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August 1999

Precious Metals & Bench:News

Metal Motifs to Watch in Jewelry Design

Spring and summer trade shows yielded a dizzying array of styles in precious metal jewelry. These four bear close watching as you prepare for the fall selling season

There's nothing new under the sun, design watchers will tell you, but sometimes certain styles reappear more vividly, capturing many consumers' imaginations along the way.

The four styles featured on these two pages found their way into several trend-setting lines that debuted at jewelry trade shows in the U.S. and abroad this spring and summer. Interestingly, all four appeared in Unoaerre's new collection. Distributed by Gori & Zucchi, New York City, this branded line has caught the spirit of the times. We supplement the Unoaerre pieces with examples from four other jewelry lines to illustrate these latest trends.

If your customers are too conservative for the more avant-garde styles shown here, look for adaptations in more classic designs. Sometimes just a fillip of new style is enough for a customer looking to update her jewelry wardrobe.


In a tip of the hat to the architectural styles usually found in gates and other decorative metalwork, these open work jewelry styles feed a desire for repeating motifs that are lighter and airier. The look allows for style with substance.

Gold bracelet with diamonds by Unoaerre, distributed by Gori & Zucchi, New York City; (212) 629-3300,

Silver bracelet by Gli Argenti di Rocca, Bagnatica, Italy; (39-35) 676-829.


Though popular in Italy for a few years, buckles, knots and other metal working styles that simulate attachments are beginning to catch on in the U.S. Some of these styles, such as Herakles knots, go back to ancient times and often were given as matrimonial gifts to symbolize the bond between spouses.

Buckle necklace by Unoaerre, distributed by Gori & Zucchi, New York City; (212) 629-3300,

Herakles knot ring by Techno Orafa, Romano D'Ezzelino, (39-424) 833-977.

Metal that looks as though it has been folded, twisted and smushed between thumb and forefinger is a continuing trend, first noted at the Basel Show last year. The style is patterned after the process called fold-forming, invented by metalsmith Charles Lewton-Brain (see Professional Jeweler, June 1998, p. 99). Fold-forming involves folding and creasing metal as you would paper and is partially based on the Japanese art of origami.

Bracelet by Unoaerre, distributed by Gori & Zucchi, New York City; (212) 629-3300,

Ring by Bibigi, distributed by G.I.G., New York City; (212) 750-0054.


Coils, twisted to look like languorous snakes, are based on ancient designs used by metalsmiths during Greece's golden age. Popular U.S. designer David Yurman also introduced a new line this year incorporating coils.

Coil bracelet by Unoaerre, distributed by Gori & Zucchi, New York City; (212) 629-3300,

Coil jewelry by Philippe Charriol, La Jolla, CA; (619) 454-0011,

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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