Diamonds:Simply the Top

May 1999

Feature:May 1999

Diamonds:Simply the Top

Consumers are buying classic styles in higher carat weights

Simple and stylish are the watchwords for diamond jewelry sales today. While last year's interest in fanciful period jewelry spilled over into this year, it's now giving way to clean, simple, traditional designs – especially in non-bridal jewelry.

The trend toward simplicity mirrors a trend toward more women wanting simple jewelry they can wear anywhere. "Styling today is more understated and flexible," says Eddie LeVian of LeVian, New York City. "Women want something they can wear from day to night and year to year."

Stud earrings and diamond solitaire necklaces are prime examples. Others include the timeless simplicity of a riviére necklace at the base of the throat and tennis bracelets circling the wrist.

Here's a closer look at what consumers are buying today in terms of size, shape, setting and metal choice for diamond jewelry.

Bigger Is Better
Retailers say sales of large diamonds are growing, with 2-to-4-ct. diamonds in higher demand. This doesn't conflict with minimalist tendencies, they note. "When a diamond is by itself in a simple setting – no matter how big it is – it still has a minimalist quality," says David Levine, vice president of William Levine Fine Jewels, Chicago, IL. Price is important, of course, but the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history has left many more consumers in a position to go minimalist in a big way.

Change the Setting
Pavé, bezels and prongs are the most popular setting techniques for diamonds today. Pavé creates a big-diamond look at a fraction of the expense by placing small diamonds close together. "It's a very significant setting," says LeVian.

Bezels, soundly popular for nearly a decade now, allow for a clean, architectural design. But the freshness of bezels is fading and prongs are back on the fast track, says Margaret A. DeYoung, who handles sales and marketing for Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL.

The Square Root
Square-cut diamonds remain a growing trend for younger consumers and those who've had their fill of rounds. Whether the diamond is emerald-, radiant- or princess-cut, manufacturers predict this "new" shape will stay for a while.

You'll still need to stock rounds, however, in addition to ovals and trillions. Farther down the list but also starting to capture the attention of sophisticated consumers are kite, bullet and half-moon cuts.

White Hot Craze
Strong marketing is restoring platinum to the preeminence it once enjoyed in diamond jewelry. "Consumers have it in their brains they must have it," says Levine. Adds DeYoung, "There is a heft with platinum you don't get with other metals. This makes the piece feel more important and easier to sell."

Of course, for consumers who can't afford platinum, 18k white gold is an acceptable substitute. The important factor is that more and more consumers want to see their diamonds in a white metal.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Floral necklace and matching earrings are crafted in 18k white gold. The earrings are set with 0.71 carat of diamonds and the necklace with 1.88 carats. Each piece is available in platinum. Suggested retail, $1,730 and $5,020, respectively.
Dove's Jewelry Designs, New York City; (212) 944-1346.

18k white gold pin features 17.05 carats of baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds ($41,500 keystone); platinum necklace has 38.86 carats of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds ($220,000); and platinum bracelet has 19.61 carats of pear-shaped diamonds ($70,000).
William Levine Fine Jewels LLC, Chicago, IL; (800) LEVINES or (312) 236-3700, fax (312) 580-7470,

An almost 15-ct. fancy intense yellow diamond is set in 18k gold and surrounded by about 5 carats of round brilliant diamonds set in platinum.
Codiam Inc., New York City; (212) 840-1484.

Two rings by Quality Design. One features 0.43 carat of round diamonds and 2.6 carats of sapphires in platinum. Suggested retail, $2,135. The other has 0.68 carat of diamonds set in 18k and platinum with a millgrain finish. Suggested retail, $2,470.
Quality Design, New York City; (888) 833-8238 or (212) 869-2531.

