Zoom-worthy Styles Top Jewelry Trends in 2021

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

Zoom-worthy styles in earrings and necklaces lead jewelry trends this year in both silver and gold. Color and pearls are among the key elements in popular designs that embrace geometric shapes, sleek lines, and lots of links in the mix.

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

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

When it comes to 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 looks, the pieces we choose, and the way 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 tells a story.”

Charms have been strong for a while and remain popular because designers keep creating them, says Gloria Maccaroni for the Silver Promotion Service. People are wearing 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 larger central gem.

The gems drawing the most attention, Benham says, have been birthstones, particularly 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 great 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.”

When it comes to 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 the past two years, demand is high for items made in 10K gold. As metal market prices have been on an upward trajectory, exceeding $2,000 an ounce in August 2020, buyers shift 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 who is seeking jewelry that is long lasting and can be worn daily. It is a good option for the price conscious. Basically, the decision to buy 10K gold or any other karat gold item comes down to customer preference and budget. Manufacturers and distributors follow the market and demand for the various karat options closely. If gold prices continue to 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 simplest 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 is 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. Birthstone jewelry, especially styles that can be layered such as stud earrings, pendant and station necklaces, and stackable rings and bracelets remain a favorite, says Namie.

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 also is beginning to translate in timeless wardrobe staples like stud earrings and solitaire necklaces that are favorite pieces worn everyday warrants the security of platinum for important stones.

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

The trend for personalized jewelry is easily translated in platinum jewelry, says Jill Moynihan Helsel, marketing director for PGU USA. Engagement ring brand A.Jaffe, which offers platinum as an option for all of 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 is 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 wonderful, 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 made the decision to go back to school. FIT’s jewelry program really fit what she was looking for because she had been interested in studying more commercial forms of art. 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.

When asked what sparked her passion about the jewelry industry, Martin notes a movie classic. “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 really 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 the relationship a wearer has with a piece of jewelry. I find the idea of that to be very inspiring.”

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

Martin graduates 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 excited to complete her G.G. at GIA and put all that knowledge to work in the jewelry and gemology field.



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