Color Them Happy: JCK Las Vegas 2019 Showgoers Are Ready to Shop

JCK and Luxury attendees know exactly what they want: gemstone designs (make way for morganite!), chain-link styles, and playful pavé diamond pieces.

Jewelry retailers streaming through the front doors of the JCK Las Vegas show Friday morning—opening day of the annual four-day fine jewelry fair—were in high spirits, touting tightly edited shopping lists that reflected several trends currently brewing in jewelry design.

Geri Botnick, co-owner of Atlanta’s Worthmore Jewelers, was looking for oxidized silver pieces that ­incorporate diamonds—a look that, perusing the show floors of JCK and Luxury, is clearly gaining steam. “It does so well for us,” said Botnick, who also planned to hit up Beverley K (LUXP30050) for stacking rings and Makur (LUX713) for morganite and rose gold pieces.

Yael aqua morganite ring
Bracelet with 6.69 ct. oval aquamarine, 3.93 ct. trilliant morganite, and 0.5 ct. t.w. white diamonds in 18k rose gold; $8,754; Yael Designs (LUX412)

Santa Fe, N.M.–based artisanal jewelry collection Belle Brooke Designs (LUXD33064) is displaying a wide range of price-point silver with diamond pieces, many under $800, that fuse Arabic-inspired curves with the geometry of mid-century modern aesthetics. “People have been responding really well to it,” said designer Belle Brooke Barer.

yael morganite tourmaline ring
Bracelet with 2.73 ct. cushion morganite, 1.49 ct. trilliant green tourmaline, and 0.35 ct. t.w. white diamonds in 18k rose gold; $5,616; Yael Designs (LUX412)

Tal Barkel (booth 25093) and Ara Collection (LUX31079) combined the trend with another look that’s sweeping the shows: oversized chain, as stand-alone ­design and accent. Both jewelry brands displayed oversized ­blackened silver chain bracelets peppered with black diamonds. Ara Collection’s biggie chain-link bracelets also come in duo tones: hammered yellow gold alternating with oxidized silver studded with diamonds. The bold but earthy looks feel right on trend for fall. 

At Los Angeles–based jewelry brand Aspery & Guldag (booth 24123), Cuban-link bracelets in yellow and pink gold—swathed in diamond pavé—were among the hottest sellers. As were its Retro Ball earrings, designs composed of stacked yellow and rose gold balls the size of jawbreakers—some plain, others anchored by long, gold lines glittering with diamonds. “People like them because they look sexy and playful,” said owner Herman Guldag.

The design is one of many at JCK and Luxury that seems to be signaling the imminent return of the sleek aesthetics of the early ’60s, the age of Pop Art, and space-obsessed fashion brands such as Courrèges. The boho jewelry bubble may not break for years, but ’60s chic is a trend to keep an eye on.

Conversely, color is coming on strong this year—­primarily via a rainbow of colored stones (while brightly hued enamel pieces, which rocketed in popularity a few years back, aren’t as ubiquitous).

Maddy Rovinsky, owner of Bernie Robbins Jewelers, was on the hunt for pieces that incorporate colored diamonds, morganite, and “flowers and rose gold.”

lauren k pink tourmaline earrings
Earrings with 14.67 cts. t.w. tourmaline and 0.35 ct. t.w. diamonds; $6,695; Lauren K (LUXP28067)

Artistry Ltd. (LUX603) had all of the above, along with an ultra-large selection of rings—part of the brand’s one-of-a-kind line—that feature oval-cut cabochons in amethyst, hessonite, moonstone, tourmaline, emerald, and grandidierite. The candy-colored rings, priced around $1,300 and up, are among the brand’s top sellers, says sales and marketing strategist Olivia R. Zale. “Color is really, really big,” she added.

Parlé Jewelry Designs (LUX30087) is also taking color to new heights—by mixing and matching colored gems in single pieces in innovative ways. The Idaho-based brand is showcasing a series of rings and pendants that mix purplish lotus garnet with baby blue zircon—a very fresh-feeling combo. As is the bright orange mandarin garnet paired with grass-green tsavorite in rings that resemble tiny pineapples.

And drusy—spotted at Parlé, Nina Nguyen (LUXD33069), and other booths—is popping up again, often incorporated into vibrant designs with faceted or cabochon-cut gemstones.

Of course, colorless diamond jewelry is still in demand among showgoers.

Sean Dunn, vice president of Lighthouse Point, Fla., retailer J.R. Dunn Jewelers, was on the hunt for bridal and fashion diamond jewelry with thin lines, because for his store, he said, “Everything thin is in!”

Also in with both retailers and vendors: JCK and Luxury’s move back to the Sands and the Venetian.

“We’re all happy to be back—and retailers are telling me this every day,” said Guldag. “They like being in the middle of it all, and they like the quality of the hotels they’re staying in.”

Botnick likes the return as well, but said she’s excited to be at JCK Las Vegas wherever it hangs its hat: “It’s where it all is. The show has everything—all of the above!”

Top: Ring with 2.73 ct. mandarin garnet and tsavorite and diamond accents in 14k yellow gold; $6,495; Parlé Jewelry Designs (LUX30087)

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JCK Magazine Editor