When the 2021 calendar began, we hadn’t been a full year into the (still-ongoing) pandemic. Lockdowns and quarantine were changing the way we did things, and I wondered if jewelry trends would even be a thing this year?
I needn’t have worried, of course. We adapt, designers shift perspectives, manufacturers answer the call of changing consumer demand. Trends will always happen, and, sometimes, those that endure can define a specific period in time.
As not all of these items listed can be accurately named trends, I’ve opted to share my favorite topics covered on On Your Market this year.
Demand for meaningful jewelry—talismans (like this eye jewelry and peace sign jewelry), initials, and other personalized pieces (number jewelry, for example)—never really slowed down, and brands answered that demand with exciting takes.
In the same vein, charms were and still are huge, and finding different ways to wear them (on necklaces, even earrings), provided us with some fabulous jewels.
Providing us with the joy we all so desperately needed, designers did so with brightly colored styles, using enamel to achieve hues not typically seen in gemstones.
In addition to bright color, we sought to go bigger. For a brief period in the late spring and early summer, as people began to emerge cautiously from their cocoons, a desire to be bold was justified. That happened in the form of oversize stud earrings—a statement among curated ear parties—and bigger, bolder chain necklaces.
The stay-home lifestyle of finding new hobbies crossed over into jewelry and fashion, where an arts-and-crafts vibe looked like the “summer camp for adults” trend. Beaded, woven, and crochet bracelets—but make it luxe—in particular were hot for a good moment, with plenty of color to kick off the summer season.
Cicada jewelry isn’t exactly a trend—in fact, it was fairly difficult to track down—but as the Washington, D.C.–area was knee-deep in the critters for about a month this summer, it would only make sense to feature it.
Scarab jewelry felt like an obvious—and excellent—topic to cover next, given the many submissions I received featuring the storied beetle.
The appearance of smiley faces only intensified as the year went on, right down to my fuzzy fall slippers. It was a natural fit for jewelry, with plenty of brands having long provided the happy styles.
And finally, my absolute favorite topics to cover this year were ones in which I learned something new. I could argue that I learned something with every piece I wrote, but none more than these two pieces, covering sardonyx and fordite.
Top: Number charm in 18k rose gold with diamonds, $2,250 (chain not included); Walters FaithFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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