays.

Jasani

Diamond imports from Russia have been banned in the U.S. since 2022, though those cut and polished in other countries have still gotten through because of the substantial transformation clause set in place by the government. The goal of that measure was to give time to businesses to find new sources.

Recent plans from industry groups aim to carry out the wishes of nations belonging to the Group of Seven (G7), which are determined to ban Russian diamonds entirely. And in an early December meeting, G7 members revealed they would introduce “import restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia, by January 1, 2024, followed by more phased restrictions on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries targeting March 1, 2024.”

Further, G7 members who import large volumes of rough diamonds must establish “a robust traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds within the G7 by September 1, 2024.”

Some big players in U.S. jewelry manufacturing have been fielding compliance inquiries from select clients.

                                                             Novell

“Many of our customers are insisting on stones which are not of Russian origin,” says Lachish Awad, manager of customer service at Jasani.

As a sightholder, KGS Jewels obtains most of its diamonds from De Beers’ sources, including a new manufacturing facility in Botswana. Richard Bachu, vice president of sales, says the Russia issue isn’t really affecting KGS’s business, though questions do periodically arise from clients. “They ask if we are in compliance to make sure they are protected,” he says.

For Shefi Diamonds, the Russia-origin question is even less of an issue. “The majority of the diamonds we use are sourced from Australia and then cut in India,” explains Surbhi Jain, head of marketing. “Therefore, the potential impact on our operations is somewhat mitigated by the diversified nature of our supply chain.”

And given that Novell “isn’t in the center stone business,” says sales manager Rick Mulholland—Novell makes wedding bands—both wars have had minimal impact on operations. Similarly, Awad, who sources from Israel, a hub for cutting important stones, is relieved that his business, too, hasn’t (yet) been affected.

According to some interviewees, bigger issues than these wars—if you can believe it—exist in pricing and driving home the desirability of diamonds.

ODI/Original Designs

“The uncertainty surrounding diamond prices and the upward trend in gold prices may pose challenges for our business,” says Shefi Diamonds’ Jain.

For Sandeep Shah, president of Sandeep Diamond, the dearth of consumer marketing to inspire diamond desire is a larger problem.

“There is a lack of creation of desire from the miners, retailers, and wholesaler—all of the stakeholders in the diamond and jewelry industry,” he says. “[The industry] is alienating consumers by not doing enough to attract them to stores to buy diamond jewelry—mined or lab grown.”

Looking ahead to 2024, there’s a lot for jewelers to consider. What will change, what’s important for merchants to know, and what can we lose in the new year (beyond those elusive 10 pounds)? Inspiration and craftsmanship are the soul of most jewelry businesses, but business insights certainly don’t hurt. To wit, manufacturers for some of the world’s biggest merchants weigh in on what’s on their minds for next year. Topics include trends, cutting-edge tech tools clients should know and possibly utilize, and the ongoing importance of offering perfectly personalized gifts—or at least plenty of options for self-purchasers to adequately express themselves. Enjoy a robust new year of sales!

A Toast to Trends

A new year calls for a fresh trend forecast, and there are a lot of predictions surfacing in major manufacturers’ crystal balls. From color trends to design directions, makers have a lot of ideas for you to unpack and ponder for 2024 sales.

                                     

First, consider metal trends—yellow gold is soaring back into style. Whether jewels be karat gold or gold-over-silver, the rich natural hue of gold is a total vibe among shoppers. In vermeil, value seekers can get a “large fashion piece with a diamond accent at an affordable price,” notes Jennifer Dressing, executive vice president of product development and merchandising for KP Sanghvi. The diamond jewelry maker has a slew of new offerings featuring florals, pyramid motifs, and plenty of bangles.

Others also see the yellow gold movement. Surbhi Jain, marketing director, Shefi Diamonds, calls its emergence “a cyclical pattern that occurs every few years.”

Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs, maintains that her buyers want gold in its most natural hue—“rich, radiant, and yellow.” Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye, agrees. “Yellow gold will continue to be strong as well as two-tone looks.”

On the flip side, Fletcher also sees platinum as being desired. “It’s naturally white and doesn’t require plating,” she adds about the rarest precious metal.

