Blogs: On Your Market / Fashion

What’s the Status on Jewelry Trends in 2021?


What is it about the first hint of spring that summons this uncontrollable urge to clean? It’s like a natural human instinct to want to rid our surroundings of everything old, underserving, unappreciated. Somehow I get the feeling spring-cleaning wasn’t actually invented by some marketing firm, rather, it’s been in us all along.

Maybe we clean to wash away the long season of winter, finally ready to get out into nature unencumbered by heavy jackets and cold weather stuff—we’re free. At least until the next freak snowstorm comes in mid-April.

But we’re never really void of stuff, are we? When we ransack our closets, jewelry boxes, and homes, donating or selling off things that no longer bring us joy or are at the center of teenage daughters’ harsh criticisms (c’mon, skinny jeans!), we tend to fill those holes with new and exciting things. Things that feel more current and fresh, things that have us feeling renewed and, dare I say, perhaps even on trend.

And so goes the great circle of life—the life of our stuff—and in turn, the retail world. Stores the world over, jewelry stores included, will likely hold some form of spring sale (many even using the term spring-cleaning, because how can you not?) in hopes of clearing out styles that aren’t generating the same amount of interest they once did.

But this year may look a bit different, where movement in the trend zone has slowed because of the stagnant state of people everywhere. “What sort of jewelry styles or trends are you looking to say goodbye to for 2021?”: I posed this question on Instagram to my (relatively small) following of friends and industry members. An audience typically eager to contribute was this time surprisingly mum. Could it be our industry loves all jewelry so much, they couldn’t possibly choose a design to ditch? Or, perhaps, the trends that 2020 and the years before it have given us are so good, we simply don’t need a break from them?

Always Aleda textured scarab charm
Textured scarab charm in 14k yellow gold, $1,595; Always Aleda

Talismans, for example, had a Gorilla Glue grip on us in 2020, and while they have long been a mainstay in the industry, they’re bigger and more varied than ever. But there was one response that leaned more toward bigger is better. “I’m over dainty,” replied Aleda Powell of Always Aleda. “I love statement pieces that can be worn alone or layered. Or pieces that, even if they look delicate, have massive weight to them. No more hollow.”

If you’re going to invest in a piece of solid gold, a talisman is a safe and timeless bet—statement or small. But once people come charging out of their quarantine houses, it would make sense if maximalism was the name of the game—it’s been too long since we’ve been seen and heard, and nothing helps quite like a big bold piece of jewelry.

Eden Presley Protect Yourself lock
Evil eye closure lock in 14k yellow gold with 0.78 ct. emerald and 0.34 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,300 (bracelet not included); Eden Presley

The source behind popular independent jewelry spotlight account @athousandfacets had a much different response, which focused on practices in the jewelry industry rather than looks. “People stealing designs from other designers,” says the blogger. “That should never be acceptable!”

I have to wonder if inspiration from quarantine is bountiful or scant, though a number of designer-released collections during this period have demonstrated the former. It will be a wonder to look back on this time and see if and how our current predicament has carved an era in jewelry design. I sorely miss digging deep into jewelry trends at trade shows like JCK Las Vegas. (The only prediction I can make for certain at the moment is that I will still be wearing sweatpants for the near future.)

For the record, @athousandfacets also had one style to add to the list of farewells: “halo engagement rings!” With the unbelievable variety of engagement ring styles on the market these days, it’s not hard to understand that one.

What’s your biggest prediction for the year?

Top: Winged lion pendant in 22k recycled yellow gold and Brazilian rock crystal, $5,750; Atelier Wolff

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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