Strike It Gold

Iconic, symbolic, and revered throughout history, gold continues to captivate people with its intrinsic characteristics, value and creative use in jewelry design.

An enduring keepsake and timeless accessory, gold is a favorite metal in both wedding and fashion jewelry. In a range of karats, used as plating, and combined with other metals and materials, gold has a lot to offer in style and price.

Colors, Curves & Classics
Gold continues to shine with yellow, rose and even green gold gleaning more favor. These gold colors complement the current trend for both vivid and pastel gemstones, especially in top hues of blue, green, pink, and peach.

“Gold jewelry sales were extremely robust this past holiday season,” reports Cora Lee Colaizzi director of marketing and catalogs and senior merchandiser for Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio. “Yellow gold remains strong, and chain and earrings are bestsellers.”

Allison Peck with Color Merchants, New York City concurs that yellow gold is in fashion again, as well as two-tone styles. She sees nature motifs popular, which inspired the company’s new Gingko Collection of fan-shaped leaf designs. She also cites flexibility/adaptability important in fashionable jewelry that’s easy to get on and off and comfortable to wear, like its latest collection, Spryngs.

Gold jewelry in new shapes that are fluid, curved and even asymmetric are popular, cites branding consultant Emmy Kondo, partner in the Los Angeles-based Seven Rings. The rigid geometries of past trends are relaxed.

People are playing with gold colors, either in design or how designs are styled, tells Neil Shah of Shah Luxury, New York City. In bridal, he says white gold is most popular, but there’s greater demand for it with yellow or rose gold details. In fashion, he cites more layering of jewelry in different gold colors, with classic styles like circle and infinity symbols, and dancing diamonds part of the mix.

A big trend for 2017 will be rose gold with natural color diamonds in shades of brown, cognac and champagne, tells Jennifer Phelps-Montgomery for New York City-based manufacturer, MWI Eloquence. It will launch new bridal and classic designs in this direction, with French pavé styles among the bestsellers. In fashion, she cites rough diamond jewelry a draw, especially in long necklaces.

The perfect frame for a singular pearl, the trend is for more modern, gold geometric styles set with a single pearl in earrings, pendants, or bypass rings, describes Karen Crowe, merchandising/marketing for Quality Gold. She also reports a shift back to men’s gold bracelets and link chains—styles from the 90’s resurrected and retooled into lighter weights, but still substantial.

Big & Bold, Tiny & Dainty
Big gold hoops reminiscent of the 1970s and hip-hop ‘90s are having a major moment, as street style from eras past is mined for modern interpretations, says Kondo. “Big earrings are having a moment, period.” Still on the radar, Crowe cites gold ear climbers, threaders, and front-and-back styles. She also reports more gold designs in bolo bracelets that are bold but lightweight.

Another key trend in ear adornment is for multiple piercings, with tiny gold earrings that defy mainstream fashion sense, cites Seven Rings partner, Jamie Cadwell Gage. “Stylish women are loading their lobes, helixes, traguses, daiths, rooks, and conches with tiny gold bars, hoops and wishbones.”

This speaks to the broader trend to layer dainty gold pieces, says Gage, like airy chains with pendants or bracelets that act as glints of gold on the wrist. She cites designs like locks and chains, charms, signet rings, and ID bracelets popular. “While Art Deco has been favored for a long time, classic gold looks of the Victorian and Georgian eras are coming to the forefront in modern designs.”

 

Go for Gold
Colaizzi advocates jewelers keep up with the latest trends to offer an assortment that covers multiple tastes and price points. She cites products that can be personalized as a critical part of the mix.

Shah hails customization a powerful tool to engage customers in the sale, and make price less relevant. “Offering pieces in different colors of gold, with choices of stone, shape, and size is a level of service that creates excitement.”

Phelps-Montgomery says the days of matching jewelry are gone. Customers are looking for ways to style their jewelry. “It’s about things that work together, and it doesn’t matter what the context. “Long chains are popular, like diamonds by the yard, Y and lariat styles, which layer well with itsy bitsy necklaces, bar styles, charms and tags.” She encourages jewelers use visual cues in store and display, adorning sales staff, and on website and social media to inspire ideas.

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