Rocking the Look of Crystal in Jewelry

Maybe it’s because the stones resemble the ice cubes in a cooling beverage, but this summer, fashion has a thirst for the look of crystal—rock and otherwise. Designs constructed of somewhat similar but very different materials provide a wide range of styles and prices to consumers who want to rock the look.

Rock crystal is the transparent, colorless variety of quartz, a natural mineral. Here’s a look from Chanel Haute Couture from the June-July 2011 issue of Town & Country featuring an eye-catching pair of glass stone, crystal, and metal earrings.

The April 2011 issue of Elle devotes a page to rock crystal jewelry from the Sutras Collection from Diane von Furstenberg by H.Stern, a collection highlighted back on March 22 here on

The April 2011 issue of InStyle spotlights rock crystal: “This time around, it’s sophisticated, not hippie-go-lucky. These rough stones in matte settings convey a tough, modern vibe.” The magazine features a gold plate and crystal ring from Lowluv by Erin Wasson, a silver plate and quartz necklace from Pamela Love, a sterling silver and quartz ring from Voce Keen, stainless steel and crystal earrings from Gemma Redux, a brass and cubic zirconia necklace from Matina Amanita, and a sterling silver and quartz cuff from Melissa Joy Manning for Doo.Ri.

Lead crystal is manmade—a type of glass. According to, “The use of the term lead crystal remains popular for historical and commercial reasons, and originally stems from the Venetian use of the word cristallo to describe the rock crystal imitated by Murano glassmakers.”


Sterling silver and lead crystal earrings from Arik Levy for Baccarat are featured (top right) in a fashion spread in the August 2011 issue of Elle. Other jewelry featured on the page is of the tough girl variety and consists of a leather nameplate collar from Alexander McQueen, a yellow gold ring from Solange Azagury-Partridge, and leather cuff bracelets from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci.

On the cover of the May 2011 issue of Lucky, actress Ginnifer Goodwin wears a faceted crystal chain necklace from Vera Wang to accompany her dress by the same designer.

The March 2011 issue of Elle accents a Versace ensemble with a crystal bracelet, made to order from Mary Katrantzou.

Both rock crystal and lead crystal can be heavy worn around one’s neck or in earrings, and lightweight Lucite provides style options. The August 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping features a white pantsuit and top accented with a chunky Lucite bead necklace from Pono by Joan Goodman. The model’s earrings are from Roberta Chiarella. The model at left, wearing ivory, accents her look with a necklace from Kevia and cuff from Annie O.

Back in January 2011, Good Housekeeping touted clear Lucite jewelry as “a quick pick-me-up for a winter-weary wardrobe.” Bracelets from ZAD and Ami Clubwear, as well as a necklace from Old Navy, provide lots of style for very few dollars.

The colorlessness of crystal makes it a versatile choice, and it works as well with fall’s heavier fabrics as with lightweight summer looks. In the August 2011 issue of Elle, a damask tunic from Oscar de la Renta is set off with a rock crystal pendant necklace from Verdura accompanied by a rose gold link necklace from Vhernier and a huge yellow gold scorpion necklace from Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. The model also wears yellow gold earrings from Deborah Pagani and a hammered gold cuff from David Webb.

The continuing popularity of crystal looks in jewelry is crystal clear.