Zoom-worthy Styles Top Jewelry Trends in 2021

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to have a quality item in jewelry with a price point obtainable by most that tell a story.

Zoom-worthy styles in earrings and necklaces lead jewelry trends this year in both silver and gold. Color and pearls are vital in popular designs that embrace geometric shapes, sleek lines, and links.

Symbols of luck, love, and spirituality continue to be compelling motifs in trending jewelry in both silver and gold. Layering styles on ears, necks, wrists, and fingers remain the leading jewelry trend.

A lot of exploration is happening in how people are styling their ears, layering studs, mixing a stud with a drop earring, or wearing statement earrings. Jewelry designers are increasingly selling single earrings as an affordable way to create a style upgrade, a jewelry trend evident in silver and gold.

Regarding neckwear, the trend to layer necklaces is all about mixing lengths, looks, and links. Whether a “neck mess” of styles around the collar or graduated eyes, the pieces we choose and how we style them convey personal meaning.

While platinum jewelry trends have been wedding ring-focused, a growth market for platinum is in wardrobe essentials like stud earrings and pendant necklaces. Major Chinese retailers are seizing on this trend, promoting non-bridal platinum charm and pendant collections to great success.

Silver Jewelry Trends

Silver jewelry continues to be the most accessible price point across all brands, says Roopam Jain, president of the branded division for Jewelmark in New York City. Jewelmark is seeing great success with silver combined with 10K/14K gold, diamonds, and gemstones in popular brands like Enchanted and Disney Treasures, Hallmark Moments, and Tokens.

Silver will always serve as wonderful bridge jewelry,” describes Theresa Namie, merchandise manager for Ostbye, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She cites its Diva Collection of coin necklaces in silver with 10K-rose-gold and diamond accents. “Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a quality item in jewelry with a price point obtainable by most that tell a story.”

Charms have been intense and remain popular because designers keep creating them, says Gloria Maccaroni for the Silver Promotion Service. People wear graduated layers of single-charm necklaces or one necklace dangling multiple medallions.

Color is a silver jewelry trend that is gaining momentum, says Matthew Benham of the New York City-based silver designer brand Samuel B. He sees conservative markets that typically go for silver alone or with gold accents now more interested in styles set with color stones, multi-color pieces as well as statement jewels with a giant central gem.

The gems drawing the most attention, Benham says, have been birthstones, mainly a collection the brand developed that features 7mm stones in handcrafted designs in its signature Royal Bali look, in stud earrings, station necklaces, and bangle bracelets.

Pearls also pair well with silver. The New York City-based pearl brand Honora offers excellent examples of this dynamic duo and the variety of looks achieved, such as mixing asymmetrical baroque freshwater pearls with high-polished silver curb chains, Byzantine-inspired thick woven chain coupled with freshwater circle pearls or freshwater pearls popped in sculptural or architectural designs.

Gold Jewelry Trends

While silver jewelry was prominent on the spring fashion runways, gold remains the most popular precious metal in fine jewelry, bridal, and fashion, including everyday wardrobe essentials like stud and hoop earrings and chain-link necklaces—simple, classic styles with a twist sum up the latest in gold jewelry trends.

“As gold prices increase, so too does its desirability,” says Amanda Gizzi, communications director for the Jewelers of America. “People see gold and see not only the beauty but the value.”

Regarding gold, yellow gold has been trending for the past couple of years as a more prominent color in jewelry design, reports Jonathan Cohen, president IB Goodman, Newport, Kentucky. Cohen. “That fashion trend combined with the increased value of gold seems to motivate consumers to wear jewelry in yellow gold versus white gold in non-bridal jewelry.”

But with the price of gold increasing in the past two years, demand is high for items made in 10K gold. As metal market prices have increased, exceeding $2,000 an ounce in August 2020, buyers shifted from higher karat to lower karat options. “When gold prices increase and remain high for a length of time, consumers seek options to meet their aspirational needs at prices they could afford,” says Cora Lee Colaizzi, marketing director and senior merchandiser for Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio, noting that demand for 10K gold jewelry is high for women and men.

