Professional Jeweler Archive: Love is in the Air

February 2003

Feature


Love is in the Air

Keep a balance of two-tone, all-white and all-yellow bridal jewelry as tastes shift


In 2001, a study by Jewelers of America and the Diamond Promotion Service found engagement ring sales in jewelry stores were up significantly in September and October of that year. More than a year later, the trend is holding strong.

Though the industry has suffered because of the soft economy, engagements, weddings and anniversaries are perennial sales-makers. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in engagement ring and bridal jewelry sales across the board, and we anticipate higher sales in 2003,” says Zev Neuwirth, president of Gravure Atlantic USA/Gravure Bridal, Montreal, Quebec. “Love, marriage, family and commitment have become a treasured goal.”

Prove Your Metal

White metals are still tops in bridal jewelry, whether engagement rings or wedding bands. However, yellow gold wedding bands are staging a comeback. Sales of wedding rings combining 18k gold and platinum have grown also, though this trend may not last. “We anticipate a slowdown in demand for two-tone rings,” says Sam Abaci, designer/owner of Gelin & Abaci, Glendora, CA. “And when customers do buy two-tone, it may be pink and white instead of yellow and white.” Your best bet for 2003, suggest suppliers, is to keep a customer-driven balance of two-tone, all-white and all-yellow bridal jewelry in stock.

In Style

Consumers want simple designs in bridal jewelry. “It must be contemporary, classic and clean,” says Judith Conway, designer/owner of Judith Conway, Windsor, CA. “Traditionalism and longevity are the keys to this category.“ Focus on diamond-cut, machine-engraved rings with simple patterns or engraved wedding bands with diamonds.

Diamonds on Top

Diamonds are still the symbol of eternal love and leave little room for other gemstones, say designers. If other gems are used, it’s usually sapphire or ruby. There may be an uptick in the use of colored diamonds this year, thanks to interest spurred by entertainer Jennifer Lopez’s highly publicized 6.10-ct. pink diamond engagement ring by Harry Winston.

The diamond shapes attracting attention are round, oval, princess, radiant and emerald for centers. Side diamonds run the gamut. “Baguettes, pavé, half-moons, trapezoids, bullets, trillions, shields and princess cuts make a woman’s ring more unique and individualized,” says Conway.

Setting the Stage

Flush, tension, half-bezel and four-prong are the leading settings. These settings show the diamond and keep the mounting clean, balanced and comfortable. A previous favorite, the full-bezel, is sliding out of favor. “This style, because it surrounds the diamond in metal, has tapered off a bit for rings,” says Abaci.

Future Bridal Trends

Subtle elegance, quality and durability are watch-words. “Say bye-bye to big and clunky as a return to dainty and graceful is in store for bridal,” says Conway.

Adds Neuwirth, “There’s greater emphasis on the center stone for engagement rings. I predict a greater demand for matching sets in wedding bands – diamond engraved bands in all-yellow or all-white gold with diamond accents.”

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Wedding bands are composed of 14k yellow and 14k white gold and contain diamonds.

Benchmark, Tuscaloosa, AL. (205) 345-0555.

Platinum wedding bands are each $1,500 suggested retail.

B&N Jewelry/Britannia Bridal, Marietta, GA; (800) 358-6223, fax (770) 578-8744.

The Clarissa engagement ring (left) has an 18k gold pinched shank. The Julianna engagement ring (middle) features a platinum solitaire accented by a collar of fine diamonds set in 18k yellow gold. The Angelina bridal set is crafted in classic style.

Design Works Jewelry Group Ltd., Long Island City, NY; (718) 706-8989.

Available in 18k gold or 950 platinum, this ring’s setting elevates the round solitaire to allow more light to reach it. The mounting will hold various sizes.

Hoover & Strong, Richmond, VA; (804) 794-3700.

14k white gold bands each have a 0.05-ct. diamond accent. Suggested retail, from $199.

Gravure Bridal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; (877) GRAVURE, fax (877) GRAVFAX.

Three-stone platinum engagement rings start at $4,000 suggested retail.

