Styles for Sweethearts

Celebrities are gifting each other many a sentimental and personalized jewel, putting these options top of mind for your consumers to admire. Think of Zooey Deschanel’s engagement ring—a pink and purple nontraditional ring for the actress who’s often dubbed quirky—as well as J. Lo’s Foundrae necklaces from Ben Affleck and A$AP Rocky’s Annoushka charm bracelet to Rihanna for the birth of their first son together. Of course, all these gifts speak to recipients’ personal preferences, so helping your clients source their ideal heirloom starts with basics like birthstones and important symbols like kids, pets, and/or careers and hobbies.

Prime Art & Jewel

“Our retailers sell a lot of birthstone and anniversary jewelry,” says Theresa Namie, merchandise manager for Ostbye. “A symbolic gift is always easy as well, like a compass (for graduations) or hearts/infinity symbols (for any love occasion), and animal designs for memories. The birthstone collections can easily stack together so you can make a unique stackable ring that tells the story of those you love. Our anniversary bands are also very popular as they are all made in the USA, and they can be worn every day as expression of love.”

Susie Wilty, director of sales for Prime Art & Jewel, also moves many birthstone jewels, which she calls “as meaningful as they are stunning.”

“Birthstone jewelry has been updated and revamped over the years to feature many gorgeous and modern designs,” she continues. “Birthstone jewelry can be some of the most personal and meaningful pieces of jewelry we own—and likely some we’ll wear often, if not daily.”

Even diamond jewelry manufacturer Novell Design Studio gets into the color game thanks to its custom capabilities.

Shah Luxury

“We get requests for engravings with wedding dates or venue coordinates, or to replace diamonds in a store sample with different gemstones,” observes sales associate Rick Mulholland, noting that blue sapphires have been having a major moment in many of his company’s creations.

For sure, personalization and self-expression are critical keys to connecting with today’s shoppers.

“Making a statement with symbols, colors, and textures is more prominent now than personalization,” says Namie, whose firm offers custom CAD services to merchants to accomplish whatever clients desire.

Wilty agrees, noting that “personalization is really about self-expression. That can take the form of custom designed jewelry, engraving, and selecting specific stones with different meanings.”

Still, diamond-intense designers know that their products can still fit a super personal order. Steven Lerche, chief operating officer, Goldstar Jewellery, notes that his diamond designs have big appeal to seekers of sentimental styles, though in the off chance something else is desired, everything in his line is available for special order. Ditto for Neil Shah, executive vice president, Shah Luxury.

Ryan Gems

“Consumers can take any existing style and make it sentimental or meaningful with their own flair and changes,” he says. “We encourage retailers to promote the idea of custom and changing existing products to personalize the experience; it’s much harder to shop competitors when the product is unique to them specifically. We believe personalization is the single biggest variable that sets independent retail stores apart from online big box competition. Not only should the jewelry be able to be customized and personalized to the individual if needed, but the store needs to have an incredibly personalized edge as well. The new generation of shoppers wants the instore shopping to be unique, otherwise they can get it online without leaving their house. Give them a reason to come and interact with our industry!”