12 Jewelry Trends for 2014: The Third Annual List of What to Buy, Sell, and Stock in the Year Ahead

Yes—it’s almost time for bubbles! But it’s also time to assess jewelry trends for 2014. Now in its third year, you know the drill: This is my annual prediction of jewelry trends based on market work, meetings with designers, and analyzing runway fashions and awards show jewels.

But before we get to the list, I’d like to thank you, readers, for your continued support. The 12 Trends for 2013 post hit the top spot again on JCKonline, emerging as JCK’s single most popular article at 28,718 views—just a smidgen (3 percent) more than last year.

And how accurate was the list? Well, you’re more than welcome to weigh in with your own opinion, but here’s a little of what I know:

  • Emeralds were all over the red carpet this year and were abundant in new collections.
  • Snakes were prolific because of the Chinese calendar.
  • Estate pieces and hair jewels appeared at many at high-profile events.
  • Delicate pieces were evident due to high gold prices, and subtle drop earrings adorned many an ear at various Hollywood events.
  • And while drusy and amber didn’t have a huge showing overall, the stones did appear in enough collections to make me think that they were worth the mentions.

And now, on to the new list—please let me know what you think. I’m hoping it will be helpful. Thank you for reading!

Jewelry trends are derived from the three Rs: red carpet, runway, and real life. Here’s a list of 12 trends compiled through jewelry market research of new styles seen at shows and during market appointments and an analysis of runway fashions and top looks at awards shows.

Abalone. With all the blue we’ve been seeing this year, this lustrous pearl beauty fits right into the mix. But not just because of its color; abalone has appeared in a number of cool pieces this year—from a one-of-a-kind necklace from Arunashi (that debuted in Baselworld and is now for sale at Marissa Collection in Florida) to a funky pair of earrings by Jacquie Aiche to new styles from costume jeweler Isharya. That’s why I think this sometimes-inexpensive (but always exotic looking) organic material is poised to have a moment.

Radiant Orchid. Call it fuchsia or purply-pink; they’re both appropriate names for Pantone color No. 18-3224, otherwise known as Radiant Orchid. It’s what the self-proclaimed color authority has chosen for its 2014 Color of the Year, so expect to see a surge of the hue in clothing—and in jewelry as a by-product—and do remember to help clients color-block selections appropriately.

Orange. It color-blocks beautifully with all the blue we’ve seen on the runways and in jewelry, as well as with Radiant Orchid. For that reason, orange should be a go-to jewel color for retailers in 2014.

Blue. Yes, it’s still going strong. It was all over the runways for spring and has been abundant in jewelry collections all year. Snap up styles in sapphire, topaz, tanzanite, and any other desirable variations.

Yellow gold. We saw lots of it at the Emmys, in dainty pendants, and all year long in vermeil, gold plate, and yellow-colored brass, and bronze jewels. But considering that the price of gold has dropped 29 percent to date—and analysts suspect that the prices per ounce will continue dropping—industry can happily re-embrace the precious metal in designs and with more liberal applications.

Chevrons and pyramids. These shapes are both timeless and trendy; let me explain. A number of newer designers (Anita Ko and Nicole Trunfio, among others) are using a pyramid as a signature motif, while the chevron, a fixture in heraldry and insignia—and relatable to the pyramid with its triangular point—is appearing more in collections by other up-and-comers. (Chevrons in design are also referred to as zigzag effects.) Together, the symbols are kissing cousins of sorts and are celebrated by young artists and mass merchants alike in fresh, fun ways that are salable and nod to the rocker-chic aesthetic celebrated in punk-inspired fashion.

Stickpins. Did you see all the lapels in spring lines? They all serve as ideal perches for slim jewels like stickpins. These are—as the name suggests—slender, making them affordable and easy to place in other spots as well, such as in the hair, on a hat, shirt, or even a skirt. Also, consider that directional firm Royal Asscher unveiled stickpins in a collection made in collaboration with singer Estelle; Southern jeweler Mignon Faget is also offering the styles as is newcomer Holly Dyment; and that the pieces are abundant in estate cases. Update this old style with modern themes for a newfound collectible.

Body jewelry. Belly rings, body chains, handlets, and ear cuffs aren’t for shrinking violets, but they do offer jewelers more opportunities to sell precious jewels—even if they are for places that many aren’t accustomed to adorning. The prevalence of crop tops on spring runways, Jennifer Lawrence’s backlace at the Oscars, the punk trend, and the growing popularity of ear cuffs will all help fuel sales of body jewels to a niche of quasi-cosmopolitan customers who are comfortable in the spotlight.

Minimalist jewels and geometric shapes. Think stud earrings, bar or stick motifs, and other sleek, uncomplicated silhouettes that will subtly enhance spring’s angular frocks, graphic prints and logos, and menswear-inspired styles. Strong geometric forms (pyramids, circles, etc.) perfectly parallel these designs, further enhancing spring’s fashion statements.

Bracelets. Admittedly, this is kind of a big duh; of course folks are going to wear bracelets. But consider that the unifier in all of spring’s clothing—from menswear-inspired numbers to rocker-chic getups, T-shirts and jeans, or sleeveless tops—is often a bare wrist that demands coverage. To wit, clients’ go-to accessories are bangles, cuffs, stacking styles, or wide models with clasps.

Watches. Spring fashion celebrates a pared-down aesthetic complete with menswear-influenced styles that require accessorizing, and watches fit the bill. Chic, price-point-friendly watches offered by names like Michael Kors appeal to entry-level shoppers, while diamond-encrusted pieces from Bedat speak to high-end shoppers. Some retailers told JCK that watches were among their best sellers during the holiday season. And, talk about the Apple smartwatch could inadvertently inspire chatter about (and purchases of?) fine watches.

Stud earrings. These are an ideal to accent minimalist looks, as well as a fave (an unfortunate one according to some) among Hollywood stars who often wear them to awards shows. Studs are also inherently wallet friendly, unisex, and available in designs as numerous as the celebrities who walk the red carpet. Give thanks to artists with track records of turning out super cute and covetable stud styles.

The Style 360 blog is your editorial source for the newest jewelry, trends, market analysis, trade show insights, designer profiles, and more.

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