A rainbow of color, higher-quality diamonds and higher-karat golds led the way at the JA International Jewelry Show, held Feb. 4-6 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Here's a rundown of popular items at the show:
No one color dominated, though there were many players. Dark pink and red stones, such as pink tourmaline, rubellite and rhodolite, were in abundance. Spessartite garnets in vibrant shades of orange held buyers' interest. Turquoise continued its climb in popularity, as did other opaque stones including chalcedony, coral and jade, seen mostly in cabochon form. Sapphire showed its strength in yellow, pink, blue and a touch of orange too. Gemstone beads in all colors and lengths were everywhere. Mixing two colors such as orange and brown, green and blue or red and pink gave finished jewelry a mosaic look. Washed out pastels are passé. "Buyers are looking for pastels with color depth," says Karen Duclos, Frederic Duclos, Huntington Beach, CA. Cushion shapes and pear gemstone drops as well as briolettes had a strong showing. Gemstone pavé was seen more than before.
Pearls continued in multi-hued popularity, with many mixed color strands in pink, peach and cream combinations. Golden pearl strands are showing strength. Other than strand pearl jewelry, black and silver pearls mixed with platinum were strong, and large white South Sea pearls set in 18k yellow gold radiated beauty.
Popular styles like the wave necklace, spider web inspirations, latticework in necklaces and bracelets, pavé, big solitaire stones and square diamonds continued. The three-stone anniversary ring in every shape has become important. The size of the moment is 1.5 carats and up in well-proportioned oval, emerald and radiant cuts. Improved color and clarity are in demand. "People are asking for G or better in color and SI1 or better in clarity," says Michael Mooney of Paramount Gems, New York City. Shared prong mountings in 18k white gold or platinum were readily available as were heavier remounts with lots of side interest. Rose gold is proving to be a great back drop for diamond melee.
In platinum and gold, the prevailing look was a more sophisticated brushed finish, often accented by shiny metal. Architectural looks and free-form abstract styles continued. Higher-karat gold 18k and 22k were strong. The look was either thin and small or big and wide with a high-polish shine. Rose gold had a stronger showing this year. Big interwoven oval or square links were very popular. While there was more yellow gold in attendance, white metals still have a very strong following. Celestial motifs, small pendants and layering were found everywhere. Titanium mixed with gold or platinum is becoming popular. "Highly technical consumers love it," says Gerwin R. Platz Jr., Coge Design Group, Dallas, TX.
"Bread and butter is back with a vengeance," says Brian Fleming of Carla Corp., East Providence, RI. Thin and elongated, short and fat and every variation in between could be found in hoop earring designs. Pins and brooches, cuff links, slide pendants for omegas and multiples in neckwear were popular and readily available.
- by Lorraine M. O'Donnell, A.J.P.