Metal Matters

Trends in precious metal fine jewelry embrace a love of layering, and mixing styles, colors, materials, and textures in a way that’s unique to the wearer. This trend transcends all materials — silver, gold and platinum; diamonds, gemstones and pearls. It’s all about personalization; storytelling is in how and what we layer.

Popular looks seen on recent fashion runways include re-imagined chokers (large chain and thick material) as the anchor to layer out from, hearkening back to styles of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Also, stacking bangles with link, bolo and cuff bracelets reflect a more-the-better attitude. Trending too are larger-than-life earrings — bold hoops, dramatic drops, and sculptured shapes; as well as charms, symbols and nostalgia-inspired styles

The Plumb Club recently commissioned trend-forecasting agency, The Futurist to source consumer data and information useful to the jewelry market. The research for The Plumb Club has inspired products created by its member companies for a collection it calls Radiant Universe that reflects the latest in consumer trends.

The research has found that consumers of all ages and segments prefer jewelry that can be layered and purchased individually, building in time an interesting jewelry wardrobe. The Lockets, charms and symbols like sun, moon and stars are important design elements of this trend. Other motifs like fantastic flowers and insects are favorites, especially in grand, vibrant styles with gemstones from malachite and moonstone to sapphires and opals, and topcoat applications such as enamel and nano-ceramic coating set in gold or silver.

“The silhouettes are elongated and sometimes voluminous, with negative space or hollow interiors to keep it light,” describes Paola De Luca, founder and creative director for The Futurist, the iconic trend forecasting agency. “Shapes like circle, triangle and rectangle are abundant in styles including Y necklaces, stud earrings, and oversized rings with custom cuts of geometric-shaped gems, diamond accents, and pearl and diamond combinations in white or yellow metals.”

She also calls out “uneven effects” in jewelry design as trending, like mismatched earrings, asymmetric necklaces, and single earrings a part of this “unbalanced” trend. “Consumers are looking for a way to express themselves, their emotions, values and beliefs,” De Luca says. “Jewelry has become a part of the movement, where everyone is looking to tell and share their messages through words, letters and symbols that speak on a personal level.”

Bold, Beautiful & Colorful

Bold, beautiful and colorful is the framework for 2019 accessorizing in the U.S. and silver remains a top metal choice for fine jewelry manufacturers to create larger-than-life looks at price points that sell. The return to maximalist jewelry spied on recent runways, after many seasons of dainty necklaces and classic hoops, are ruling the accessories scene.

Eve Chiles for the brand Breuning cites oval, circle and square shapes, floral, leaf, wave and organic forms in silver, solid and openwork, popular in dramatic styles like pendant choker necklaces, dangle earrings, and bold, wide rings. Color in silver is also important, like the addition of yellow or rose gold-plated details in the design.

With color important in silver, it should be no surprise that yellow and rose gold are in demand, says Eddie Weiss, principal with EMA Jewelry in New York City. Popular styles for EMA, he says, are set with multi-color sapphires and other color stones, as well as diamond pavé. With personalization the mega trend, styles like signet rings and initial pendants have been very strong.

Demand in gold is for classic chic designs that are fashionable for any time, of good quality, and affordable for instant gratification for women buying for themselves, cheers Theresa Namie, Merchandise Manager for Ostbye. This Minneapolis, Minnesota-based manufacturer’s new gold fashion line includes stackable rings and layered necklaces that speak to self-purchasing women.

With a focus on self-purchase women, the Platinum Guild International (PGI) is promoting its Platinum Born campaign, advocating for timeless, everyday brilliant jewelry designs like platinum beads used in classic styles that sparkle like diamonds, as well as designs with versatility like a flexible magnetic necklace that can be worn in multiple ways.

Samuel Sandberg president of A.Jaffe, New York says that platinum continues to grow thanks to greater media exposure of the red carpet and celebrity weddings, as well as increased advertising and marketing by PGI and brands like his own.

Consumer research reveals a high desire for platinum. “Young consumers looking for tailored, elegant looks are gravitating to platinum,” says Sadhna Venkat for MWI Eloquence, New York. “They like the platinum story. Quality, strength and durability make platinum a great choice and value for consumers, and the incremental profits from platinum sales make it a valuable for retailers.”

The jewelry industry is embracing platinum as an opportunity to attract younger consumers to their stores, while delivering higher revenue per piece, which has resulted in significant distribution gains in 2018 that continue, PGI reports.

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