JEWELRY DESIGNER ROBERTO COIN says that just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. He feels it is necessary to give people the chance to buy at different price points. “It’s affordable luxury,” he contends.
Recently, jewelers have been offering lower priced goods to appeal to customers financially strapped by the bad economy. They’ve also revamped their marketing strategy somewhat. Instead of selling to the individual for a personal purchase, they have been emphasizing the purchase of jewelry for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.
This year, things are beginning to change. Exhibitors at major fine jewelry shows in Las Vegas last month said buyers are more optimistic. They are looking for unique pieces and are open to higher price points again. Jewelers promoting high-end diamonds were certainly in a better mood. And buyers were even open to exceptional fashion jewelry pieces.
All in all, things look a lot better. As a result, jewelers are taking out designs that have been locked up for the last couple of years, and offering them to their customers. The trade shows are awash with trendy, innovative jewelry, and that makes things exciting, to say the least.
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YOSI HARRARI CELEBRATED the coming out of the recession with a colorful collection inspired by jewelers of Istanbul’s Okapi Palace. “Color is so refreshing,” he declared. But still, price is important. “You have to be affordable.”
A number of jewelers put new emphasis on statement pieces, saying everybody is responding to big stuff, unusual color mixes, and a lot of rose gold. Of course, the gold train is running on new design tracks. For example, jewelers are finding exciting new ways of using smaller amounts of gold in jewelry, and still retaining the rich “gold standard” look.
Gold offered in open-work pieces allows jewelers to give high design at a lower price. Also making waves this year: thin bangles and engraved hollow gold beads. One jeweler offered a line combining 14K and 24K gold. Another introduced a new gold -silver hybrid.
Buyers were also interested in gemstone-slice jewelry, particularly sapphire and diamond slices. Most jewelers were looking to offer customers something no one else had, at good price points.
Hot Trends & New Directions
Here are some of the leading trends revving up the Vegas shows:
Gold: A bevy of new ideas and innovations allowed jewelers to keep prices down on this precious metal. Rose gold came on strong. Much of the gold was worked with a lighter hand and mixes, such as gold and silver, were prevalent.
Silver: Silver remained important, and oxidization gave an antique and edgy look to designer pieces. Rhodium-plated pieces also provided a cash-respectful white gold alternative to more austere buyers.
Color: The big, hot colors were blues and greens, but just about any color that was intense and new-looking grabbed attention. Colored gemstones were especially important. Color worked in slices, pave, faceted and cabochon cuts all gained momentum.
Alternative Materials: Wow! The market really popped where these were concerned. High on the attention-getting list: bone, horn, and ebony.
Styles: Chains, chains, chains! They were in the forefront all the way! Long necklaces gained high honors, along with statement necklaces and bracelets of all sorts. Bracelets shown in multiples and mixed colors took applause!
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- Rutilated quartz jewelry with disk pendant.
- Twisted fashion chain. Choose gold or silver plating.