Diamonds / Gold / Industry / Shows

2024 JCK and Luxury Shows: Feel the Love


Texture, tennis bracelets, and yellow gold have had retailers at the Luxury and JCK shows humming as they search for the ideal jewelry to take back to their stores.

Andrew Costen of Vancouver-based Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths & Design is on the hunt for yellow gold chains, as well as tourmalines and sapphires in a variety of hues, but says he came to Las Vegas with one primary mission: finding a great shade of peach. “I want to see what’s new, but I also want gemstones for projects I have in mind. I’ve got to find the right stone,” Costen says.

Hailey Mirkes of the Midwest chain Kesslers Diamonds is looking for chunky earrings and fashion diamond jewelry, from such brands as Divine (Lux 1201). “We’re seeing lariat necklaces, scale-inspired links, and so much texture,” says Mirkes. “The energy seems up across the show, and people are excited.”

John Hardy Naga lariat
Naga lariat in 14k yellow gold with 0.09 ct. t.w. pavé diamonds, $5,100; John Hardy (Titian 2201–AB)

Alicia Zuckerman, of @jewelsby.alicia, came to Vegas from Wayne, Mich., to shop for her high-end clients. The unofficial jeweler for golfers on the PGA tour, Zuckerman—who is married to pro golfer Brian Stuard—started doing business by phone during the coronavirus pandemic, after a 15-year career at her family’s company, Leo’s Jewelry.

She says she offers customers fine jewelry expertise and a personal stylist for a curated head-to-toe look. One major request she’s gotten this year: diamond studs totaling 4 to 6 carats.

“My clients are asking for straight-line tennis necklaces, with a medallion-type necklace and one to two other pendant-style chains,” says Zuckerman. “They want me to pick out something they can layer in the correct carat weight and that fits the vibe of an everyday look.”

Ruby was the color of the show for Thomas and Brandy Whisnant of Wellington & Co. Fine Jewelry in New Orleans. They’re taking home a hearty oval stone, and are excited to share it with their customers. “It’s all about big color,” Thomas Whisnant says.

Hearts On Fire barre small bracelet
Barre multi-row bracelet with 5.8 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k yellow gold, $34,400; Hearts on Fire (Titian 2301-AB)

Gentry Lewis, co-owner of Rufus D. Lewis Jeweler in Spartanburg, S.C., agrees. “Our customers want nicer color. They want more wow factor,” says the third-generation retailer. “We’re doing a lot of custom work, and our customers want colored gemstones.”

Stephen Abbott of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry in Warwick, R.I., recognizes the financial challenges that younger consumers face with rising house prices and lower wage increases. As a result, he says he is “rebalancing” the types of jewelry he stocks, and is seeking designers who dazzle him.

The same goes for Reza Liaghat, owner of Casa D’Oro Jewelers in Mars, Pa., who says he needs to see innovative, bold designs before he’s willing to stock a new brand. Liaghat is in Vegas to replenish his best sellers—exhibitors he’s visited include Hearts on Fire (Titian 2301–AB) and one of his longtime favorites, Simon G (Lux 423).

Jo Schaeffel of Golden Karat Jewelers in Minocqua, Wis., found everything she desired in Vegas—and then some, including lapis, onyx, and mother-of-pearl pieces. She’s also been eyeing some medallions and gold and diamond pendants.

“It’s been difficult choosing pieces because there’s so much merchandise out there and new styles,” Schaeffel says.

Several retailers say they are feeling optimistic about the summer, anticipating the tourist trade and a possible engagement avalanche, but they understand that consumers can feel uneasy during a presidential election year.

Le Vian couture yellow diamond ring
Le Vian Couture ring with 2.625 ct. fancy light yellow diamond and 3.25 cts. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds in platinum and 18k Honey Gold, $68,148; Le Vian (Veronese–1)

Anne Russell, executive vice president of New Jersey and Florida retailer Hamilton Jewelers, says economic uncertainty hasn’t impaired the industry’s creativity. She loved the fancy yellow diamonds in statement rings she saw on the show floor. She’s also intrigued with the Georgian-influenced jewelry that she hopes will become a key trend.

Other trends she noticed: mixed metals, brushed gold, and a return of bold 1980s-style earrings. Those big chunky gold hoops are going to make her customers feel the love, matching this year’s show theme.

“Vegas is the best, most exhausting reunion,” Russell says. “It’s wonderful to come together as a community, gather as much info and inspiration as possible, and celebrate the jewelry industry.”

Top: Platinum and 18k rose gold ring with 4.1 ct. oval yellow-orange sapphire, 0.21 ct. t.w. tapered diamond baguettes, and 0.8 ct. t.w. round diamonds, price on request; Omi Privé (Lux 702)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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