Today’s jewelry market has changed in a variety of ways. First, let’s take a look at some current trends.
Over the last two years, many jewelers have relied heavily on two things: bead jewelry lines, like Pandora, and gold. Sales data is already showing a declining trend in bead lines, and discount look-a-likes abound. Gold is at $1691 an ounce as of this writing which prevents gold jewelry designers to continue creating gold designs. Many were forced to switch from gold to sterling silver due to the cost and dismal re-sales. The average end consumer can not afford to buy gold jewelry in this economy.
Colored gemstone jewelry, on the other hand is a trend that started thousands of years ago in ancient times and continues to this day, maybe stronger than ever. Gone are the days of consumers being bombarded with “A Diamond is Forever” commercials, and this generation of Millenials is much less concerned with traditions. Today, it is all about expressing their individuality. We see this in an increased amount of colored gemstones as center stones in engagement rings, and sales were certainly affected by Prince William proposing to Kate Middleton with his mother’s blue sapphire engagement ring. This trend has a huge affect on jewelry customers who wish to differentiate themselves.
When looking at current trends, we must look to our trend setters. In the USA we do not look to our royalty, but to our celebrities. Celebrities have become the single biggest influence on the purchase decision, even surpassing friends. Just think about the celebrity driven culture we live in, and it is not hard to see how their influence has grown. We are inundated with television shows, like “Extra” and “Entertainment Tonight,” magazines like People and US Weekly and websites that report celebrities’ every move.
Consumers follow the celebrity lead from casual fashion to formal wear and everything in between. If you look back at this year’s Oscars, Golden Globes and other red carpet events, the jewelry has been all about color. Emeralds and sapphires dominated the Oscar’s and have continued to be very strong this year at celebrity events. Understanding key fashion colors is very important so that the customer can find the perfect matching or complimentary colored gemstone jewelry to offset their latest fashion colors.
It is fun and interesting to check and see what color pallet trends are, by going to www.Pantone.com.
When it comes to gemstone trends, green has been very strong — and I don’t mean just the color. Emeralds, green amethyst, green quartz, tsavorite garnets and green tourmaline have been incorporated into a lot of designer lines over the past year. Emeralds have been worn by many A-List celebrities this year and have been enjoying a nice resurgence. Green quartz has become a staple in many fashion jewelry lines.
But beyond the color green is also the “green” movement, where a niche is developing for gemstones and jewelry that assures the consumer of ecologically friendly mining practices, fair labor conditions and the use of recycled materials. Honduras is in the process of Fair Trade mining of the Black Matrix opal mined on the mainland. The silver and gold settings have not been perfected as of yet, but hopefully we will soon have this gorgeous black, green and red opal that is found only in Honduras.
Colored gemstones and pearls are all about fun, passion and fashion. Don’t be afraid of color!!