12 Jewelry Trends for 2013: Amber

Every month, I’ll highlight one trend from the 12 Jewelry Trends for 2013 post on my Style 360 blog—an editorial first look at new collections worldwide and expert market analysis on jewelry trends and new products. My colleague Brittany Siminitz, manager of JCK Marketplacean expansive online showroom of gorgeous merchandise sold at the JCK showswill do the same on her On Your Market blog.

Amber just might be the unsung darling of the gemstone world. It’s affordable (you can buy pieces at shows for just a few dollars), lightweight (making it ideal for fashioning into huge statement pieces), and well storied (the fossilized tree resin can serve as a time capsule, sometimes trapping visible insects). 

According to GIA, the oldest piece of amber known dates to the Carboniferous period. Like coral, amber is an organic gem—the product of once-living organisms. Many pieces are available in brown hues (though blackish tones can be found when bark bonds to sap) and are found in a select few places worldwide, including Myanmar, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Russia. But the Baltic Sea region of Poland is arguably the largest producer.

Today, designers are setting diamonds into amber, using it as accents on other accessories (see the scarf below), and pairing its warm hues with rich yellow gold for a decidedly more upscale offering. But the Polish design community, most evident at the annual Amberif fair held in Gdansk, Poland, may be the most loyal and innovative fans of the material since it’s mined, basically, in their backyards, and they are partial to making the rugged-looking gem pop in modern-looking settings.

Scarf with amber from Nobless Silver

Scarf with amber and silver, price unavailable at press time; Nobless Silver

Amber, wood, and silver jewery from Dobkowski Art of Amber

Ring, pendant, and earrings in wood, amber, and silver, respectively €30, €40, and €20; Dobkowski Art of Amber

 

Silver brooch with Amber from Amber Studio

Silver brooch with Baltic amber flowers, $49; Amber Studio

Rings in silver with amber from Art7

Rings in silver with amber, $60; Art7

Butterfly ring in silver with amber from Ambermix

Butterfly ring in 14k gold-plated silver with amber, $148; Ambermix

Ring in silver with amber from Enzo
Ring in silver with Baltic amber, €185; Enzo

Pendant necklace in silver with amber from Amber-Ring

Pendant necklace in silver with Baltic amber, $250; Amber-Ring

Silver and amber necklace from Moytle

Ring in silver with amber, $650; Motyle(motyle@autograf.pl)

Silver and amber necklace from Yossi Harari

Melissa amber wrap necklace with sterling silver, $2,330; Yossi Harari

18k gold and amber earrings from Lucifer vir Honestus

Earrings in 18k rose gold with Dominican amber, $3,240; Lucifer vir Honestus

Necklace and ring in silver with Baltic amber from Aleksander Gliwinski

Pendant necklace and ring in silver with Baltic amber from the Temptation collection, designed for a runway fashion show, that earned recognition from the Polish Fashion Academy for their design, $5,200 and $4,800, respectively; Aleksander Gliwinski

Pendant necklace in 18k gold, diamonds, and amber from Barbara Westwood

Baltic amber heart necklace in 18k gold with 0.60 ct. t.w. diamond slide, $10,000; Barbara Westwood