Trends Tracking at JCK Vegas

JCK Las Vegas is a barometer for what’s trending in fine jewelry for the holiday selling season and into the New Year. The Plumb Club in particular offers a spectrum of products from companies billed as “best in class” who work with retailers hailed as best in theirs.

Among the standouts for fourth quarter is a greater use of color stones and in diverse shapes for fashion and bridal jewelry, sentiment jewelry (talisman, iconic, personalized, fine tech), and diamond jewelry—notably two-stone and composite setting designs.

Color Coded
Color continues to be a key trend, with pastel shades still popular, says Todd Wolleman for Color Craft, New York. “Aquamarine remains No. 1, followed by rose quartz and morganite echoing Pantone’s palette.”

Actually, blue stones rise to the top as favorites across the spectrum including sapphire, zircon, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise, and lapis. Ethiopian opal and moonstone also rate as leading gem picks. Lori Kluempke, senior vice president for Prime Art & Jewel concurs, citing the Dallas brand’s opal and gemstone, and baguette collections among its bestsellers.

Moreover, pearl brands like Honora, Imperial and Mastoloni are mixing pearls with a variety of gems—sliced, faceted and bead—from agate and amazonite to topaz, amethyst, citrine and black diamonds.

Beyond fashion, color has become increasingly popular for wedding rings as central to or accents in the design. Shyam Jagirdar of Rosy Blue,New York sees more demand in the category for gems like sapphire, spinel and alexandrite. Custom design is especially strong for three-stone rings and eternity bands that mix gems and white diamonds in fancy shapes, cites Richard Greenwood of Greenwood Group, New York.

Full of Sentiment
Symbolic, talisman jewelry has become significant in personal expression, be it overt or covert in design, including religious and romantic icons, initials and numbers, coded messages, hidden details, and fine tech.

Tapping into the trend, Color Craft launched a new collection, Luv Tia, which Wolleman describes as “yoga-inspired” infusing talisman and crystal healing energy in its gem and silver designs. “Jewelry is becoming more of a fashion/lifestyle accessory than a reservoir of wealth.”

Chrysalis, the London-based bangle brand, new under the umbrella of Richline New York, has capitalized on the many ways consumers can express their personality and lifestyle in expandable bangles and band rings with charms that were a big hit in Vegas. “Sentiment themed throughout, every piece has its own meaning, and the line encourages layering, allowing the wearer to create personal collections of memories and inspirations,” tells David Maine, co-founder.

Initials continue to be a favorite choice in personalized jewelry, most notably diamond halo encircled monograms for Alison & Ivy, a Fantasy Diamond brand based in Chicago. “It is featured on the back cover of our catalogue and many buyers have picked it up,” reports Crystal Oyler, marketing coordinator.

Moreover, iconic Disney princess themes and symbolism captured jewelers’ attention in Simply Diamonds “Enchanted” collection. The New York manufacturer is making fashion, gem and bridal jewelry inspired by Disney characters including Belle, Cinderella and Snow White. “The creative elements of each characters’ icons offer exciting possibilities for jewelry designs,” describes CEO Roopam Jain, who says jewelers that test marketed the product have had great success because of the strong storylines and brand identity Disney brings.

Smart jewelry continues to intrigue buyers, with Richline showing the next level in “elegant lifestyle accessories,” says Cliff Ulrich, product innovation manager. Launched in Vegas: Ela Fine Tech focuses on memories and notifications, with one line offering wristwear featuring quartz crystal that displays up to 15 contacts in different colors, and another more heirloom in design storing memories using NFC chip in Tahitian or Chinese freshwater cultured pearls. While the archival technology in NanoRosetta shrinks text to the minutest size on plated nickel pendant, with one design that captures the entire bible especially popular.

Diamond Days
Diamond bridal and fashion basics, notably in two-stone and composite settings are expected to be among the holiday favorites this year. Jeffrey Cohen, vice-president of sales, KGS Jewels, New York hails two-stone the big buzz for fourth quarter, noting that the majors are pushing it for rings, pendants and earrings. “The buzz started last Christmas and has been building momentum. The story behind it is easy to understand and resonates with consumers. The concept is adopted by all the major accounts on some level.”

Moreover, multi-stone settings are an important trend. Neil Shah for Shah Luxury, New York says that the company’s Carizza and Promezza bridal collections, launched two to three years ago, are hitting critical mass, among its bestsellers in Vegas for their beautiful mountings with composite and halo designs that offer big bang for the buck. Also popular in Vegas, Shah’s latest Sole Brilliante line featuring patent-pending cluster stone components in fashion solitaire, stud and line styles.

Corinna Bhasin, general manager F.D. Worldwide Merchandise, New York concurs that multi-stone settings continue to capture the market with great price points and new takes on classic favorites with no sign of waning. She also cites diamond enhancers and stackable anniversary bands, as well as gents diamond rings key categories to watch; and hails 2016 the year of the ear with diamond climbers trending.