Diamond and platinum rings by Saturn Jewels offer three distinctive looks. The top ring is Art Deco-inspired and features 1.30 carats of diamonds and 0.20 carat of sapphires. Suggested retail $1,850 as a semimount. The lace eternity ring at left has 1.30 carats of diamonds and is reminiscent of the Edwardian era ($1,850). The engraved eternity band has 0.58 carat of diamonds ($750).
Saturn Jewels, New York City; (212) 944-9325, fax (212) 944-9459.

18k white gold rings feature three popular motifs. The cross has 0.11 carat of diamonds and retails for $350. The bezel setting holds a 0.15-ct. diamond and is $470 retail. The pavé heart features 0.12 carat of diamonds and is $370.
Jeffrey Robert, New York City; (212) 819-0947, fax (212) 730-5957.

From the Bianca collection come these platinum and diamond rings.
Universal Fine Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 255-6069 or (213) 622-7234, fax (213) 622-7542.



5.77-ct. starburst-cut diamond is flanked by two trillion-cut diamonds set in platinum.
Louis Glick & Co., New York City; (212) 259-0300.

Platinum wedding band holds 1.24 carats of round and baguette diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,950.
Perrier Gems International Inc., New York City; (800) 9-PERRIER or (212) 826-6688.

This platinum and diamond necklace consists of 122.02 carats of pear, oval and round D-F, SI1-VVS diamonds ranging from 0.30 to 5 carats.
Philippe Diamond Corp., New York City; (800) 247-5570 or (212) 869-5570, fax (212) 944-2506.

18k white gold pendant features 2.50 carats of invisibly set sapphires and 0.75 carat of pavé diamonds. Suggested retail, $2,900.
Tycoon, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 258-7454, fax (213) 622-2430.

Cordova's Gem Collectibles are fashioned in 14k yellow or white gold and are available with colored gemstones and/or diamonds.
Cordova, Flushing, NY; (800) 221-0744, fax (888) FAX-DIAM.

14k white gold "X" ring features a 2.25-ct. free-fall of round diamonds and baguettes ($4,499 suggested retail). The 1.5-ct. diamond bouquet ring is set in 18k white and yellow gold ($3,499). Inspired by architecture, the geometric ring is crafted in 14k white gold encrusted with diamond pavé ($1,999). All three are available in 18k gold or platinum.
D'ckar Business Corp., New York City; (877)-DCKAR99 or (212) 819-1177, fax (212) 819-1717,

Love lariats by Élan are crafted with diamonds and blue sapphire accents in 18k white gold.
Élan Ltd., Greenwich, CT; (877) 223-7145, (212) 308-7510 or (203) 629-0578, fax (203) 863-9043.

Platinum slide with chain contains four princess-cut diamonds weighing 1.20 carats. Suggested retail, $6,000.
Superior Diamond Cutters Inc., New York City; (800) 342-0036.

Platinum earrings have 2.58 carats of round and baguette diamonds, the matching "fold" ring features 2.73 carats of diamonds and the platinum "X" ring features 3.20 carats of diamonds.
Charles Krypell Inc., New York City; (212) 752-3313.

Oval earrings feature 5.77 carats of G-H, VS oval diamonds in platinum ($21,000 suggested retail).
Eugene Biro Corp., New York City; (212) 997-0146, fax (212) 764-4506.

Made in Valenza, Italy, these 18k white gold earrings feature 0.82 carat of G, VS diamonds.
Siyance, New York City; (212) 354-9055, fax (212) 302-6896.


From the Sentiments of Gold collection, these Italian-made 18k and diamond necklaces are inspired by and dedicated to nature's beauty. The collection, which includes pendants and earrings, pays tribute to the sparkling sun, flowers in bloom, petals and leaves.
Chimento Corp., Miami, FL; (800) 854-0122 or (305) 372-8025, fax (305) 372-5071,,

Art Deco-style link bracelet has diamonds in two-tone 18k gold.
C.K. Nissenbaum, New York City; (212) 869-7646, fax(212) 869-7659.

A symbol of classic elegance, this riviére necklace features bezel-set graduated diamonds in 18k gold.
Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL; (800) 621-6537, fax (312) 236-6456,


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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