Good as Gold
Yellow gold has survived the great white wave to make waves
of its own
Gold has roots in ancient currencies and early tribal rituals.
Its most alluring use, however, has always been in jewelry. The
Egyptians reserved it for pharaohs. The Etruscans forged new
design techniques with granulation and gold thread. The Chinese
and Indians imparted romance by creating 24k gold jewelry for
brides to wear for good luck.
Most recently, traditional yellow gold lost ground as consumers
paid heed to ads featuring white metal in everything from jewelry
to home furnishings. Where did yellow gold go? "It never
left us," says Harry Schmidt, owner of HMS, Addison, TX.
In fact, yellow gold still accounts for a majority of all fine
jewelry sales, despite the hype about white for the past few
Whatever the color, gold is a good bet for this holiday season
with commodity prices hovering around $250 per ounce, down from
$400 a few short years ago.
Christine Yorke, a consultant for the World Gold Council,
takes note of design trends and shares her thoughts on the most
- Softness: Mesh with dangles, metal fabricated like cloth
and anything else that's soft and conforms to the body is popular.
- More White: Yorke places her bets on white gold. She cites
one gold intensive jewelry manufacturer that now produces
nearly 90% of its lines with some white metal. Two tone
gold remains especially popular.
- Higher Karat Yellow Gold: One exception to the white gold
storm is high karat yellow gold (18k and above). The rich
color of high karat gold gives it a freshness that will
please today's more sophisticated customers.
- Look to the Past: Ancient inspired and estate jewelry
styles will remain popular, though Yorke says the best designs
will add some sort of modern twist.
- Branding: Branding of gold jewelry lines will continue as
generic designs become harder to sell, she says. Independent
retailers will need to exercise caution, however, to maintain
their own brand name in the process.
Professional Jeweler's visits to domestic and international
trade shows this year found some other trends:
- Finishes: Mixed finishes such as polished and brushed.
- Motifs: Nature motifs and spiritual themes.
- Chain: The larger the better, especially with open links.
by Lorraine M. Suermann
||14k gold mesh bracelet and necklace
are available also in white gold. Royal Chain, New York City;
(800) 622 0960, fax (800) 262 4246.
|Flexible stocking mesh chain is available
in 14K or 10k gold, gold filled or sterling silver.
National Chain, Warwick, RI; (401) 732 6200, fax (401) 738 1684,
||14k gold necklace is from the Woven
Gold collection. Michael Anthony, Mt. Vernon, NY; (800) 625 7252,
ext. 442, or (914) 699 0000, ext. 442, fax (914) 665 3284.
|From the Flora collection comes the
orchid cattleya brooch/pendant in 18k pink, green and white gold
with 0.21 carat of pavé diamonds. Hiroko Sato Pijanowski,
Ann Arbor, MI; (734) 668 6670, fax (734) 663 6632,
||18k white gold and platinum rings from the Cathedrals
collection glisten with pavé diamonds. Suggested retail,
Christie Frantz, Berkley, CA; (800) 468 8900, fax (510)
525 7782, email@example.com.
|14k gold Christmas theme bracelet
is $1,160 retail. Also available in sterling silver, goldplate
and 10k. Rembrandt Charms, Buffalo, NY; (800) 828 7840.
||18k gold bracelet from the Truffle
collection features 0.96 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail,
$4,500. Also available in 14k at $3,500. John Atencio Designs,
(303) 830 7733.
|From Paris Nouvelle Vague Cartier
collection, this ring of 18k gold beads is available also in
white gold and with polished or unpolished finish. Cartier, New
York City; (212) 446 3527 or (212) 446 3526.
||Drop rings come in rose, white or
yellow gold and feature 0.15 carat of baguette diamonds. KWM
Exclusives for Tamara
Comolli Fine Jewelry Collection, New York City; (212) 398 8662,
fax (212) 398 8665.
|From the Fanfare collection, this
18k pin with a Chinese freshwater pearl is $800 keystone. Conni
Mainne Designs Fine
Jewelry, El Cerrito, CA; (510) 559 7823.
||Earrings are from the Spun Gold collection.
