When the price of gold is off the charts, silver is a logical alternative—if you can make it work without diluting or compromising your aesthetic. So when Austin, Texas-based designer Nak Armstrong decided to introduce Nakard, an attractively priced line made with darkened sterling silver (instead of his go-to metal, 20k rose gold), he was mindful of creating pieces that his clients would recognize as uniquely his.
He was also determined to keep the quality up to snuff.
“The Nakard collection has been in development for almost two years,” says Armstrong. “It has taken a long time to get the quality and manufacturing right. I was insistent that the quality of the stones and the construction equal that of the gold collection.”
Heaped with gemstones in round, half-moon, and crisp square shapes configured into graphic, unexpected silhouettes, Nakard drew its initial inspiration, developed after Armstrong spent time in Italy, from Roman mosaics. From there, “more than any other collection I’ve created, this one comes from my gut—a pure stream of consciousness where I explored combining simple shapes in unorthodox ways.”
Since launching his signature collection in 2011, Armstrong has reveled in the splendor of colored stones and diamonds in custom geometric cuts that mimic the ruching and pleating of fabric, presented in edgy, architectural 18k gold concepts.
Offering a version of this look in silver was not a pivot in response to the challenges of COVID-19, but the late-spring timing has paid off.
“I think Nakard has become even more relevant since the pandemic,” says Armstrong. “I believe the client was craving something new—bold, large-scale pieces that feel special but wearable. Clients are finding it harder to justify investing in unique and fashion-forward fine jewelry pieces when they are at gold prices, but they’ve gotten accustomed to wearing real stones and fine metals, so silver fills that void without breaking the bank.”
And when Nakard first came on the scene, clients quickly found that the pieces mix and match well with their existing Nak Armstrong jewels in gold.
To that end, there are a number of riviere necklaces and tennis bracelets wrought with trendy stones like pink opal, black spinel, and moonstone that could anchor—or enliven—the ultimate neck mess or stack for $1,500 or less.
Get in there!
Top (clockwise, from left): Wheel bypass hoops with chrysoprase in sterling silver with black rhodium finish, $1,000; Raindrop earrings with black spinel and rainbow moonstones in sterling silver with blue rhodium finish, $1,650; Large Tile riviere necklace with green onyx in sterling silver with blue rhodium finish, $1,550; Phoenix earrings with pink opal in sterling silver with black rhodium finish, $550; Mini Deco Tile riviere necklace with tourmaline in sterling silver with black rhodium finish, $1,425
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