In gemstone colors, any shade of blue still moves, while others are predicting vibrant shades of green, teal, orange, and purple based on fall 2023 runway couture shows.

“In gemstones, we foresee emerald will be a standout as well as amethyst, aquamarine, and citrine in all shades,” says Namie. “We anticipate having new color designs by June 2024.”

Lali Jewels execs, meanwhile, are banking on pastel shades. “Yellow metal and pastel gems complement each other,” says Perilynn Glasner, marketing and design director. “We feel that aquamarine, morganite, green amethyst, and ametrine will be popular.”

In the wedding jewelry category, high-end classic styles and quasi-custom numbers should continue moving. Shefi Diamonds views its elevated classics, including center stone size-enhancing halos, as the “perfect blend of classic and contemporary,” according to Jain.

Ostbye’s Namie is unveiling new bridal styles executed to the exact specifications of her merchants. “Retailers have been asking for classic bridal and expanded designs in our wraps and inserts so brides can make a unique set without having to go custom,” she says.

And Imperial Pearl recently unveiled a wedding-inspired campaign that positions its fave gem as the ideal gift for brides and bridesmaids.

The “She said yes, now celebrate with pearls” campaign features two curated collections and “stunning displays,” says Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development.

           

“We’re encouraging retailers to merchandise the collections close to their engagement and wedding rings. We’ll build on this in 2024 with more limited collections and targeted social advertising.”

And though the lab-grown diamond (LGD) industry has been volatile, manufacturers still see a special place for the product: in fashion. Shah Luxury principal Neil Shah talks about high-profile jewelers who’ve bedazzled Air Jordans in diamonds as a perfect place for LGDs to shine.

“Whether in shoes or other accessories, there are all kinds of ways for lab-growns to collaborate with other parts of culture,” he says. “I think fashion will be big with lab-growns. I’ve not seen it yet, but over the next year or two, we could see it. Culture is trending toward more self-expression. The point of jewelry is self-expression, and that’s now happening with street wear and sneakers. Jewelry needs to be reconnected to that market.”

 

High Tech Tools

Technology is a jeweler’s secret weapon for making incredible designs for consumers to covet. While most shoppers will never know about the amount of research and development and training needed to execute the most complicated designs, some important manufacturers are relying on technological advances that should be on your radar.

For starters, in the realm of production, some large outfits lean on direct resin casting (DRC) to produce custom jobs quickly and at a lower cost.

“Here we skip the model-making process and take the design from CAD straight to casting,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs. “Another benefit is that you can do much more intricate and complex designs, which would be difficult or impossible to do using a traditional mold and achieve more detailed surface finishes. DRC has revolutionized our bracelet business, because we can print a whole bracelet, already linked. This eliminates assembly and soldering, keeping the finish impeccable.”

More magic happens by way of custom numerical control or CNC machines that cut metal tubes or plates into any form.  Among them: machined bands, name necklaces, designs with negative space, and intricate patterns.

“Since there is no casting involved, finishes are sharp, clean, and virtually porosity free,” adds Fletcher.

Shah Luxury built a platform of tools for customization, including 3D visualization, 360-degree views, virtual try-on capabilities, hologram visualization features, and a “phygital” (blending digital experiences with physical ones) ring builder experience.

“We did that because we wanted to engage consumers and eliminate the fear in the customization process,” says company principal Neil Shah.

                                                          

Another new project? An AI design studio. “It’s getting a strong response,” he adds. “It inspires ideas.”

For Richline Group, 3D printing eliminates “two or three different production steps,” says Moss Makhoulian, senior vice president. “[3D printing] is great for sculpted or carved items or intricate pieces with fine details.”

Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye, relies on The Edge software to provide relevant product information to her retailers. Another huge benefit of using The Edge? Knowing exactly what’s selling through. “We have linked with The Edge to provide our customers that use their program an advantage to their inventory control,” she says.

Custom wholesale websites, too, created for retailers to quickly order collections, are top of mind at The Kingswood Company, maker of the Clean + Care line of jewelry cleaners and accessories.

ccording to Heather Brown, vice president of content and editorial, consumer demand for jewelry care and cleaning kits is growing—a fact that prompted the jewelry care kit maker to make an easy-to-navigate experience for merchants to obtain new offerings or best sellers. Through user-friendly site navigation and the brand’s own beautiful aesthetic, the website “differentiates Clean + Care from other jewelry care brands,” she says.

