You can thank the wobbly American economy for the explosion of silver jewelry designers in recent years. And now that the category is a fixture in fine stores nationwide, sorting through the myriad options can be daunting. JCK has cut through the clutter by highlighting three silver brands with great potential for American retailers: One company offers a clean, modern look; another goes for a darker, decidedly edgier effect; and a third celebrates a romantic, bohemian style.
Her line debuted in March, but Haverhill Leach of Haverhill Inc. in Providence, R.I., has long-standing ties to the jewelry industry. Her father, Ted Leach, heads up Leach Garner, a century-old family business that sells metal-intense staples like chains and hoops. Haverhill honed her design skills in the fashion design program at Syracuse University and the London College of Fashion, at an internship with David Yurman, and in postgraduate accomplishments like designing handbags for Kate Spade and making her own line of swimwear. Then after a few years’ break to raise her kids, Leach decided to rejoin the world of jewelry design. While the core of the family business is gold—“My dad sells EternaGold on QVC,” Haverhill says—her styles are rendered in silver with gemstones.
“My line will be more fashion forward,” Haverhill says. The aesthetic is modern, bright, and a “little bit preppy,” she notes, adding that having lived in Los Angeles, she was inspired to give the collection a dose of midcentury charm: “I think of my jewelry as the J. Crew of industry—casual but statement-making.” Look for bold cuts of gemstones like smoky quartz, onyx, and sapphires set in silver with 18k gold accents as well as an identifiable geometric LL (representing the two L’s on the end of Haverhill) mark or an H stamped on each piece. One great accomplishment to date: winning a cash prize as well as professional guidance in the 2013 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.
Starting retail price: $150 in silver with 18k gold accents
Place of manufacture: Costa Rica and the United States?
Accounts: Three in the United States, including Zimmer Brothers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Buy-in for retailers: None to date?
Trade fairs: JCK Las Vegas, JA New York, and the SMART Show in Chicago?
Contact: Haverhill Inc., Providence, R.I.; 401-486-5441; haverhillcollection.com
|Sterling silver Lang Pendant necklace with 11.8 ct. white topaz; $625 (also available in green amethyst, sky blue topaz, and citrine); Haverhill Inc., Providence, R.I.; 401-486-5441; haverhillcollection.com||
Haverhill sterling silver Aston Cuff with 5.75 ct. t.w. black onyx; $900 (also available in mint chrysoprase, $1,150)
Lyon Fine Jewelry
Lauren Bedford Russell of New York City–based Lyon Fine Jewelry worked for several jewelers, but it took a stint at Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry to inspire her to start sketching her own pieces. When the part-time hobby turned into a habit, she decided to hit the books at GIA, where she earned her G.G. in six months, and then started putting together her own line. She debuted it in 2012.
“I love drawing inspiration from city architecture, clothing, shoes, other accessories,” she tells JCK. “I wear pretty masculine clothes, so the jewelry I design is wearable for everyone—men or women. It walks the line from edgy accessories to dressy black-tie jewelry, but with a style that is mine: a merge of old and new, classic shapes done in a different way that are sexy, layered, black, and sleek but glam.”
Black diamonds and black rhodium are a signature of the Lyon collection—she named the company after her father’s middle name—though Russell uses plenty of colorless diamonds, too, for contrast. Body chains and a convertible necklace-bracelet-arm chain combination add to the collection’s sexy style.
But it’s not all about aesthetic appeal for Russell; her work also reflects a devotion to social causes. “I created a bracelet to support muscular dystrophy, one to promote marriage equality, and a Limitless bracelet to help benefit people with physical disabilities,” she says.
Starting retail price: $70 in silver
Place of manufacture: New York City and Los Angeles?
Accounts: Two in the United States, including Kiki de Montparnasse in Las Vegas
Buy-in for retailers: About $5,000?
Trade fairs: None to date. Luxe Intelligence in New York City handles sales
Contact: Lyon Fine Jewelry at Luxe Intelligence, NYC; 212-398-9700; lyonfinejewelry.com
|Bron-Yr-Aur necklace with black rhodium plating and 0.28 ct. t.w. black diamonds; $850; Lyon Fine Jewelry at Luxe Intelligence, NYC; 212-398-9700; luxeintelligence.com||Lyon Fine Jewelry Valentine Signet Ring in sterling silver; $150|
This nearly 4-year-old Spanish brand specializes in well-made bridge styles—silver and 18k gold with gems like amethyst and melee-size CZ—that are crafted in Córdoba, Spain. (Fall collections will feature diamonds.) Designer Antonio Espaliú Berdud comes from a fine jewelry–making family, and debuted his own line to offer more accessible price points—as well as to showcase a rich back story: The Bohemme line is based on a vivid yet fictional tale of love, poverty, art, and Paris penned by Berdud’s public relations firm. (A gold swirl motif evokes a key story component and stands as a brand emblem.) Berdud’s works bring the story to life through an interplay of black rhodium paired with high-polish silver and yellow gold accents as well as oversize silhouettes and patterns made with colored gems, cut-outs, and familiar raised metal motifs like ovals and flowers. Generous applications of pavé also help define the looks.
The collection is designed to have a strong fine jewelry feel but at fashion jewelry prices. Bohemme already is selling well in Russia (a flagship store opened in Moscow in June), and Berdud is hoping to make an even bigger impression in the U.S. market. A clever note about the collection: Each ring is made with a fitting band that allows wearers to adjust its fit up to two sizes for immediate wear.
Starting retail price: $199 in silver with 18k gold accents
Place of manufacture: Córdoba, Spain?
Accounts: Twenty-five in the United States, including Jewelry by the Bay in Sausalito, Calif.
Buy-in for retailers: About 25 pieces, or $5,000?
Trade fairs: VicenzaOro, JCK Las Vegas, JIS Miami
Contact: Bohemme, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; 855-345-3268; bohemme.net
|Boom ring in silver with 18k gold, 13.5 ct. kyanite, 2.8 cts. t.w. black spinel, and 2.4 cts. t.w. amethyst, $698; Bohemme, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; 855-345-3268; bohemme.net|
More on silver:
+ Silver Jewelry Sells
+ The Art of Sterling
+ Running With Silver