Despite 2021 being another year that kept many people close to home, jewelers didn’t seem at a loss for inspiration. If anything, the challenges that came with this past year served to spark some of the best creations yet. Designers helped us feel hopeful—to see a future when we could all be together again (and look fabulous to boot). They helped us see the silver linings—how beautiful the solace of nature can be. Some of them sought to do good while looking good, donating proceeds to social and environmental causes. The year may have brought a lot of lousy, but as far as jewelry was concerned, that didn’t apply.
Below are some of my favorite collections I had the pleasure of sharing with you this year.
Wheeler’s heart-shape jewelry collection made its debut just in time for Valentine’s Day, with a gorgeous array of gemstones that the designer described as mixing playful energy with luxury.
The colors—varying shades of pink and red—of Alexia Connellan’s collection were well suited for Valentine’s Day, but the jewels are totally timeless. Featuring pieces inspired by locales ranging from Japan to London, there is something for everyone to fall in love with.
With earthly azurmalachite appearing as a view of our planet, Venyx’s Mother Earth collection is an ode to mythological figures representative of Earth in one way or another.
The gem-heavy collection by 80-year-old Brazil-based jeweler Sauer is an exhibit in sustainable luxury, with pieces released in partnership with Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento (IDESAM), an organization focusing on the certification of zero carbon emissions in the Amazon rainforest.
Stepping into the wedding arena for the first time, Bronfman puts her signature spin on engagement rings and wedding bands, all made with 100% Fairmined-certified gold, vintage and antique diamonds and sapphires, contemporary sapphires from Montana and Australia, and Colombian Muzo emeralds.
Marking the first time designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey forgoes her signature colorful gemstones, Stardust dazzles with diamonds and the creator’s remarkably beautiful, recognizable work.
The U.K.-based designer created an ode to Florida in the 1950s with this line that seeks to make plastic cool again. “Once upon a time, people wore plastic costume jewelry with as much enthusiasm and engagement as fine pearls and diamonds. I’ve always liked the idea of mixing high-low—whether that be in jewelry, art, or fashion—so this is my attempt at showing that it can be done beautifully and sustainably!”
Amid a rush in pearl popularity, designer Graziela Kaufman realized her long-standing desire to create a pearl collection with Pérola, featuring unusual silhouettes and modern, less traditional styles. The London blue topaz, emerald, and apatite additions made the pieces fresh and fit for the summer ahead.
Melissa Spalten rebranded her excellent collection, previously known as Gemdrop, and unveiled Gemfetti at the 2021 Couture show in Las Vegas. The reveal burst onto the scene with jumbo editions and more colorful versions, all ready for a celebration like no other.
Ever more inspired by her time communing with nature at the height of the pandemic, designer Sia Taylor infused the new Songbird collection with her signature metalwork and movement.
Top: Amazônia necklace in 18k yellow gold with aquamarines, blue topaz, and diamonds, $17,050; SauerFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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