Jewelry trends for this fall seem a bit incongruous - in the face of an uncertain economy, consumers and jewelers are finding ways to scale back spending and costs. But consumers are also being drawn to attention-getting bold statement pieces and unique diamonds that scream luxury. But no matter what the spending level, everyone seems to be getting a conscience - trying to ensure that their jewelry is just as eco-friendly as their cars.
- Raw and rough diamonds. The latest trend in diamonds is working with stones that were traditionally cast off as waste matter from the mining process. Jewelers are increasingly incorporating unique cuts and colors of diamonds into jewelry, from diamond slices to raw diamond nuggets to grey, brown and yellow toned stones. The unique hues and textures of these stones make each truly one-of-a-kind. And only people that are really ‘in-the-know’ will understand the true value of that spectacular gemstone of your finger.
- Big statement necklaces. From vintage beads to jaw-dropping gemstones to multi-strand necklaces, this season is all about making a statement. It can be hard to pull these off on a day-to-day basis, so cutting back on the number of pieces worn is a good way to make this trend seem less over-whelming. But for a big event like a charity auction, pull out all the stops - a statement piece is always a great addition to make you stand out from the crowd.
- Mixed metal and alternative metals. With the cost of metal going through the roof and consumers feeling increasingly weary about the economy, jewelers are finding ways to introduce lower price point pieces into their collections without sacrificing beauty or quality. Jewelers are mixing gold with sterling silver and steel to create edgier looks; they are also working with alternative metals such as argentium and palladium, which are cheaper than more traditional gold and platinum.
- Environmentally friendly jewelry. Luckily, “Going green" is the trend in many things these days. But jewelry in particular is getting increasing focus for its environmental practices. And with good reason. Traditionally, metal mining has been an incredibly destructive practice, creating waste products that damage the earth and communities around the mines. Additionally, many companies have taken jewelry production offshore, increasing the carbon footprint of shipping these products to your retail store. Increasingly, consumers are demanding more information about sourcing and production of their jewelry. Many jewelers are hearing their demands, working with recycled metal, producing locally and increasing demands on vendors to know the source of materials. All without sacrificing the beauty of their designs - so don't worry, you don't have to wear hippy dippy beads to have comfort that your jewelry is green.
By Kathryn Money of Melissa Joy Manning, Inc.
Melissa Joy Manning designs, manufactures and sells designer fashion and fine jewelry.