Colaizzi explains there are benefits to 10K as an option. “It’s more durable than its higher karat cousins, which makes it more resistant to scratches, scuffs, and dents. It is a good option for someone seeking long-lasting jewelry that can be worn daily. It is a good option for the price-conscious. Buying 10K gold or any other karat gold item depends on customer preference and budget. Manufacturers and distributors closely follow the market and demand for the various karat options. If gold prices remain high, 10K options will continue to be more in demand.”

Trending since last summer, the paperclip chain link as a design element showcases the diversity that can come from even the most straightforward style, says Gizzi. “Designers are creating exquisite earrings, necklaces, and bracelets using paperclip chain links to make timeless yet trendy jewelry for women and men.”

Similarly, Cuban link design elements, a throwback to the 1970s, are trending, says Cohen. Initially adopted in bold neck chains as a design element, it lends itself well to an array of jewelry for both men and women, including earrings, rings, and cufflinks. He also sees gold nugget jewelry from the same era, a design element growing in popularity with younger consumers.

As with silver jewelry trends, gold jewelry popping color, and pearls are trending. Namie says birthstone jewelry remains a favorite, incredibly layered style, such as stud earrings, pendant and station necklaces, and stackable rings and bracelets.

Particularly popular with pearls set in gold have been classic studs with interchangeable diamond jackets, pearl-studded hoops, multi-pearl, open abstract, and caged pearl designs. Dana Cali, marketing and communications for the New York City-based pearl house, Mastoloni.

Platinum Jewelry Demand Rising

Demand for platinum jewelry is increasing as the rising cost of gold closes the price gap between 14K and platinum, providing consumers with more options in their price range. Brands and jewelers offering platinum crowns and rings in their wedding jewelry collections are seeing more consumers choosing platinum.

The trend for platinum is also beginning to translate into timeless wardrobe staples like stud earrings and solitaire necklaces that are favorite pieces worn daily, warrant the security of platinum for essential stones.

Promoting the concept of platinum crowns to ensure the security of essential diamonds, gemstones, and pearls is just as significant for timeless wardrobe staples like stud earrings and solitaire necklaces we wear daily.

The trend for personalized jewelry is easily translated into platinum jewelry, says Jill Moynihan Helsel, marketing director for PGU USA—engagement ring brand A.Jaffe, which offers platinum as an option for all its ring collections, does the same for its Maps by A. Jaffe charms collection, a personal heirloom keepsake in this precious metal.

Globally, growing aspirations towards jewelry among Millennials are expected to drive the platinum jewelry market abroad and in the United States, according to a world platinum market report released in September by Research and Markets.

The market for platinum jewelry beyond bridal is a new frontier that manufacturers are exploring. Moynihan Helsel is optimistic that the market will expand for platinum, a compelling precious metal and design element across jewelry categories. 


The Plumb Club’s FIT Program – Graduate Spotlight

As part of The Plumb Club’s mission of shaping the future of the jewelry industry, we have partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on a beautiful new program that helps students seeking a career in the industry learn more about their chosen field. This month, we are pleased to showcase a member of this year’s FIT graduating class and one of these rising stars. 

Jennifer Martin is excited to begin her jewelry journey!

Her first memory of wanting a career in the jewelry industry was when she was 24 and decided to return to school. FIT’s jewelry program fit what she was looking for because she had been interested in studying more commercial art forms. But Martin didn’t wait to graduate before putting her jewelry passion into action. She had already dipped her toe into the industry with an internship at E.C. Jewelry and then took a job as a fine jewelry and watch specialist with The Realreal.

Martin notes a movie classic when asked what sparked her passion for the jewelry industry. “I had always been very interested in fashion, and there’s this line in the movie The Devil Wear Prada where one character says fashion is greater than art because you live your life in it. That stuck out to me as fitting with the jewelry industry and how a piece of jewelry can last multiple lifetimes and be passed on – and a wearer’s relationship with a piece of jewelry. I find the idea of that to be very inspiring.”

Martin says her design courses were the most exciting because “with jewelry design, you’re designing for aesthetics, but you also have to think like an engineer.” She enjoyed that challenge, propelling her to complete the school’s gemology certificate.

Martin graduates from her FIT courses in May 2021 and is excited to continue her work at The Realreal and work her way up in the jewelry industry. Additionally, she is eager to complete her G.G. at GIA and put all that knowledge into the jewelry and gemology field.