June 6, 2005
JCK Show Trends
Circles, sometimes concentric, along with geometric shapes in precious metal alone or with large gems or diamonds are a popular design at The JCK Show-Las Vegas, running at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, June 3-7.
These designs are seen in earrings, bracelets necklaces and rings. Manufacturers said these 1970s design elements are aimed at nostalgic Baby Boomers who were in their teens during the 1970s. Drop earrings incorporated this design pattern as well. Long earrings include geometric patterns and drops, such as briolettes, in their designs.
There is also a strong back-to-nature approach to jewelry design. Flowers, leaves and mossy patterns, strong in recent years, were evident at the show.
Among traditional diamond jewelry manufacturers, the use of color and pearls as part of the design elements was noted. Diamonds that are not considered of top quality have been used in briolette clusters together with softer gem materials, including pearls.
Unique gems, especially expensive natural, unenhanced gems, are more popular than ever, including colors of spinel and garnet. Gem dealers said buyers were asking about treatments and opting for gems such as sapphire and ruby which could be determined to be not treated or enhanced. Ruby and sapphire once again dominated the gemstone arena. Emeralds, which many predict will see a resurgence of popularity as greens cycle into fashion, remained elusive. Gem dealers said fine emerald production remains erratic and that the use of commercial quality emeralds as design elements has not grown. Buyers continue to look for well cut gemstones and request finished colored gemstone jewelry. The amount of finished colored gem jewelry has increased rapidly in the last few years and was particularly evident at the AGTA GemFair section. Designs incorporating larger gems accented by smaller colored gems (no diamonds) were also noted. This included color combinations such as purple (amethyst) as a center stone accented by smaller deep red garnets, or such as hazy deep orange Mexican opals surrounded by bright orange spessartite garnets.
Nature-inspired designs combine strong, brushed or matte gold in the metals and softer pastel to earth tones in the gems. The use of gemstones as cabochons, briolettes and drops is strong, though quality of the gems is not paramount; the design of the jewel is intended to make a statement about color, shape and texture rather than quality. Manufacturers say this allows the use of more gems at lower price points.
Pearls were also abundant, particularly in petal or leafy forms (such as Chinese cultured freshwater pearls), and in multitudes of colors and color combinations. Round, uniformly colored pearl strands were less visible than in recent years, though round strands combining colors were much more popular. Tahitian cultured, Chinese cultured freshwater and Australian cultured golden pearls were seen combined in multicolor graduated strands.
by Robert Weldon, G.G., and Orasa Weldon