Adjusting the Contrast

Clothing designers have long known how to create beauty out of contrast with combinations like leather and fur, or satin and lace. This season, jewelry designers are following their example. Designers at Vicenza and Basel as well as in the United States emphasized contrast by combining polished and matte finishes or by making novel use of pieces that were hammered, millgrained, granulated, mirror polished, or otherwise finished. Contrasting textures and unusual finishes can boost the look of the jewelry without adding the cost of diamonds or gemstone accents. Because sterling silver's oxidation offers exceptional opportunities to create contrasts, the trend is especially hot in silver jewelry, which already enjoys growing acceptance as a fine-jewelry staple.

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