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
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
William Levine Fine Jewels LLC, Chicago, IL; (800) LEVINES or (312) 236-3700,
fax (312) 580-7470, www.wlfj.com.
|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
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
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)
|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, www.dckar.com.
|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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.