Precious Metals & Bench: News
Gold Trends 2000
The World Gold Council predicts trends in gold jewelry
design. The influence of consumers' lifestyles is key
Think about the social trends that influenced gold jewelry
design in the past, from the gold chains that grew out of the
hippie years to the simple gold cuffs that have symbolized '90s
minimalism. Now imagine how useful it would be to know what trends
will shape gold jewelry designs in the first few years of the
There's no crystal ball and predictions don't come with guarantees,
but the World Gold Council has done extensive socio-cultural
research to produce Gold Trends 2000, a futuristic book that
looks at developing social trends likely to influence consumers'
tastes in jewelry design and at specific design styles those
trends and tastes suggest.
Gold Trends 2000 is laid out almost as two books contained
in a large binder. On the left is the "LifeTrends"
section. Like the left side of the brain, it takes the analytical
tack. It defines nine cultural trends, pointing out examples
and evidence of each and their expected directions.
On the right is the "DesignTrends" section, which
focuses on imagination, creativity and imagery. It provides inspiration
and design ideas that evolve from the sociocultural trends discussed
The nine major LifeTrends examined are: Connecting, Multi-Grouping,
Restructuring Identity, Cyberliving, New Moralities, New Genders,
Millenimania, Luxury as Right and Bioshifting. (See the stories
at right for a closer look at three of these trends).
To Learn More
Gold Trends 2000 is available from WGC for $125 plus $10 shipping
and handling. It's offered in conjunction with a seminar that
will explore more fully all of these trends and their impact
on design. The seminar will be presented in Providence on Sept.
14, Chicago on Sept. 15, Los Angeles on Sept. 16, Miami on Sept.
28 and New York City on Sept. 30. The seminar costs $100, which
includes a copy of the book. If you buy the book, you can go
to the seminar for free.
WGC is also sponsoring the Gold Trends 2000 Design Competition
to stimulate designers to use trends described in Gold Trends
2000 as a guide.
A return to self-indulgence and conspicuous consumption marks
this trend. It comes in reaction to the spartan, self-denying
regimens of the recent past. A heightened perception among Baby
Boomers of passing time fuels this trend.
In terms of consumption, we've seen an increase in such luxuries
as designer homes, exclusive clubs, extravagant entertaining,
fine dining, designer clothes, furs and jewelry. Other social
markers for this trend are the return of the martini bar, the
explosion of steak houses and a laundry list of other sensual
Luxury as Right
Turning to the design aspects of this trend, consumers will embrace
ideas such as delicious excess, too much is just enough and the
return of glamour. Lavish use of materials in designs that make
a bold and opulent statement is what consumers caught up in this
trend will look for.
The stereotypes of gender have been eroding for decades. This
trend can be seen in every aspect of our lives, from changes
in business and social relationships to the fascination with
gender ambiguity in media and entertainment.
An important aspect of this trend is the shift in men's roles
as nurturers and at-home parents and in women's roles as corporate
executives, business owners and political leaders. We have seen
an increased tolerance for atypical appearance and behavior in
men and women and an embracing of "softer," more intuitive
values and lifestyles in many segments of traditionally male
This trend manifests itself in design that is fluid, mutable
and often revealing the unexpected. It explores the coexistence
of opposites; hard and soft, curved and straight. Unisex jewelry
is one outcome of these concepts.
Sociologists see this as a profound reexamination of the basic
principles of ethical behavior and a sincere commitment to live
by them. The cultural clues this trend will continue to develop
are the preoccupation many people feel with issues such as right
and wrong, the nature of honesty and ethical behavior. There's
been an increase in volunteerism, addressing major social and
political issues through individual action and involvement at
the grass-roots level.
A surge in ethics courses has been noted at many levels of
our education system. The popularity of television shows such
as "Touched by an Angel" and "Providence"
as well as movies with spiritual themes are further evidence
this trend is building.
This LifeTrend is likely to have a profound influence on the
designs sought by people experiencing it. Such concepts as simple
beauty, ancient memories, meanings and messages, nature as inspiration
and storytelling should all play their part.
||Opulent gold rings accented with black pearls
are perfect symbols of "Luxury as Right." From the
Sand Dune Collection by M. Zucchi and P. Valentini for Tahiti
Perles, a Robert Wan Co., Honolulu, HI; (808) 922-6402, fax (808)
|Gold and platinum rings by Niessing are unisex
and represent the hard and soft, curved and straight aspects
of the roles today's men and women undertake. Niessing, Vreden,
Germany; fax (49-256) 430-0104.
||Gold pendants symbolize ancient African storytelling
and the moral and spiritual lessons such stories represent. By
Bridggy Ramasike for B. Haglund Ltd., the African Jewelry Collection.
For information, contact the World Gold Council, New York City;
Source: World Gold Council, New York City; (212)
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.