February 22, 1999
Large Stones Rule at Ambiente
Huge cultured pearls and gemstones, white metals and opals dominated the jewelry offerings at Ambiente, an international trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, for housewares, interior design, jewelry and accessories.
Strands of freshwater cultured pearls from 10mm to larger than 20mm were available at almost every booth, with peacock, black, gray and pale blue prevailing and size outweighing shape and luster. Huge necklaces set with round and square colored gemstones continued the trend. Opals, loose and set in pendants and rings, were plentiful also.
White metals easily outdistanced yellow gold. A recurring motif, especially in silver, were necklaces created from identical stamped shapes connected by small loops. Mixes of platinum and silver in a variety of finishes created tonal looks enhanced by industrial design.
Watches followed the white metal trend; chronographs and military-inspired timepieces were prevalent for men, while women's watches sported open-link bracelets and pale-colored shimmery dials.
Oddities spotted at the fair included vendors hawking mood rings, jewelry designed to be worn on the head (formed by a serpentine flow of metal wrapping from below one ear and over the top of the skull) and gemstone navel jewelry.
- by Liz Smutko