Spring Giving 2024

As the industry welcomes spring, it’s also the time when manufacturers debut new treasures for special celebrations. Think moms, dads, grads, brides, grooms, and anyone with a birthday in April, May, or June! Spring gifting occasions drive the sale of many a pendant, bracelet, and pearl, and these can be found in stores by the time crocuses bud.

“This spring, we are introducing products with a feminine touch specifically designed for Mother’s Day as well as a variety of masculine rings tailored for men,” explains PeriLynn Glasner, design and marketing director at Lali Jewels.

Graduates can expect to be on the receiving end of some similarly stylish jewels, including personalized gifts, meaningful symbols, or basics that they’ll wear with everything at first, followed by layered looks of additional jewelry acquisitions as careers progress and tastes and desires evolve. Surely pearls, the gem of kings and queens, will have a place in these gifts, which manufacturers have thoughtfully prepared for the spring buying season. Read on to learn what makers and large merchants will have in stores for shoppers.

Pearl Trends Now

A lustrous spotlight remains on pearl jewelry. From runways to retailers’ cases, pearls remain desirable and modern thanks to innovators in the category. Among them are Mastoloni and Imperial, both longtime producers of value-oriented cultured pearl designs.

Both makers say earrings are a perennial favorite in 6–7 mm freshwater or akoya varieties. Buyers acquire a fairly even mix of them—50% akoya and 50% freshwater.

“Pearl studs are like the LBD (little black dress) of jewelry—everybody wants them, and everybody needs them,” maintains Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development for Imperial.

Ray Mastoloni, co-owner of the eponymous firm, agrees while pointing out another key sales attribute. “They always fit!” he says.

Mastoloni Pearls

Subhi Jain, marketing director of Shefi Diamonds, sees them in a similar vein. “Pendants and earrings are ideal gifts because they eliminate the need to guess the recipient’s finger size,” she says.

When price is an issue, buyers opt for freshwater pearls, which Mastoloni calls an “exceptional value.”

“Their affordability combined with their enduring beauty makes freshwater pearls a top choice for jewelry enthusiasts seeking elegance without compromising on quality,” he adds.

Jain goes as far as to call them “valuable treasures thanks to technological advancements.” She’s talking about bead-nucleated cultured freshwater pearls, which because of their identical culturing process to South Sea pearls, “boast unparalleled size, exquisite finishes, and remarkable nacre, offering stunning possibilities for contemporary pearl jewelry,” she says.

                             Royal Chain

At Royal Chain Group, Phillip Gabriel Maroof’s gold lovers want pearl accents in their purchases. That’s why the vice president of marketing and design is introducing nature-inspired earrings with pearls, pearls and 14k gold beaded chains, and open-heart necklaces with pearls in 14k gold. “We’ve seen strong demand for these combinations,” he says.

Imperial, too, hears the call for gold and pearls, which is why his firm is expanding its collection of brushed yellow links in 14k gold with freshwater pearls. “The brushed finish adds a distinctive texture and visual depth, enhancing the overall allure of this collections’ extensions,” he says.

And whenever retailers want a little glitzing up, they add bezel-set diamonds for a little extra oomph. PeriLynn Glasner of Lali Jewels says that her firm’s Tin Cup necklaces and bracelets are still going strong. The design and marketing director offers these now staple looks to clients in 14k gold with white or natural-color pastel freshwater pearls. “We have the classic pearl fashion pieces that look great all year long,” she says.

Grenier sees the biggest opportunity for pearl in the wedding category. Imperial debuted one last year in Las Vegas with the intention of offering new limited-edition looks every 12–18 months.

Lali Jewels

“We know the bridal category for many jewelers is their most important one,” she says. “There are multiple selling opportunities for weddings—gifts from groom to the bride, parents to the bride, the wedding party, and even self-purchases. We want to help jewelers capitalize on this market and create lifelong relationships. Pearls are a natural gift choice, and we’ve done the work for jewelers with beautiful designs and displays which set the category apart.”

And while she’s pleased with the pearl’s classic positioning in the market, there’s room for growth.

“I’d like to see retailers take more chances with pearl, meaning experiment with designs or themes they typically shy away from, saying it’s too ‘out of the box’ for pearl,” she says. For example, pearl and enamel—Imperial is pursuing this and has designed a handful of beautiful and saleable designs. Some retailers get it immediately and know it will capture attention and speak to the right customer; they understand that it can be the special item in the case that clearly says, ‘Look at me, I am pearl! You didn’t expect this’! And then an entire new view of pearl happens and so do sales.”

Gifts for Grads

While proper sendoff gifts for young people on their journey to adulthood vary as much as the degrees they’ve secured, choosing a graduation gift needn’t be complicated. Giving fine jewelry sends a strong message—your accomplishment is worthy of note and has great value, like a karat gold keepsake. This is why gold remains a top choice among givers; it has lasting value, sends a positive message, and looks tasteful atop all types of professional dress.

Manufacturers have plenty of style recommendations for merchants beyond class rings. Those seeking some guidance should consider starting grads with the classics—diamond or pearl studs, gold hoop earrings, or stackable rings. “For young people who are just starting to build a jewelry collection, the basics are always appreciated,” observes Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI / Original Designs.

Lali Jewels

PeriLynn Glasner, design and marketing director at Lali Jewels, agrees. “You can’t go wrong with classic pearls or diamonds as well as something in the gemstone color of the grad’s school or birthstone,” she explains.

The classic diamond pendant, line bracelet, or ring are other go-to gifts. “These never go out of style,” she adds.

