I spent most of the weekend mopping my brow as I awaited the advent of Hurricane Henri—local weather centers said it would have a “historic” effect on my town and surrounding areas. A policewoman came to my door with neon pink flyer urging my family and me to evacuate (we live in a flood zone, sandwiched between two coves). I parked my car at the train station in case I had to walk (or kayak) there as a means of getting out of town, ostensibly to make my upcoming flight to the Las Vegas jewelry shows.
But Henri’s arrival turned out to be underwhelming, spinning just enough east of us to manifest as heavy rain and wind. No scary storm surges. The lights didn’t even flicker. I can’t believe I’m not writing this against the aggressive, growling drone of a generator in the background.
A version of what I now understand to be the postal creed has been running through my head ever since: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” will keep me from writing about these enamel jewels! And seeing the ones bound for Vegas if all goes according to plan.
If you haven’t yet gotten the memo, enamel should be on your JCK Las Vegas shopping list every which way you can find it. Between Royal Chain and Doves, EF Collection, and Djula, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to stock the trend at really great price points.
But if your clientele craves something more extravagant and artistic, you can start with this short list of jewels that pair the inherent levity and vibrance of enamel to designs that also pack a punch as far as craftsmanship, whimsy, and luxurious gemstones. It’s definitely a different customer than the one who wants a trendy medallion or stacking ring. As Reinhold Jewelers told me recently, this is the NeverNot and Bea Bongiasca customer, someone who responds to something bold, colorful, and unique.
Not surprisingly, many of the jewels showcased here hail from European jewelry designers and workshops, a reflection of how the enamel artistry traditions intrinsic to the decorative arts histories of say, Turkey, Russia, and France, continue to dazzling effect.
Color me happy (and relieved).
Top: Ring in platinum, onyx, and enamel with diamonds, onyx, and emerald, $376,500; Cicada Jewelry
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