Finally, sometimes an innovative setting is the only technological innovation that matters, especially for beautiful jewelry. Consider the SkySet collection of diamond jewelry from IDD Luxe, which has a proprietary floating effect that offers unobstructed diamond views and up to 70% more visible surface area.

“The technological advancements in this collection invite more light to flow through the diamonds,” explains Julian Purifoy, marketing manager. “The SkySetting eliminates the need for prongs and allows for a larger diamond surface area with openings on the sides and bottom of the stone.”

 

Getting Personal

Jewelry speaks volumes without saying a word, which is why it’s considered a highly personal gift to give. Not knowing a recipient’s interests or taste can backfire in a big way on well-intentioned givers; gift or not, nobody want to feel obligated to wear a piece that doesn’t reflect his or her personal style.

Thankfully, jewelry experts have some tips to avoid gifting mishaps. Start by pondering everything you know about the recipient before you set foot in a store. It sounds elementary—and it is—but too few gift givers truly consider the recipient before making a purchase.

Knowing a person’s birthday is a good first step. Knowledge of this paves the way for one of a jeweler’s most popular categories—birthstone jewelry. Merchants typically load up on these styles because they’re a strong seller, a point that both Ostbye and ODI/Original Designs know well.

“The birthstone collections can easily stack together so you can make a unique stackable ring that tells the story of those you love,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs.

Depending on the quality of stones used as well as the manufacturing process, birthstone jewels appeal equally to entry-level and high-end shoppers and every character on earth. “Our birthstone collection can fit any personality,” confirms Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye.

Next in popularity are jewels with symbolism, messages, or engravable elements. Think signet rings, bracelets with engravable bars, medallions with religious icons, or beloved motifs like a person’s favorite flower. Charms fall into this arena as well, given they’re accessible and easy to add to year after year.

                                                       

At Ostbye, Namie sees initials, animals, and starbursts as best sellers as well as diamond-accented message jewels from its Diamond Diva collection in sterling silver.

The Richline Group has a deep inventory of Hispanic-inspired jewels and charms for its big-box merchants, while Shah Luxury has built up an inventory in engravable offerings and has a wide capacity to accommodate total custom jobs.

Shah Luxury principal, Neil Shah, says that customers love to put their own ideas into finished jewelry forms. A case in point: the client who put the design of the back half of his Lamborghini on the shoulder of a ring. Others featured deceased pets on pendants, meaningful mountain ranges, and even the silhouette of a Stradivarius viola on an engagement ring.

“Consumers love making their mark in a design and picking elements that are significant to them,” he says.

At ODI/Original Designs, there are many ways to make jewels extra special and unique to recipients or wearers. Clients can laser engrave super-personalized looks like thumbprints or words and messages. Custom CAD designs are another option, as are styles from sentimental jewelry collections like its “I Love You to the Moon & Back.”

“It’s a universal expression of love that can be used in a variety of relationships, from romantic to familial to platonic,” says Fletcher. “Its versatility makes it a popular choice for gift giving.”

Its Enhanceables collection is another clever offering, featuring 3-in-1 pendants that can be shared between two people and worn three different ways on one person.

Finally, custom nameplates cut by custom numerical control, or CNC, machines can spell out a moniker or even an entire signature. Creating school sports jewelry, logos, or even beloved charitable references are another easy way to let wearers know that you know what they like.

“I wouldn’t say personalization is as important as self-expression,” says Fletcher. “But making a statement with symbols, colors, and textures is more prominent now.”

Jewelry speaks volumes without saying a word, which is why it’s considered a highly personal gift to give. Not knowing a recipient’s interests or taste can backfire in a big way on well-intentioned givers; gift or not, nobody want to feel obligated to wear a piece that doesn’t reflect his or her personal style.

ODI /Original Designs

Thankfully, jewelry experts have some tips to avoid gifting mishaps. Start by pondering everything you know about the recipient before you set foot in a store. It sounds elementary—and it is—but too few gift givers truly consider the recipient before making a purchase.

Knowing a person’s birthday is a good first step. Knowledge of this paves the way for one of a jeweler’s most popular categories—birthstone jewelry. Merchants typically load up on these styles because they’re a strong seller, a point that both Ostbye and ODI/Original Designs know well.