Adasco, New York City; (800) 632-6685 or (212) 819-0288.

True Knots™ seamless die-struck wedding bands in 14k white or yellow gold or two-tone are $300 suggested retail.

My Way Jewelry Co., Los Angeles, CA; (800) 667-1515, fax (213) 689-9580, www.trueknots.com, mywayjly@pacbell.net.

Platinum bridal set has an antique look.

Tacori, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 421-9844, fax (213) 488-0635.

Platinum wedding rings are available in a variety of styles.

Scott Kay Platinum, Teaneck, NJ; (201) 287-0100, fax (201) 287-1617, www.scottkay.com.

Platinum and 18k gold engagement ring is set with natural fancy yellow princess-cut side diamonds and tapered baguettes with a princess-cut center.

Martin Flyer, New York City; (800) 223-0330 or (212) 840-8899, fax (212) 768-0124.

The Moonlight collection features engagement rings with a center diamond in high-polish platinum and 18k gold .

Walls Design Inc., Boulder, CO; (303) 494-1636, fax (303) 494-3396.

Platinum high-polish wedding bands are each $1,100 suggested retail.

GCL Jewelry Design, a division of Precimet Corp., Northport, NY; (631) 462-4490, fax (631) 462-4492.

Ariana™ solitaires and matching bands are available in platinum or gold in different shapes with four- or six-prong heads. The matching band is available with a side notch to nest with the six-prong solitaire. Suggested retail, $200-$1,000 (center stones not included).

Guertin Bros., Roanoke, VA; (800) 225-3141, fax (540) 362-2160, sales@guertinbrothers.com, www.guertinbrothers.com.

Platinum engagement semimounts and wedding band retail from $1,650.

Judith Conway, Windsor, CA; (707) 838-8760, fax (707) 838-8765.

Two-tone tension-set engagement ring features rose gold and pavé diamond accents and 14k or 18k white gold or platinum. It features 1.06 carats of pavé diamonds and can hold a center stone up to 1.50 carats (up to 5 carats with a special order). Suggested retail for the semimount, $4,005-$5,505. Matching wedding band with 0.95 carat of pavé diamonds is $3,000-$4,050.

Gelin & Abaci Inc., Glendora, CA; (800) 545-8545, fax (626) 914-7829.

Platinum rings are $16,000-$120,000 suggested retail.

Primak, New York City; (212) 398-0287, fax (212) 398-1102.

Platinum and 18k gold bridal set features 0.46 carat of princess-cut diamonds in the engagement semimount and 0.49 carat of princess-cut diamonds in the wedding band. Suggested retail, $3,500 for the engagement ring semimount, $2,500 for the wedding band.

Judith Evans for Kimberley Diamond Co., New York City; (800) 223-4104, fax (212) 791-7731.

14k gold band has diamond accents.

Friedrich Stahl Design USA, Providence, RI; (888) 655-6736, fax (401) 722-9765, info@stahldesignusa.com.

From the N’Oval™ collection, these wedding bands are curved for a comfortable fit. Available in white or yellow gold.

Novell Enterprises Inc., Roselle, NJ; (908) 245-0700, fax (908) 245-5090.

Selection of engagement and wedding rings with diamonds. All rings are available in 14k or 18k yellow or white gold or in 950 platinum.

Harold Freeman Jewelry Mfg. Co., New York City; (800) 221-4092, fax (212) 691-9528, www.haroldfreeman.com, sales@haroldfreeman.com.

14k white gold engagement ring semimounts start at $460 suggested retail. Also available in platinum or 18k white or yellow gold.

Avirom & Associates Inc., Boulder, CO; (800) 456-5958 or (303) 494-5624, fax (303) 494-5745.

14k wedding bands feature engraving.

Camelot Bridal, Union, NJ; (800) 279-9943, fax (908) 687-8314.

Handmade platinum rings have matched emerald-, radiant-and trapezoid-cut side diamonds.

David Levy Diamonds & Fine Jewels Inc., New York City; (866) 398-8952 or (212) 398-8952, fax (212) 398-8126, www.diamondmatchmaker-.com, dldfj@aol.com.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications