What’s Happening in Luxury Jewelry

Trends from JCK Las Vegas 2010.

Dallas, June 9, 2010: The Jewelers Circular Keystone (better known as JCK) just wound up the largest jewelry show in North America on Monday. The event brought thousands of designers, manufacturers, distributers, and retailers from across the globe for their annual trek to Las Vegas. Multiple smaller shows occurred during the eight day span starting with the International Watch and Jewelry Guild. Next were Luxury by JCK, Swiss Watch by JCK, and Couture. Nestled among these was the Antique Jewelry and Watch Show. The week concluded with the industry’s premier trade event, JCK Las Vegas.

It was impossible to see everything over the eight day period, but after miles of walking, several hundred conversations, and setting eyes on lines being shown by thousands of exhibitors, some trends popped out this year.

Cautious Optimism: The economy that brought the industry to a deep freeze last year is finally beginning to thaw. American retailers are buying again. Orders are smaller and at lower price points but their customers are coming back through the doors. Call it boredom or pent up demand, consumers are finding their way back into stores in 2010. But many retailers are still expressing concern. Will customers keep up the traffic as the economy absorbs the European debt crisis, the Gulf oil disaster, and mounds of U.S. debt piling up at an unprecedented pace? Time will soon tell.

Couture Silver: Sounds like an oxy-moron but top designers are taking silver to a new level. This is not your $50 dollar silver piece. Manufacturers have developed new processes to prevent tarnishing. Designers are mixing silver with gold accents and diamonds. Price points are high for silver but far undercut the same designs in all gold. Bold designs from Charles Krypell and modern, clean designs from Raymond Hak were a few standouts in this category. Silver is the new gold.

Chocolate, Champagne, and Roses: Brown metal, champagne and brown diamonds, and rose gold are strong in this year’s collections. Goldstein Diamonds has a new collection that uses black rhodium treated gold to create a spectacular chocolate brown gold covered in pave diamonds. The same collection comes in yellow satin gold and rose satin gold. Charles Krypell is making extensive use of brown and champagne pave diamonds in his Sterling Mocha Diamond Collection. Damaso Martinez from Spain, Giorgio Visconti from Italy, and Le Vian all have luscious lines that make beautiful use of chocolate, champagne, and rose colors.

Bold Fashion: Big, bold and colorful describe several of the collections in high-end fashion this year. Color trends have been taken straight from Europe’s fashion runways. Stars of the year are the greens and light blues. Guests of honor include nuances of red and soft and refined pinks, mauves and neutral hues. Several jewelry designers have incorporated these colors into bold designs for their current lines. Of particular note is Zorab Creations for their ornate, colorful designs that incorporate Eastern and Asian influences in grand scale. Another is Rina Limor with vivid color in the form of multi-color pave sapphires on beads, earrings and bracelets and big color in large rings accented yet again by pave color. Several designers are making extensive use of moonstones in the form of rings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets to embrace the neutral and lightly colored palette. Finally, hot again this year is the sliced diamond in smoky, brown, yellow and neutral tones incorporated into big necklaces and other important pieces.

Butterflies Aflutter: The single biggest theme at JCK this year was the butterfly. Some attendees may have confused the exhibition showroom for a conservatory. Butterfly bangles, butterfly pendants, butterfly pins, butterfly necklaces, butterflies were everywhere. Designer Jenny Perl has incorporated butterflies into her Le Jardin Butterfly collection. Goldstein Diamonds has created a stunning baguette and round diamond necklace. Zorab has created several important and colorful butterfly pin and cuff pieces. Butterflies can be found at virtually every price point from many designers this season.

Cuffs, Bracelets, Bangles, and More Cuffs: Next to the butterfly, adornments for the wrist were plentiful. Choices included extravagant diamond and color bracelets, big cuffs and bangles mixing the use of gold and gemstone appliqu?s, wonderful enamel bracelets and cuffs, paisley designs, and ornate to modern clean sterling silver collections. Of particular note was the safari motif enamel and diamond collection from Soho where the age old art of enamel has been transformed into stunning contemporary designs. Dilamani introduced a line of shark skin belt cuffs that were unique and adventurous. Charles Krypell presented strong designs from his Sterling Collection. Raymond Hak presented clean couture from his Melange, Coral and Organza silver collections.

New Watches: New watch designs, too, are incorporating the color trends of 2010. Bronze and chocolate faces accompanied by rose gold bracelets and chocolate straps were highlighted. Pink is the color for women’s fashion watches. Pink faces and bands married with white, yellow and rose case colors were prevalent. Wide faces and chronograph dials were offered for both men and women. Rose gold cases and bracelets are again taking front and center from many of the most renowned watch makers.

Secondary Watch Market: There is no better time than now to investigate the secondary market for fine watches. With gold values at all time highs, prices for new watches are soaring. The secondary market included both new and pre-owned watches that have been purchased at very good discounts leading to significant price reductions over new. And many collectors are liquidating some or all of their collection leading to excellent values on some hard-to-find, out-of-production pieces. Perusing the shows proved that availability of watches in the secondary markets has never been better with sought after brands such as Rolex, Cartier, Patek Phillipe, IWC, Breitling, Audemar Piguet and Panarai.

Find of the Show: The find of the show had very little to do with jewelry at all. Rather the focus was on knives, pens and other gentlemanly gifts made from materials that date from prehistoric times or better yet from atmospheric meteorites. William Henry Studio is truly a collectors dream come true. Each knife, pen or ball mark repair tool is a one of a kind piece with collections of each that number less than one man can count on his fingers and toes. For the collector of precious knives, pens and unique manly gifts, this is truly a maker to covet.

About Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell has twenty four years of experience in the jewelry industry. She began her career working for a high-end jewelry designer in Los Angeles, traveling the country selling the designer’s line of jewelry to the trade. Next she worked special event shows directly in jewelry stores, such as Bailey, Banks & Biddle, Helzburg and Marshal Fields. She then was responsible for the American operation of a South African Site Holder that specialized in working with clients who came to Africa on Safari. While in this role, Kelly provided highly personalized service by travelling the world to meet private clients to create custom designs or deliver requested pieces.

For the past 15 years Kelly has operated her own business providing custom design pieces and watches to private clients. Her clients continue to include members of the Safari community as well as senior executives, affluent couples, and young cosmopolitans that have all come to her through referral. Kelly is a member of the International Watch and Jewelry Guild (IWJG) and Rapaport Diamond Association.

Kelly Mitchell Fine Jewelry can now be found at Calame Jewelers. The store is located at 11 Highland Park Village.