More timeless choices, some of which can certainly be budget friendly, involve “earrings or pendants as they eliminate the need to know a specific size,” notes Surbhi Jain, marketing director at Shefi Diamonds.

An option that Jain offers his clients? Baguette-cut gemstone and round diamond cross pendants from his company’s Majestic Gems offerings.

“They’re ideal for graduates and other occasions,” Surbhi says. Shefi’s styles are available in ruby, emerald, and sapphire in white and yellow gold—classic looks that will endure.

          ODI / Original Designs

Meanwhile, Royal Chain’s Phillip Gabriel Maroof, vice president of marketing and design, maintains that his most ordered grad gifts are “smaller gold pendants and thinner bracelet styles that are fashionable without breaking the bank.”

“This year, we encourage our retail clients to order more variety in gold earrings—don’t be afraid of bigger styles,” he says. “For 2024, Royal Chain is debuting Raindrop stud earrings as well as our Heart Tag rolo link chains.”

Heart tag bracelets and necklaces are an oft-worn style in karat gold or sterling silver as well as a look that is hard to miss in many a young woman’s personal collection.

Personalized pieces that mark a moment or accomplishment are also a good idea.

“For something more meaningful, consider pieces that represent achievement, a journey, or a bright future, like a compass with a sentimental message engraved on the back,” says Fletcher.

 Shefi Diamonds

Her firm’s yellow gold compass pendant necklace makes a bold statement in yellow gold with diamond accents.

Other gifts that aid with organization and personal care are also available. For example, jewelry cleaning kits that combine two or more products designed to care for a variety of jewelry pieces can be optimal selections for women and men.

“Many of these young people will have received class rings or other jewelry gifts to celebrate their accomplishment (think watches and necklaces), so having the right products to clean these fine pieces is ideal,” says Heather Brown, vice president of content and editorial for The Kingswood Company.


Presents for Parents

While Mom and Dad may forever treasure the macaroni necklace you made for them in kindergarten, adult children can gift with a little more gusto (and gold). It’s safe to say that few mothers have ever turned their nose up at a necklace. That’s why retailers have them at the ready come May; surely motherly appreciation should be available in forms other than Hallmark cards and brunch.

Enter the manufacturers, with a bevy of new precious offerings. The Plumb Club talked to some of the largest and most directional makers about how they’re stocking clients’ stores.

Prime Art & Jewel

The most frequently ordered items are karat gold pendants, bracelets, and hoop earrings. Prime Art & Jewel’s Susie Wilty, director of sales, knows that bracelets stack just as well (or better) as rings and make for easy gifts to give annually. “Bracelets are nice to build on year over year,” she says.

At the Royal Chain Group, gold hoop earrings and heart pendants are top sellers, though bracelets aren’t far behind.

“We’ve seen bracelets perform well during the [spring] season,” says Phillip Gabriel Maroof, vice president of marketing and design. “These holidays are typically our best sales period for gold outside of the winter period.”

Maroof expects bead styles to do well this year and has added a two-tone rose and white gold version to its best-selling Ice chain. “We also introduced a new line of gemstone-accented paperclip bracelets in four color options and new vintage-style hand-engraved 14k gold bangles,” he says.

At Shefi Diamonds, moms love 14k gold and diamond dangling earrings in different shapes, and Lali Jewels maintains that its matching sets have some appeal. ODI features mother-and-child pendants that are “less traditional and more trend-driven,” à la enamel, texturing, and personalization, according to Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development. “Spring themes like butterflies and flowers are also popular as well as gifts for nontraditional moms,” she adds. “Fur babies count! Paws and other pet-theme jewelry sell well.”

For dads, the options have improved a great deal over the last several years. A demand for better men’s jewelry has paved the way for “clean, crisp, and classic” numbers, according to Fletcher.

       Royal Chain

“The trusty ‘Dad’ ring has been displaced by a plethora of unfussy, understated men’s jewelry,” she continues. Among them are dog tags or shield-shape pendants “with emblems or icons that have meaning for the wearer, or ID bracelets.”

She particularly loves multiple ID bracelets that can be engraved or personalized with kids’ names.

Bracelets for men are another popular choice at Phillip Gavriel, which unveiled curb chains with e-coatings and double paperclip links in sterling silver with 18k yellow gold accents. A sterling twisted cable bracelet is also new, as are two-tone sterling and karat gold styles which are “a great option for customers seeking a lower price point,” says Maroof.

Two-tone styles are also popular among Shefi Diamonds’ shoppers. Its Shefian Men’s Collection features looks, including rings, accented with various carat weights of diamonds. Rings for dads are a hit at Lali Jewels as well, and while Wilty’s Ethos men’s collection has some, too, its pendants and bracelets are most popular. Prime Art & Jewel unveiled the line at the 2023 JCK Las Vegas show, and retailer faves included chunky chain, black sapphires and statement pieces. “These are classics that will stand the test of time,” Wilty explains.

Shefi Diamonds

Two important reminders: don’t neglect to merchandise the inventory you already have on hand for sales and don’t forget to offer care and cleaning products as add-on sales.

With regard to the latter, suggest products that are made specifically for certain types of jewelry, encourages Heather Brown, vice president of content and editorial for The Kingswood Company. “For example, a gentle jewelry cleaning formula is perfect for pearls, while a jewelry cleaning wipe is ideal for a watch,” she says.

Perhaps the best insight for Mothers and Father’s Day sales is to zero in on the recipient’s taste rather than following trends exclusively.

“Gifts should be as personal as the individual,” explains Wilty. “Every item can be special when shopping for an individual.”