“The birthstone collections can easily stack together so you can make a unique stackable ring that tells the story of those you love,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs.

Depending on the quality of stones used as well as the manufacturing process, birthstone jewels appeal equally to entry-level and high-end shoppers and every character on earth. “Our birthstone collection can fit any personality,” confirms Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye.

Next in popularity are jewels with symbolism, messages, or engravable elements. Think signet rings, bracelets with engravable bars, medallions with religious icons, or beloved motifs like a person’s favorite flower. Charms fall into this arena as well, given they’re accessible and easy to add to year after year.

                                                       Ostbye

At Ostbye, Namie sees initials, animals, and starbursts as best sellers as well as diamond-accented message jewels from its Diamond Diva collection in sterling silver.

The Richline Group has a deep inventory of Hispanic-inspired jewels and charms for its big-box merchants, while Shah Luxury has built up an inventory in engravable offerings and has a wide capacity to accommodate total custom jobs.

Shah Luxury principal, Neil Shah, says that customers love to put their own ideas into finished jewelry forms. A case in point: the client who put the design of the back half of his Lamborghini on the shoulder of a ring. Others featured deceased pets on pendants, meaningful mountain ranges, and even the silhouette of a Stradivarius viola on an engagement ring.

“Consumers love making their mark in a design and picking elements that are significant to them,” he says.

At ODI/Original Designs, there are many ways to make jewels extra special and unique to recipients or wearers. Clients can laser engrave super-personalized looks like thumbprints or words and messages. Custom CAD designs are another option, as are styles from sentimental jewelry collections like its “I Love You to the Moon & Back.”

“It’s a universal expression of love that can be used in a variety of relationships, from romantic to familial to platonic,” says Fletcher. “Its versatility makes it a popular choice for gift giving.”

The Richline Group

Its Enhanceables collection is another clever offering, featuring 3-in-1 pendants that can be shared between two people and worn three different ways on one person.

Finally, custom nameplates cut by custom numerical control, or CNC, machines can spell out a moniker or even an entire signature. Creating school sports jewelry, logos, or even beloved charitable references are another easy way to let wearers know that you know what they like.

“I wouldn’t say personalization is as important as self-expression,” says Fletcher. “But making a statement with symbols, colors, and textures is more prominent now.”

 

Technology is a jeweler’s secret weapon for making incredible designs for consumers to covet. While most shoppers will never know about the amount of research and development and training needed to execute the most complicated designs, some important manufacturers are relying on technological advances that should be on your radar.

For starters, in the realm of production, some large outfits lean on direct resin casting (DRC) to produce custom jobs quickly and at a lower cost.

ODI / Original Designs

“Here we skip the model-making process and take the design from CAD straight to casting,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs. “Another benefit is that you can do much more intricate and complex designs, which would be difficult or impossible to do using a traditional mold and achieve more detailed surface finishes. DRC has revolutionized our bracelet business, because we can print a whole bracelet, already linked. This eliminates assembly and soldering, keeping the finish impeccable.”

More magic happens by way of custom numerical control or CNC machines that cut metal tubes or plates into any form.  Among them: machined bands, name necklaces, designs with negative space, and intricate patterns.

“Since there is no casting involved, finishes are sharp, clean, and virtually porosity free,” adds Fletcher.

Shah Luxury built a platform of tools for customization, including 3D visualization, 360-degree views, virtual try-on capabilities, hologram visualization features, and a “phygital” (blending digital experiences with physical ones) ring builder experience.

“We did that because we wanted to engage consumers and eliminate the fear in the customization process,” says company principal Neil Shah.

                                                          Ostbye

Another new project? An AI design studio. “It’s getting a strong response,” he adds. “It inspires ideas.”

For Richline Group, 3D printing eliminates “two or three different production steps,” says Moss Makhoulian, senior vice president. “[3D printing] is great for sculpted or carved items or intricate pieces with fine details.”

Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye, relies on The Edge software to provide relevant product information to her retailers. Another huge benefit of using The Edge? Knowing exactly what’s selling through. “We have linked with The Edge to provide our customers that use their program an advantage to their inventory control,” she says.

