JA Show Trends Report

August 3, 2001

JA Show Trends Report

Once again, a rainbow of color, higher-quality diamonds and higher-karat golds led the way at the JA International Jewelry Show, held July 28-August 1 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, purple and red stones, such as spinel, pink tourmaline, rubellite, rhodolite and amethyst, were in abundance. Spessartite garnets and citrine in vibrant shades of orange held buyers' interest as did the softer yellow of lemon citrine and yellow sapphire. Turquoise continued its climb in popularity, as did other opaque stones including chalcedony and jade, seen mostly in cabochon or bead form. Gemstone beads in all colors and lengths were everywhere. Mixing hues of the same gemstone such as yellow sapphire that goes from light to dark gave finished jewelry a tonal look. Nature-inspired shades such as blue topaz, green or brown tourmaline and peridot will be easy to wear with this fall's fashion colors. "Burgundy, brown, black and red variations are expected to be the colors for fall apparel," says Louise Rutman of Alfieri & St. John. Pear gemstone drops as well as briolettes had a strong showing.

Black and white pearls dominate, though there were still many mixed color strands in pink, peach and cream combinations. 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. Coin pearls were popular for earrings.

Popular styles like the wave necklace, architecturally inspired pyramids, latticework in necklaces and bracelets, pavé and square diamonds continued. The three-stone anniversary ring in every shape had a presence in just about every booth. The solitaire size of the moment is 1.5 carats in well-made, well-proportioned oval, emerald and radiant cuts. Improved color and clarity are in demand. "People are asking for better goods. They want their diamonds to look white, white, white," says Joi Frankle, designer/owner of Designs by Joi, New York City. Shared prong, chopped prong, bezel and the traditional four prong mountings in 18k white gold or platinum were readily available. Celestial themes, square pendants and hearts were everywhere in solid pavé or pavé dotted with a splash of color in the middle of the piece.

In platinum, gold and silver, the prevailing look was a more sophisticated matte finish, often accented by a high polish metal. Architectural looks and free-form abstract styles continued. Higher-karat gold in 18k and 22k were strong. Medium interwoven oval or square links were very popular. While there was more yellow gold in attendance, white metals still had a very strong showing. Celestial motifs, small pendants and layering were found everywhere. Geometric bangles and square rings are contoured to the shape of the body. Every variation of the hoop earring was seen and braceletmetal-intensive bracelets were also popular. Jewelry that moves, such as dangle earrings or flexible link rings, was also a big hit.

- by Lorraine M. O'Donnell, A.J.P.