When We Look Back on 2020, This Is the Trend We’ll Remember

There are no sure things in life, but this holiday season, one jewelry trend comes close.

Seizing on soaring demand for talismanic jewels, which are said to imbue their wearers with strength and protective qualities, designers have turned out an impressive assortment of jewelry that feels just right for this precarious year.

“The talismans, the horoscope signs, things like the hamsa hand are coming in,” said Marion Fasel, founder and editorial director of The Adventurine, during a trend talk at the JCK Virtual show in August. “There’s a link back to the ’70s as well.”

Talismans are defined as objects, often rings or stones, thought to have magic powers and bring good luck. In the jewelry space, that can mean just about anything, from the aforementioned hamsa—a palm-shape amulet symbolizing the hand of God, said to protect the wearer from evil—to pieces bearing the evil eye motif to charms and initial jewels that have personal meaning for their wearers.

Harwell Godfrey evil eye gold ring
Amina cigar band ring in 18k gold with diamonds and tsavorite, $7,900; Harwell Godfrey

The personal connection is key. “Even though there’s a lot going in the world and people may be freaked out to spend money, if they feel it has this personal effect for them, it’s worth it,” said Randi Molofsky, JCK jewelry director and cofounder of For Future Reference, during JCK Virtual.

The broad definition applied to “personal jewelry” allows retailers plenty of room to interpret the trend as they wish. It can refer to a piece that’s entirely bespoke or to a jewel that simply incorporates a personal element—such as an initial.

But if you’re stuck on an image of the simple, mass-market initial jewelry that once dominated the gold market, think again. Strung on gold chains, gem-set atop hard stones or embedded into pearls, initial jewels come in a seemingly infinite variety, and they’re practically de rigueur this season.


Wilfredo Rosado Pearl ID S pendant
Pearl ID letter necklace in 18k yellow gold, $3,990; Wilfredo Rosado
Harwell Godfrey G initial gold pendant
Initial charm in 18k gold with enamel inlay and diamonds, $1,390; Harwell Godfrey

Likewise, there’s no going wrong with gold charms, the accessible, customizable, born-to-be-gifted jewelry style that forever cycles in and out of the zeitgeist.

Thomas Sabo charm necklace
Charm Club necklace in yellow gold–plated silver, $189; Thomas Sabo

“Charms are very personal, talismanic jewels,” said Kareem Rashed, style editor for Robb Report, during a JCK Virtual trend talk. “For holiday, that’s a no-brainer.”

Top: Hamsa pendant in 18k gold with diamond eye and lashes, $13,500; Brent Neale

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JCK Editor-in-Chief

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