Custom wholesale websites, too, created for retailers to quickly order collections, are top of mind at The Kingswood Company, maker of the Clean + Care line of jewelry cleaners and accessories.

The Kingswood Company

According to Heather Brown, vice president of content and editorial, consumer demand for jewelry care and cleaning kits is growing—a fact that prompted the jewelry care kit maker to make an easy-to-navigate experience for merchants to obtain new offerings or best sellers. Through user-friendly site navigation and the brand’s own beautiful aesthetic, the website “differentiates Clean + Care from other jewelry care brands,” she says.

Finally, sometimes an innovative setting is the only technological innovation that matters, especially for beautiful jewelry. Consider the SkySet collection of diamond jewelry from IDD Luxe, which has a proprietary floating effect that offers unobstructed diamond views and up to 70% more visible surface area.

“The technological advancements in this collection invite more light to flow through the diamonds,” explains Julian Purifoy, marketing manager. “The SkySetting eliminates the need for prongs and allows for a larger diamond surface area with openings on the sides and bottom of the stone.”

A new year calls for a fresh trend forecast, and there are a lot of predictions surfacing in major manufacturers’ crystal balls. From color trends to design directions, makers have a lot of ideas for you to unpack and ponder for 2024 sales.

                                     KP Sanghvi

First, consider metal trends—yellow gold is soaring back into style. Whether jewels be karat gold or gold-over-silver, the rich natural hue of gold is a total vibe among shoppers. In vermeil, value seekers can get a “large fashion piece with a diamond accent at an affordable price,” notes Jennifer Dressing, executive vice president of product development and merchandising for KP Sanghvi. The diamond jewelry maker has a slew of new offerings featuring florals, pyramid motifs, and plenty of bangles.

Others also see the yellow gold movement. Surbhi Jain, marketing director, Shefi Diamonds, calls its emergence “a cyclical pattern that occurs every few years.”

Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI/Original Designs, maintains that her buyers want gold in its most natural hue—“rich, radiant, and yellow.” Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye, agrees. “Yellow gold will continue to be strong as well as two-tone looks.”

On the flip side, Fletcher also sees platinum as being desired. “It’s naturally white and doesn’t require plating,” she adds about the rarest precious metal.

In gemstone colors, any shade of blue still moves, while others are predicting vibrant shades of green, teal, orange, and purple based on fall 2023 runway couture shows.

Lali Jewels

“In gemstones, we foresee emerald will be a standout as well as amethyst, aquamarine, and citrine in all shades,” says Namie. “We anticipate having new color designs by June 2024.”

Lali Jewels execs, meanwhile, are banking on pastel shades. “Yellow metal and pastel gems complement each other,” says Perilynn Glasner, marketing and design director. “We feel that aquamarine, morganite, green amethyst, and ametrine will be popular.”

In the wedding jewelry category, high-end classic styles and quasi-custom numbers should continue moving. Shefi Diamonds views its elevated classics, including center stone size-enhancing halos, as the “perfect blend of classic and contemporary,” according to Jain.

Ostbye’s Namie is unveiling new bridal styles executed to the exact specifications of her merchants. “Retailers have been asking for classic bridal and expanded designs in our wraps and inserts so brides can make a unique set without having to go custom,” she says.

And Imperial Pearl recently unveiled a wedding-inspired campaign that positions its fave gem as the ideal gift for brides and bridesmaids.

The “She said yes, now celebrate with pearls” campaign features two curated collections and “stunning displays,” says Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development.

           Imperial Pearl

“We’re encouraging retailers to merchandise the collections close to their engagement and wedding rings. We’ll build on this in 2024 with more limited collections and targeted social advertising.”

And though the lab-grown diamond (LGD) industry has been volatile, manufacturers still see a special place for the product: in fashion. Shah Luxury principal Neil Shah talks about high-profile jewelers who’ve bedazzled Air Jordans in diamonds as a perfect place for LGDs to shine.

“Whether in shoes or other accessories, there are all kinds of ways for lab-growns to collaborate with other parts of culture,” he says. “I think fashion will be big with lab-growns. I’ve not seen it yet, but over the next year or two, we could see it. Culture is trending toward more self-expression. The point of jewelry is self-expression, and that’s now happening with street wear and sneakers. Jewelry needs to be reconnected to that market.”