JCK revealed in its second annual State of the Jewelry Industry Report continued optimism in the jewelry trade, with 86% confident in its future. While the JCK Jewelry Industry Confidence Index was down two points over last year, respondents to its survey overwhelming see a bright future.
“The consistency of positivity in the industry is exciting,” says Reed Jewelry Group Senior Vice President, Yancy Weinrich. “The report also indicates that our industry is strategically shifting its priorities based on market dynamics.”
The top three jewelry trends that retailers identified in the JCK report are stacked rings, alternate engagement rings, and layering. It finds stackable rings appealing to buyers across a wide range of price points, and offers consumers an incentive for browsing to add to existing collections — strong in both bridal and fashion. Heart-themed jewels, color stones, and custom design pieces also ranked high.
Yet the survey cites a decline in lab-grown diamonds and charms, which were reported to be off the charts for companies like Quality Gold from Fairfield, Ohio.
“By far lab-grown diamonds are the talk of the industry,” says Cora Lee Colaizzi, marketing director and senior merchandiser Quality Gold, which offers both loose stones and finished lab-grown diamond jewelry under its True Origin brand. “Lab-grown diamonds continue to dominate! Shoppers appreciate the opportunity to discuss and view lab-grown diamond jewelry and stones in person, as they determine the best ways to offer these products to their customers. Lab-grown diamonds provide a welcomed choice to the marketplace.”
Colaizzi also debunks the notion that charms are fading from interest, hailing 2019 the year of the charm! With the acquisition of De-ani, Inc., Quality Gold offers thousands of new charm styles. Key trends in the jewelry industry embrace personalization/customization, and charms have become an important part of the trend to layer on the symbolism and meaning into a jewelry wardrobe.
“Everyone wants something unique to them, and for us customized and personalized products remain center stage with an expanded assortment of options and products that meet various ideals and price points,” says Colaizzi. The company offers thousands of engravable choices, including fingerprint, signatures and handwritten messages, as well as custom design services for bridal and fashion jewelry.
Neil Shah of Shah Luxury, New York echoes that demand for custom design services is high, from tweaks to existing styles in current collections to bridal and fashion pieces designed from scratch. “For our customers, it’s all about custom work and technology — that’s where the buzz is,” he says. “Customers are really excited about out hologram display to show CAD renderings in 3D.”
Shah bills the 3D hologram technology, as your imagination come-to-life! “Our ‘As You Wish 3D Hologram’ touch-screen display helps jewelers show custom designs using the newest, coolest technology available in jewelry design. Providing a hands-on experience, this display is a great tool in the sales experience. You can zoom in and out, swipe, turn it, and visualize it from all angles. The response at the show was great. We were doing demos in groups of 15 all day, everyday. It was like a mini tech conference.”
The company did a soft launch with this technology last year, and Shah says it has really taken off. “We see conversion percentage anecdotally up. It’s attention grabbing, adds value, and generates excitement at events and for closing sales. People really get into it, especially for the bridal category. A high percentage of couples want to customize their rings.”
While JCK’s report cites heart-themed jewelry a leading trend in 2019, The Plumb Club experienced excitement surrounding its collaborative Radiant Universe collection, which identifies the Polar Star and Sun as key design themes for consumers.
The Plumb Club commissioned the trends-forecasting agency, The Futurist, to source consumer data useful to the jewelry market. It found the Polar Star and Sun specifically, and constellation patterns in general significant trending iconic motifs for consumers. Inspired by the research, The Plumb Club created a program through which each member has individually expressed this theme through their collections, and is collectively named “Radiant Universe.”
“The excitement ignited by The Plumb Club strategy for the North Star was good,” says Renato Cruz, vice president of product development for Aneri Jewels, based in New York City. ”We launched it, like everyone else, and we will find out soon enough its success.”
Cynthia Speight, marketing manager for IB Goodman in Newport, Kentucky, says the new products launched in Las Vegas this year were designed for the Radiant Universe trend presented by The Plumb Club. “We featured star concept men’s diamond rings, a new collection of astrological signs for our successful Americana men’s accessories. Our women’s jewelry included beautiful abalone inlay with diamonds in sun and star motifs.”
Dana Cali, marketing and communications for the New York City based Mastoloni, says the latest designs in its Stella Collection are star-inspired, product for the Radiant Universe Collection. The brand’s latest Bella Luna Collection of pearls with moonstone also is popular. “Trending pearl designs are very feminine, light and airy.”