Professional Jeweler Archive: Sterling Success

September 2002


Sterling Success

The time is right to turn toward silver's lower price points. Whether offering designer looks or enjoying add-ons, you have everything to gain with sterling silver jewelry. ItÕs the perfect impulse purchase

Sterling silver jewelry is a worthy addition to any jewelry store. With its lower prices and the continuing popularity of white metals, it can accommodate a variety of customers. If you’re concerned silver may be too pedestrian for your clientele, remember that big-name designers such as John Hardy, John Atencio, David Yurman and Steven Lagos make sophisticated, elegant silver jewelry that rivals the styling of gold and platinum.


Clean and contemporary are hallmarks of sterling jewelry. In addition, silver and gold combinations create an opportunity for designs where interchangeability is important. “Lifestyle trends dictate where jewelry trends go. Busier lives call for versatility,” says Janice Winter, president of Judith Ripka, New York City. Because consumers are always looking for something different, there is a call for more design-driven pieces.

“It’s jewelry with textures, woven or diagonal lines that imitate clothing,” adds Patricia Daunis, designer/owner of Daunis, Portland, ME. “These are pieces that can be worn in every phase of life.”

Etched in Stone

There is no room for weak color in sterling jewelry. “Blue topaz, aquamarine or synthetic blue colors bring out the beauty of sterling jewelry,” says Lorraine Garvey, vice president of Stahl Design, Providence, RI. With creativity, though, you can help customers create a jewelry wardrobe with alternatives. For example, says Daunis, “mix lavender and blue, purple and red, pink and green, or icy blue and green to satisfy a wide range of customers.”

For fall and winter, apparel colors will lean toward rich and warm, so suggest gems to match. “Dark citrine, rhodolite garnet and smoky topaz offer the warmth that works well with the tone of sterling silver,” says Alice Aquilino, director of advertising and public relations at Judith Ripka.

When looking at weights and measures, designers are using all sizes and cuts, from 3mm-5mm gems scattered through a design to 10mm-by-12mm gems with checkerboard, radiant, quilted or fluted faceting or cabochon and buff tops.

Current Consumer Demands

Earrings: Simple forms such as hoops of all sizes continue to sell, as do on-the-ear styles that are square or circles with a split. If they swing or dangle, they’ll sell.

Necklaces: From dramatic statements to small links, there’s a focus on the neckline. Open, airy chains and links are important for your showcase, as are necklaces with important gems or symbols such as hearts.

Rings: Boldly colored gemstones in any shape are a must this fall. So are ring and bracelet suites that match or complement each other.

Bracelets: Link bracelets with tags still sell well. Cuffs that can be stacked or mixed and matched are comfortable, wearable and offer unique style.

Pins/Brooches: This trendy category is quieting down, though flag and eagle symbols still soar.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Imported sterling silver dragon fly pin/pendants. Suggested retail, $18 and $58.

The Cargo Hold Inc., Charleston, SC; (843) 723-3341, fax (843) 722-1377.

Sterling silver and 18k gold heart bracelet has diamond accents.

Judith Ripka, New York City; (212) 391-2340, fax (212) 730-5014.

Men’s two-tone sterling silver cuff links and tie bar.

Stahl Design, Providence, RI; (888) 655-6736 fax (401) 722-9765,

Rippling reflections cuff and band ring are sterling silver with Maine tourmaline and Maine amethyst bubbles in 14k gold. Keystone, $1,372 for the cuff, $738 for the ring.

Daunis, Portland, ME; (207) 773-6011, fax (207) 773-3603,

Photo by Daunis.

Circle of Love sterling ring is embossed with “I Love You” in a spinning center circle and enhanced with a ruby. Keystone, $60.

B.A. Ballou, East Providence, RI; (800) 755-7099,

Crystals grace these sterling silver drop earrings and salamander pin.

Jenna Nicole, Freehold NJ; (800) 223-6496 or (732) 780-0190, fax (732) 780-3440,

Sterling silver heart link bracelet.

Silber’s, Houston, TX; (800) SILBERS or (713) 784-6226, fax (713) 784-0396.

Handcrafted .925 sterling silver lockets are from the Modern Woman collection. Suggested retail, $31.50.

Boma, Renton, WA; (800) 892-9210, fax (425) 226-2334,,

Sterling silver link bracelet is fastened by a toggle clasp.

Metal Marketplace International, Philadelphia, PA; (800) 523-9191 or (215) 592-8777, fax (215) 592-8195,

Sterling silver cube necklace and earring set.

Zina Sterling Silver, Beverly Hills, CA; (310) 286-2212, fax (310) 286-1432,

terling silver and turquoise suite.

HMS, Addison, TX; (972) 248-0266, fax (800) 329-4653.

Sterling silver earrings feature blue chalcedony. Sterling ring holds blue chalcedony and checkerboard-cut rhodolite garnet.

Sunstone Inc., Morton Grove, IL; (847) 965-1700, fax (847) 965-8482,

.925 sterling silver pins.

Bayanihan Ltd., Harrisburg, PA; (717) 652-3987, fax (717) 545-4830.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications