5 Jewelry Trends to Bank On for the 2018 Holiday Season

We’re about to tie a big red holiday bow on our September/October issue, which uploads to the printer this week, and that’s gotten me thinking about the jewelry that’s trending this season. (The issue includes our annual Holiday Survival Guide, complete with an artfully shot still life featuring the five key styles you’ll want to stock up on to appeal to your most fashionable clients. Look for it in your mailbox and online at the end of September!)

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time looking at jewelry. Between my inbox, regularly flooded with images from jewelers seeking to promote their new collections, and Instagram, I see a whole lotta new styles. With the help of my jewelry-savvy colleagues at JCK, I’ve put together a primer on the key trends that we expect to be in vogue this holiday. Happy shopping!

Heart shapes

This sweet-but-not-too-sweet trend isn’t new. We started seeing hearts—both in heart-cut gemstones and as silhouettes for settings—pop up in the spring of 2017. But they haven’t slowed down, nor has the style began to curdle, as so many flash-in-the-pan trends can (we flagged the motif as a trend back in April).

What I love about the current crop of heart-shape pieces is that they’re the opposite of girly. The Blue Heart pendant pictured above, by Swiss designer Nana Fink, is a prime example. Made of dark blue sodalite inset with a tiny emerald, the piece was “inspired by antique hearts that I started collecting 12 years ago,” Fink says. “It was actually a Russian antique heart that first gave me the vision of making hearts. I love symbols and the heart is of course the strongest one, together with the star.”

Beyond its au courant shape, the pendant also hits three other trend notes this fall: It features a hard stone (see below), it depicts a potent sign/symbol, and it’s the color of the ocean (see below again). Check, check, check, and check!

Hard stones

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but this trend isn’t new either. Opaque gems such as lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye, and malachite have been on the rise for years. Unlike faceted stones, which tend to be smaller and pricier, hard stones can be used in pieces where designers want to maximize volume. Plus, their opaqueness lends itself well to a more bohemian vibe. The malachite earrings by Brazilian designer Yael Sonia shown below demonstrate how well hard stones pair with yellow gold. Another reason I dig the earrings so much is they hint at the mobile-like motif we’re seeing on so many trendsetting styles these days (once again, see below!).

Yael Sonia malachite earrings
18k yellow gold and malachite earrings, $1,790; yaelsonia.com

Hefty gold chains

It’s not as if the classic gold chain has ever gone out of fashion, but when gold was flirting with the $2,000-an-ounce mark around 2011, the style was prohibitive to make and to sell. Now that gold has mellowed out closer to $1,200 an ounce, designers are investing in it once again. I love Royal Chain’s chunky First Lady chain bracelets below. I can’t decide if they evoke the late ’70s or the early ’80s—but who cares? They’re fabulous. Same goes for the luscious 18-inch Solo chain in 22k gold by newcomer Jean Prounis (check out our recent story about how the look is trending on Instagram).


Royal Chain the First Lady collection gold bracelets
First Lady bracelets: 7¾-inch in 14k yellow gold, $2,800; 8-inch in 14k two-tone gold, $3,500; and 7.5-inch in 14k yellow gold, $3,700; royalchain.com
Prounis Moonstone Fan Pendant on Solo Chain in 22k gold
Rainbow moonstone fan pendant on Solo chain in 22k gold, $3,960 and $2,915; prounisjewelry.com

Cosmic chandeliers

Whether these artsy earrings remind you of mobiles by Alexander Calder or a diagram of the cosmos, can we all agree on how utterly amazing they are? Between Margery Hirschey’s signature stick-and-stone earrings and Edinburgh, Scotland–based Grainne Morton’s found object–like mismatched pairs, the new statement earring offers a funky take on the chandelier—and is guaranteed to light up a room.

Margery Hirschey blues orbit earrings
Blues Orbit earrings in 18k gold with 5.88 cts. t.w. tanzanite, 0.5 ct. t.w. sapphires, 0.6 ct. t.w. iolite, and 0.15 ct.  t.w. diamonds, $3,410; margeryhirschey.com
Grainne Morton eye peeper drops XXL earrings
Grainne Morton Eye Peeper Drops XXL in gold-plated silver with antique glass eyes, opals, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, antique coral, malachite, shell, green onyx, and labradorite, £1,035 (about $1,326); grainnemorton.co.uk

Sea-colored gems

In JCK’s January/February 2018 issue, All That Glitters blogger and frequent contributor Amy Elliott cited blue-green gems as one of the year’s defining trends. In subsequent issues, Gem Pricing Report contributor Stuart Robertson, vice president of Gemworld International, confirmed that prediction with market feedback indicating that teal and greenish-blue sapphires are in good demand. And in May, the trend forecasting agency WGSN came out with its 2020 color predictions—besides naming Neo Mint as the color of that year, the agency included the nifty graphic below showing how Purist Blue will evolve. Check out Blue Lightning, the blue hue for 2019. Visions of tourmalines are dancing in my head!

WGSN purist blue color evolution panel
The trend forecasting agency WGSN shows how the color blue will evolve in the coming years.

Top: Blue Heart pendant in 18k rose gold with sodalite and emerald, $2800; nanafink.com

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JCK Editor-in-Chief

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