Designers / Fashion / Industry

JCK’s 10 Most-Read Style and Design Stories in 2021


Jewelry is, first and foremost, an aesthetic pursuit. That’s why we devote so much coverage to style and design—because we know it matters to our readers. In 2021, they bore out that truism by clicking on stories spotlighting unsung gems, historically underrepresented jewelers, auction house darlings, and anything featuring the intersection of jewelry and pop culture.

Below, we list the year’s most-read style and design stories, culminating with a piece on a certain pop star that drew thousands (upon thousands) of page views. Drumroll, please!


10. Jewelry Designers Share Their Favorite Piece They Produced In 2020

By Emili Vesilind

Chinchar Maloney teal Montana sapphire ring
Teal Montana sapphire ring; Chinchar Maloney

Before we threw a lit match onto the trash heap that was 2020, we celebrated the deluge of creative—and occasionally downright innovative—work that flowed from the benches of designers all over the world. Read the story.


9. Pioneering Black American Jewelry Designers In History

By Emili Vesilind

Art Smith
Art Smith (photo courtesy of the estate of Art Smith)

Despite the challenges (many of which still persist today), a handful of Black American designers attained both critical and commercial success in their careers. Here are three who belong in the canon of all-time greats. Read the story.


8. Swarovski’s First Collection Under New Creative Director Is Crazy Beautiful

By Emili Vesilind

Harmonia cuff
Harmonia cuff, $429

How Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Swarovski’s first company-wide creative director, pushed the brand into more high-fashion realms—spaces filled with flamboyant color, grandeur, and good humor. Read the story.


7. Moonstone Is Marvelous: Rediscovering June’s Birthstone

By Brittany Siminitz

Tresor rainbow moonstone earrings
Earrings in 18k yellow gold with 7.38 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstone and blue sapphires and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds, $990; Trésor

It’s easy to get distracted in a world of emeralds, opals, sapphires, and spinel, but moonstone is the sleeper stone of the year. Read the story.


6. What’s So Great About The Conch Pearl?

By Brittany Siminitz

Cicada conch pearl earirngs
Earrings in platinum and 18k gold with 62.75 cts. t.w. conch pearls, 5.03 cts. t.w. diamonds, and 4.53 cts. t.w. briolette diamonds, $161,000; Cicada Jewelry

While most pearls are easily recognizable, there are varieties that might easily be confused for something else. One of those varieties is the rare and coveted conch pearl. Read the story.


5. Maggi Simpkins Has a Million-Dollar Ring in That Sotheby’s Sale

By Amy Elliott

Maggi Simpkins in bloom ring close up
In Bloom ring with 2.43 ct. radiant-cut pink diamond center stone, 2.73 cts. t.w. rubies, and 0.77 cts. t.w. pink sapphires in 18k gold, $1,000,000; Maggi Simpkins

The In Bloom ring by Los Angeles–based designer Maggi Simpkins was among the headline acts at the critically acclaimed Brilliant and Black: A Jewelry Renaissance selling exhibition at Sotheby’s New York in September. Read the story.


4. A Closer Look at That Bulova Watch in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

By Amy Elliott

The Queens Gambit Beth Harmon Bulova watch
Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit (photo: courtesy of Netflix/© 2020)

Why the dainty gold wristwatch gifted to chess prodigy Beth Harmon, as portrayed by actress Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix’s hugely popular miniseries, was a pitch-perfect period detail. Read the story.


3. You’ve Never Seen A Squash Blossom Necklace Like This

By Amy Elliott

Maeve Gillies Superquarry Squash Blossom necklace
The Superquarry Squash Blossom necklace by Maeve Gillies

How the Scottish American jewelry designer Maeve Gillies adapted the classic design, adding details that honor her homeland’s natural resources while celebrating Native American traditions. Read the story.


2. At Sotheby’s, Everything’s Riding On This Tiffany Necklace

By Amy Elliott

Louis Comfort Tiffany Gold Opal Demantoid Garnet Medusa Pendant Necklace
The Louis Comfort Tiffany gold, opal, and demantoid garnet Medusa pendant necklace eventually sold for a record $3.7 million (photo courtesy of Sotheby’s).

It’s easy to see why Sotheby’s had such high hopes for Louis Comfort Tiffany’s famed Medusa pendant. At its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York City earlier this month, the pendant sold for $3.65 million—more than 18 times its high estimate. Read the story.


1. New York Jeweler: Designing Britney Spears’ Engagement Ring Was A Wild Ride

By Karen Dybis

The Britney ring
Forever Diamonds NY 4 ct. diamond engagement ring in platinum (photo courtesy of Forever Diamonds NY)

When master jeweler Roman Malayev created a ring for mega celebrity Britney Spears with her fiancé, Sam Asghari, he had to ask even his wife to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Read the story.

Top: The Lioness engagement ring, price on request; Forever Diamonds NY (photo courtesy of Forever Diamonds NY) 

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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