Anybody Else Miss the Days of BIG Fine Jewelry?

Yesterday evening I was reminiscing with longtime jewelry designer Paul Klecka on Facebook about the “good old days”: when design houses made editorial (read: big) statement pieces in karat gold, sometimes paired with platinum.

Upward of six to eight years ago, when JCK shot photography for its Luxury and JCK Style publications, my former coworker Carrie Soucy and I had plenty of oversize, fashion-forward precious metal pieces to pick from. A dessert-plate–size diamond-covered skull pendant necklace? Got it. A tree-branch–size floral cuff in gold with diamond slices? Easy. Bulging bejeweled cocktail rings—where the gems are bursting from mountings and dangling from sides in briolette form—from any number of U.S. or Italian designers? Got ’em—which ones do you want? I’m sure the industry, too, misses those days of designs without the monetary limits of high metal prices; and as a jewelry editor, I especially miss them when I’m looking for sizable fine jewelry items to place on models.

Most of the on-trend statement pieces I’m eyeing are made in costume materials, which understandably serve a purpose, are popular, and are a reality for jewelers since 2008. But I can’t help but pine for the days when these big baubles were once made in the metals that make a fine jeweler a jeweler.

I asked Paul last night if he had any modern, colorful statement pieces in gold, and his reply left me somewhat deflated: “I have some colored diamonds and nano-ceramic on silver, will that work?” Sigh. I countered with this: “How about some vintage Klecka collars in gold?”

Ed. Note: If you’re a manufacturer and have relevant statement pieces in gold or platinum that are up to six months old, please feel free to shoot me pictures—they don’t need to be professional, cameraphone shots are fine—to see what you have, and items will be considered for live merchandise pulls for next week. In general, we’re looking for pieces with clean lines. jheebner@jckonline.com