Color-Blocking 101

Couture runways aren’t the only places where color-blocking occurs—it happens, too, in new jewelry collections and is an important concept for jewelers to understand.

Color-blocking pairs opposite colors together for fashion victories (think Mondrian and Stephen Burrows). Fine jewelers need the savvy to confidently suggest colored gemstone and enamel jewels to clients who enter stores in the season’s latest hues. So, when merchants are facing shoppers in Peach Fuzz–color T-shirts, he or she can quickly offer complementary champagne diamonds or, on the other end of the spectrum, minty-green garnets or chrysoprase for an über Miami Vice vibe.

LALI Jewels

This is valuable information, maintains Monica McDaniel, vice president, Chatham, Inc.

“Anytime jewelry and fashion intersect, you find the ultimate self-expression,” she notes. “Retailers need to understand trends and how to use color in their conversations with the client. Guiding and offering up suggestions sets you apart from other jewelers.”

It’s also meaningful because “it creates an organized shopping experience for the customer,” observes Perilynn Glasner, marketing and design director for Lali Jewelry. During in-store events, her sales teams use color-blocking techniques to showcase collections effectively.

Chatham, Inc., spends a lot of time training its sales force on color lore, symbolism, and how to create a wardrobe around color choices.

“We tell retailers all the time, search engines can show product faster than you can,” says McDaniel. “If the client is inside your store, it’s because they are seeking out your expertise. Furthermore, they want to touch and feel the merchandise.”

Carla Corporation

According to Surbhi Jain, marketing director of Shefi Diamonds, color-blocking also touches on tonal hues within the same color. Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI, agrees, adding that color blocking “doesn’t always have to be ‘opposites attract.’” Instead, “It can be two similar shades that create an ombré effect,” she says. “The Fall-Winter 2024 collections of designers like Fendi, Prabal Gurung, and Carolina Herrera use bright color blocking, while Prada does a more muted look.”

In ODI’s jewelry, this translates to two-stone rings featuring a pink tourmaline and a tanzanite, or a red ruby and a pink sapphire.

“Depending on the person, color can be something to be collected and worn in bunches, or it can be intimidating,” Fletcher continues. “For the wary consumer, start with a neutral—like smoky quartz—or a color that blends easily with their wardrobe. Then add larger and brighter pieces that pop.”

Carla Corporation has discovered that grouping like colored gemstone jewels together helps close sales. “It directs the customer’s attention to a specific showcase keeping them focused on the styles available and the task at hand,” offers Brian Fleming, senior vice president.

Royal Chain

More tips to sell color from Fleming include stocking and displaying price-point levels to accommodate a variety of budgets and displaying unique and classic styles together to allow staff to best parse options according to taste.

Shefi’s Jain, meanwhile, has this guidance to direct color sales: explore birthstone jewels, personalize with clients’ favorite colors, and embrace trends.

“Stay current by incorporating trends like the Pantone Color of the Year, appealing to customers with a penchant for fashionable choices,” she says.