For lovers of color, Las Vegas Jewelry Week is where the dreams set in motion in Tucson come to fruition. While the February gem shows in the Arizona desert are where designers fall in love with colors and stones, the Nevada desert is where they realize their visions in spectacular pieces of jewelry. Below, we take stock of the most important color and gemstone trends that ruled jewelry week.
Orange is spicing things up.
In April, when InStyle magazine declared “orange is the new pink,” they weren’t kidding. For years, the jewelry industry overlooked the vibrant hue in favor of more broadly appealing colors—such as millennial pink.
At the shows in Las Vegas, however, orange played a much more important role, often as a key supporting player. We saw a slew of designs featuring juicy spessartite garnets, orange sapphires, and orange-colored enamel paired with pink gems in combos that evoked the sunrise. A new day, indeed!
Emerald’s popularity has opened the door for more unusual greens.
Of the “Big Three” gems, there is no question which one currently reigns supreme. More than slightly staid blue sapphire or fine-but-fussy ruby, emerald has transcended its reputation as an expensive, high-value stone to find itself a darling of the designer set.
But with the high-end flocking to Colombian and Zambian emeralds, availability has gone down while pricing has inevitably gone up. That supply-demand dynamic has opened the door to more unusual greens—demantoid garnets, tsavorite, peridot, minty green tourmaline, and sphene (sometimes described as “peridot on acid”!). No matter which shade speaks to you, green—say it with us—is good.
Montana sapphires are a sure thing.
JCK’s Brittany Siminitz said it best earlier this month when she described Montana sapphire as “the sleeper hit of the summer.” Blue-green sapphires from the Treasure State’s Rock Creek deposit are having a moment like no other. The reasons range from the popularity of their more unusual hues (teal!) to the fact that many designers are embracing American gems at a time when questions of provenance continue to complicate the supply chain. In other words, go Big Sky, or go home.
Mix-and-match is the trending pearl style.
The coolest, hippest, most on-point way to wear pearls today? Hint: Not alone. The lustrous gems work best when they’re strung on gold chains, dotted on hoop earrings, or combined with faceted colored stones in settings that emphasize their versatility as well as their modernity.
The climate for colored stones has never been hotter. Fueled by the surge in interest in personalized style, the prospects for color sales are getting better and better. Just ask JCK’s longtime jewelry director and resident trendspotter, Randi Molofsky, whose role as cofounder of the jewelry sales and PR agency For Future Reference gives her a bird’s-eye view of the most directional trends coming down the jewelry pike.
“I see a lot of designers using very cool, hyper-saturated gemstones such as neon apatite, Paraiba, sphene—maybe not the traditional stones that people would have gone to before, but now they’re gravitating to these super- exciting, colorful gems,” Molofsky tells JCK.
“There’s still such a range of semiprecious that people are incorporating into fine jewelry, that, before, they never would have used,” she adds. “That’s been a really cool shift—to get the consumer to understand there’s value there even if it wasn’t something that had perceived value in the past.”
Top: Ring in 18k yellow gold with 16 mm round gray pearl, 5.37 cts. t.w. yellow sapphire baguettes, and 0.6 ct. t.w. round white diamonds, $12,000; Suzanne KalanFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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