Industry / Shows

Back in Business: On the Floor at the 2022 JCK Show


If the line outside registration on JCK opening day was any indication, retailers are mighty glad to be in Vegas.

The groundswell of retailers ­streaming into the JCK show had high demands: They wanted fresh designs, smart takes on revivals of classic pieces, and a reason to shop. They got all of that and more when the doors opened for Luxury on Wednesday, followed by JCK on Friday, giving store owners the big buying energy they wanted for not only their customers but also for the industry as a whole.

The whole affair felt like a reunion, and seeing unforgettable pieces that felt like the must-haves for 2022 was part of the fun. For Esther Fortunoff, it was “seeing gorgeous new fashion styles at Sylvie,” like the diamond chokers that everyone will want to wear and show off on social media.

John Robichau of Robichau’s Jewelry came to the show after a short hiatus in hopes of sourcing great looks for his Texas stores. He found everything he wanted with geometric shapes, nontraditional hearts, and freshwater pearls.

Then, he said, his eye settled onto surprises such as “the paper-clip necklaces at Allison Kaufman, where the links were mixed with diamonds, and the Cuban links at Gabriel & Co. and Simon G.”

Richard Rooney of Bogart’s Jewellers in Canada said he came to see the latest in lab-grown diamonds, which his customers have been snapping up in round and oval shapes.

“I wanted to see the array of what’s available, ­because there are a lot more people selling right now and the demand is there,” Rooney said, ­especially among Gen Z.

Gabriel black diamond dog tag and chain
20-inch 14k gold men’s rosary chain, $3,050, men’s 14k yellow gold Dog Tag pendant with 3.49 cts. t.w. black diamonds, $4,050; Gabriel & Co.

Retailers were eager to see what innovations were coming in key categories, such as men’s jewelry featuring pearls in Marco Dal Maso’s latest collection, vivid colors found in Annamaria Cammilli’s undulating Dune rings, or the outrageous orange diamonds in Ruben Manuel’s collection as part of the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative with the Natural Diamond Council.

Brighter colors, convertible jewelry, and textural pieces that feel great on the wearer are exciting to design, explained Manuel, and these pieces are also giving new life to an industry that is eager to gather together once again.

“People are ready for that now,” he said.

Laura Damiani Costa of Damiani Jewellers in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, said her family came to the show to catch up on trends they are seeing in store as well as hearing about from customers. Some of the things they were looking for include chandelier earrings, new shapes in tennis bracelets, summertime colors in gemstone jewelry, and pearls, pearls, and more pearls.

“[Pearls] have always been classic to have in your wardrobe, but now a lot of brands are taking a trendy spin, making them more appealing to younger customers,” Costa said.

For engagement-ring trends, Costa said they are seeing radiant-cut diamonds spike among couples, huge interest in lab-grown diamonds for all ages, and yellow gold rings for people looking to blend tradition with something that feels new again.

“Yellow gold remains a staple for many accessories, so it’s no surprise that we have seen a rise in yellow gold engagement rings in 2022,” she said.

Anye Designs Michaela yellow gold solitaire ring
Michaela 14k yellow gold ring with 1 ct. round solitaire and 0.18 ct. t.w. hidden diamond halo; $5,000; Anye Designs

Longtime Luxury exhibitor Gabriel & Co. ­channeled the 1980s—think medallions, signet rings, and tennis bracelets—into new men’s fashion and engagement designs.

“It’s going back in time but in a fresh way,” said director of fashion sales and business development Nikki Siegel, citing customers piling on Cuban link chains; big, bold medallions; and ring jackets, which have been huge hits for Gabriel & Co. on TikTok.

“They think these are new,” Siegel said of the ring jackets, marquise shapes, and herringbone patterns that customers are so into.

So, if Kate Bush is back on the music charts and your mom’s jewelry is cool again, then there is a lot to look forward to for the rest of the 2022 JCK show and beyond.

Top: Signature radiant-cut diamond ring in platinum; $1,334,355; Uneek

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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