Bling Bling

In jewelry, the hottest trend is personal statement

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“Jewelry is trying to be very wearable right now,” says Scott Gauthier, the creative force as well as the owner of Jewelry by Gauthier. In women’s necklaces, for example, the preference is pieces that are easy to put on and comfortable rather than big neckpieces — but still, of course, elegant, sophisticated and interesting. In addition to necklaces, he says rings are always popular but “there’s not the big bracelet push I’ve seen in the past.”

For men, he sees a trend in more significant pieces. “They’re wearing bold, dramatic jewelry,” he says, “including bold fashion rings.”

Although he points to increasing popular interest in tourmalines — varieties of which include greens and pinks — and earth-toned garnets, Gauthier believes jewelry is more of a long-term fashion statement than the seasonal variation of clothing designs. “In jewelry, the great thing is that nothing’s ever out of style,” he says. “It’s more of a personal fashion statement.”

Cornelis Hollander, award-winning jewelry designer and owner of Cornelis Hollander Designs, makes the same point. Although seeing interest in lighter earrings, mostly white metals, as well as casual bracelets and light-hearted necklaces, he sees jewelry as “long-term fashion” that will last 15 to 20 years, unlike clothing fashion, which changes every half-year. “If you buy an amethyst, it’s for the next 10 years; it’s not like next season you change your amethyst to pink.”

Noting that his main business is engagement and wedding rings, Hollander shares that many clients come to him when, having been married many years, they want to upscale their ring to a larger diamond. “Most of the time, they keep the little diamond from the past,” he says. Common choices are mounting the smaller diamond in a necklace or incorporating it into the next ring.

Addressing the choice of metal, Al Molina, owner of the exclusive Molina Fine Jewelers, notes the “best color” depends on whether you want to call attention to the metal design or to the stone in the setting. If the former, you want to contrast with the skin — platinum or white gold on olive or darker skin; yellow gold on fair. “But,” he continues, “if you concentrate on the stone, you want the mounting to disappear.” So the colors are reversed: yellow gold on darker skin and platinum on fair.

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