Professional Jeweler Archive: Trends at the 2004 JA Winter Show

March 2004

First Run


Trends at the 2004 JA Winter Show

Popular styles hang in for another season


The first major trade show of the year, JA New York, sped through the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City Jan. 25-27, eliciting reports from exhibitors of strong traffic and fairly good sales.

Established styles remain dominant, including pavé, important diamonds, white metals and symbols such as crosses and hearts. Pendants and pins shrink from large to medium, primarily made in all metal and colored gem designs. Gemstone beads remain popular. Chain links are covered in diamonds or simply appear in all metal, usually in oblong, oval or marquise shapes. Organic shapes, paper-clip links, use of negative space and rubber or silk cord accents continue to be popular. Fluid style influences everything from diamond jewelry to plain metal.

Precious Metals

Silver, white gold and platinum are hot. Heart motifs and bridal jewelry dominate platinum-intensive lines. Rings with gold beads or “atom” clusters are popular. Pink gold is gaining momentum, fueled by color trends in gemstones and diamonds. Exhibitors show pink gold accenting white gold or in stackable bangles and rings with yellow and white gold. All-yellow gold makes its strongest statement in 18k high-fashion, ethnic or ancient-inspired styles, highlighting its richer color and prominence in fashion magazines.

Colored Gems & Pearls

Pink gems appear in many showcases and continue to be popular with retailers, according to exhibitors. Jewelry mixing green, blue, pink, purple and yellow (all colors in one design) or one of these colors alone reflects ongoing interest in colorful jewelry. This ties into apparel trends, where romantic and retro styles are awash in these bright colors. Turquoise and coral remain popular for the same reason, but are seen most often in European lines. Briolettes and gemstone beads are everywhere. From pastels to primary colors, gemstones show deep saturation. Black or white pearl strands, single pearl pendants or stud earrings gain strength as golden and mixed-color strands recede a bit.

Diamonds & Bridal

The two dominant trends are diamond pavé and diamond jewelry with important center stones. “With the economy improving, more customers are looking for bigger diamonds,” says Peter Storm, owner/designer of Peter Storm, San Mateo, CA. Along with modern styles, antique settings and diamond cuts remain popular. Exhibitors also are buzzing about “stiletto” diamond earrings (one long dangling strand of diamonds), which also were seen at the Golden Globe awards. Smaller chandeliers, cuff bracelets and three-stone styles remain ubiquitous. The diamond pendant of the moment is a simple circle.

In bridal diamond jewelry, flush-set stones in bezel or bar settings are popular. Yellow diamonds are strong either as centers, side stones or pavé. Pink diamond pavé shows up less often, but exhibitors say they expect consumer demand to increase.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications