One South Florida jewelry store. Two savvy buyers. And 2,300 JCK exhibitors across more than one million square feet of space. How do you even begin to tackle this kind of territory, let alone shop the jewels strategically and decisively?
If you’re diamond buyer Natalie Feanny Berger and fashion jewelry buyer Julie Bezio, both of J.R. Dunn Jewelers in Lighthouse Point, Fla., it helps to have a rough shopping list in mind ahead of the show and sufficient knowledge of the makers and designers who are most likely to have what you want. But you also have to leave room for spontaneity and trust your instincts to go for it when you come across something truly remarkable—the outliers that were never on your radar but you just can’t leave behind.
The ring below is an example of such a find: “Alexandrite is beautiful and very rare, and to find one with a cat’s eye makes it a cool treasure,” says Bezio.
Cat’s-eye alexandrite ring by Omi Privé, spotted at JCK LUXURY
Bridal was the first priority for Berger. “I was headed to Las Vegas in search of super-skinny engagement ring settings with slim, lightweight bands, which have been very popular lately,” she says. “Surprisingly, Henri Daussi had resurrected a style they’d done in the past, which was perfect.”
Henri Daussi engagement rings—in styles that capture what J.R. Dunn’s diamond buyer was looking for
“And we are excited to be trying Jade Trau’s Alchemy collection for Forevermark this season,” says Berger, who also picked up loose GIA-certified diamonds for the store’s inventory as well as rose-cuts for making custom cocktail rings.
On the fashion side of things, every year J.R. Dunn’s buyers look forward to seeing the Spanish jewelry company Dàmaso. “I always love their bangles and stretch bracelets,” says Bezio. “The piece that really stood out this year was a beautiful rose gold and tanzanite pendant and earrings set.”
While shopping the show, both buyers were able to note a number of trends to help inform Instagram posts, email blasts, and future purchases for the store.
They report an abundance of blue and green gemstones, with blues (especially turquoise and lapis) being especially strong. “The ocean hues are perfect for our market,” says Bezio.
Opals and tourmalines at Lauren K
Also hot: rainbow sapphire jewelry, east-west settings for pendants and rings, convertible jewelry, and chokers, Y necklaces, and lariats continue to rule the necklace category.
The rainbow trend on display, spotted at Lenti Villasco
And did any personal shopping go on? (Because doesn’t it always?)
“I’m in the process of having a locket custom-made for me with a stone I had lying around,” says Berger.
My Story Fine Jewelry locket—a special-order custom version is in the works
Top: This fancy yellow diamond ring, acquired from a top-secret source, was not on the J.R. Dunn buyers’ shopping list, but it stopped them in their tracks.
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