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Hey… have you seen the latest super-trendy jewelry pieces from a number of top jewelers the country, like Tiffany and Mayors?  No…they are not big, bold, chunky, or signature….they are tiny, delicate, fragile-looking items, exactly the opposite of what we’ve seen in recent seasons. 


And, they are beautiful, sweet little pieces with a whole new individual ambiance, and while they’re not likely to replace the bold look so popular now, they are still hot in the running to attract plenty of buyers.


ARE THEY A SURPRISE? Absolutely!  But when you think about it, tiny jewelry is probably what we should expect.  Look at the economy:  It is in tatters.  People aren’t spending money on big ticket items.  


                                         SPENDING PSYCHOSIS?


Suddenly, even the compulsive handbag mania that has gripped the nation, with bags selling for thousands of dollars each, has slowed to a trickle.  Some say spending money like that on luxury items like that is obscene in a time like this.   Hmmmm.  Could be.


At any rate, very expensive jewelers aren’t about to be knocked out of the box that easily. They are introducing new collections, at relatively low prices (well, at least for these big name firms) and the way they are doing it is by reducing sizes without reducing quality or design integrity.  It is an interesting and creative solution! 


                            CUTTING BACK WITHOUT ADMITTING IT?    


So, look at this:  The elegant jewelry house, Mayors, advertises its latest grouping of Lilliputian jewelry in Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper as “MY LITTLE WAY OF SAYING A LOT.”  Shown, in delicate, wispy-like pale grey illustrations, are small pave diamond mini-pendants set in platinum and hanging from very thin (delicate) chain.


The grouping includes a dragonfly, moon, Star of David, key, and heart, with prices running from just under $1,000 to $1,795.  Admittedly, these prices aren’t low, but for Mayors they are itsy-bitsy, you might say, and wayyyyyy below the prices hung on the big, bold jewelry that’s recently been the prime focus of industry attention. 


–The big question here, however, is this:  Will these little guys have the power of the big stuff to work for Valentine’s Day? Or birthdays?  Or anniversaries?  That has yet to be seen…


  • STILL, YOU CAN GET THE LOOK:  Search out charming textured starfish pendants in rich crystal pave, or choose a sparkly cat pendant with black crystal eyes and silver plated body with pave crystals.  Particularly delicate is an artistic outline of dolphins in hand-polished silver plate with gold highlights.   


Tiffany is really big on little things, like pave star, horseshoe, and heart pendants, the kind of things usually dangled off a charm bracelet, but now doubling as fine jewelry pendant pieces. 


Jane Hollinger has designed a minimal necklace that is nothing more than a small wire rectangle suspended off a thin gold chain.  Then, there are a lot of skinny, thin gold and sterling bangle bracelets out there, to be worn alone in this new “little” mode, or in multiples with big cuffs and statement bracelets for a bold expression. 


  • YOU CAN GET THE LOOK:  Pick out multicolored bracelets with cube and faceted glass beads suspended on coated black wire.  Minimal and delicate.  Or, choose an elongated wire bracelet with silver and gold plate double heart drop.


Some of these new high-style bracelets aren’t even gold, although they don’t portend to be costume jewelry, either, frequently using the designer’s name for their exclusive raison d’être.  Haute couture on a budget.

     –Like Diane Kordas’ string bracelets, which are just that: skinny bracelets in multi-colored string, knotted a few times where gemstones might otherwise be, and pulled together with tiny gold clasps. You could probably make these in a beginner’s craft class in about ten minutes, but here they sell for $350 each.  Amazing!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

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