Serpent Styles, Emeralds, and Texture Prevail at Baselworld 2013

For those who remember our year-end 2012 issue—when we said snakes would be big in 2013—well, even we didn’t realize how prophetic those words would be until we got to Basel, Switzerland, for this year’s Baselworld, where it seemed every jewelry manufacturer had received the serpent memo.

Other trends spotted at the April 25–May 2 show included emeralds (another of our 2013 predictions), textured ­metals, Art Deco influences, and punk rock accents like black stones and studded motifs (Mikimoto even showed a safety pin style!). And while colored stones have dominated gold ­jewelry designs in recent years, designers are starting to cut back on using large single stones, and instead are sprinkling on the melee—if they use any stones at all. “We’re going back to metal work, but with a modern twist,” says Marina Borromeo of Milan-based Antonini.

A & Furst Bouquet earrings in 18k gold with 38.5 cts. t.w. praisiolite and 0.75 ct. t.w. diamonds; $9,800

Diamond jewelry firm Messika Paris showed diamond-studded spikes in modern and feminine styles, while other jewelers showcased pieces featuring delicate, lacy openwork and sleek, smooth ceramic.

Beyond aesthetic trends, a number of jewelry ­manufacturers expressed interest in expanding into the U.S. market. But this being Basel, they mostly entertained non-American clients (especially with the fair timed so close to this month’s ­jewelry market week in Las Vegas).

Baselworld newcomers included A & Furst, Garrard, and ­Laurent Gandini, who all said they’d hoped to grow their international business. Gandini, for one, seemed pleased—he’d managed to make a connection with a store owner from Azerbaijan.

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