Matching ring and bracelet are available.
W&B Mazza & Sons Inc., Baldwin, NY; (800) 654 3400
or (516) 379 4130, fax (516) 379 4152.
|Split Bead mokumé gané
pendant and mirror image earrings are crafted in 14k white
gold and etched sterling silver. The pendant has a bezel set
diamond. Suggested retail, $640 for the earrings, $720 for the
pendant. George Sawyer Design, Minneapolis, MN; (612) 375 1799.
||14k engraved bracelet from the Monaco
collection is $1,750 suggested retail. Klass Designs, Elko, NV;
(702) 753 4262, fax (702) 777 3582
|High polish 18k white gold cuff
bracelet features ribbed and diamond (0.32 carats) accents. Suggested
retail, $3,025. Jenny Perl, Wheaton, MD; (800) 790 3033
or (301) 933 9500, fax (301) 942 3977.
||18k white gold heart pendant with
chain is $350 suggested retail. Mazza/Bartholomew Ltd., New York
City; (212) 935 4530,
fax (212) 421 3720.
|Available in 14k white and 14k or
18k yellow gold, this cross can be customized with your name
and wedding dates or with traditional Posey sayings. The cross
is from a collection that is $249 $599 suggested retail.
John Christian, Austin, TX; (888) 646 6466 or (512) 326 5004,
fax (512) 326 4822.
|| Traditional meets contemporary
with these heavily carved bands in pink, white and yellow 14k
gold. Mix and match the bands and guards. Also available in 18k
and platinum. Suggested retail, $400 $900.
Melissa Shipley Designs, Denver, CO; (303) 741 5771.
|18k ensemble is from the nature inspired
18k Leaf collection. Kimberlee Teti, St. Davids, PA; (610) 688 8828,
fax (610) 688 8890.
||From the Wave collection, these 14k
rings are suitable for remounting and are $422 $522 suggested
retail. Available in 18k for $504 $624. Daunis, Portland,
(207) 773 6011, fax (207) 773 3606.
|Crafted in 18k gold or platinum,
this ensemble is from the Double Happiness collection. OE Design
SDN BHD for
Feng Shui Jewellery, Penang, Malaysia;
(60 4) 641 5707, fax (60 4) 641 5714, firstname.lastname@example.org.
||From the Generation X collection,
these earrings are crafted in 18k gold and are available in a
variety of finishes. Charles Garnier Paris, Cranston, RI; (800)
722 3721 or (401) 946 3444, fax (401) 946 0044.
|Hearts to the Nines bell pendant
is just one of 100 designs. Pendants are available in 18k or
14k gold or sterling silver. Suggested retail, $25 $700.
Kevin Kapin Manufactory, Ojai, CA; (805) 646-8380, fax (805) 646-8729.
||Gold rings come in 10k yellow gold
with 12k rose and green gold leaves and diamond accents. Suggested
retail, $234 (left) and $600. Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman,
Rapid City, SD; (800) 874 9926 or
(605) 394 3708, fax (605) 394 3719, email@example.com.
|The Chain Fantasy Collection features
handmade Italian chain in 18k white or green gold. Suggested
retail, $350 $790. Available also in platinum. Linea Aurea,
New York City; (212) 944 6161.
||14k Italian Byzantine chain with
gemstones is available in 8 inches ($960 keystone) and 17 inches
(1,600). HMS, Addison, TX; (800) HMS GOLD or (972) 248 0266,
fax (800) FAX GOLD.
|Split chain necklace is crafted in
10k tricolor gold. Suggested retail, $77.50. Stamper Black Hills
Gold Jewelry, Rapid City, SD;
(605) 342 0751.
||14k yellow or white gold charms are
from the New Baroque collection of La Nouvelle Bague. La Nouvelle
Bague, Florence, Italy; (39 055) 244 911, www.lanouvellebague.it.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.