Jewellery Trends 2014: Uncommon Gems
The move away from the ‘big 4’ in precious gemstone fine jewellery (diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds) is both an exciting and perhaps necessary one, and something we’ve also noticed in engagement ring trends as the ubiquitous white diamond becomes a less popular choice for the people we’ve helped to find their ideal ring.
With gemstone prices sky-high, designers are having to be more bold and experimental than ever, as well as trusting that customers are brave enough to embrace these less traditional stones in fine jewellery without any preconceived (or misinformed) notions of their value and quality.
Traditionally under-used stones such as spinels, grey and black diamonds, and tourmalines are also being explored as aesthetic moods change – colour choices are becoming more and more idiosyncratic in the search for the perfect hue, and individuality and uniqueness in the stone choice is becoming more of a selling point.
As a way of easing into this, paler shades of coloured gemstones such as sapphires – violets, lilacs and pinks are becoming more popular, along with the paler peachy hues of morganite and variants of tourmaline.
Opals, iridescent moonstones and milky star-sapphires provide an ethereal and delicate glow where bold colour is not at the forefront of the design, with Fernando Jorge again being ahead of the curve by releasing his ‘Electric Opal’ collection at last year’s LFW.
But it’s not just the paler hues that are on the rise – bold opaque materials such as turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, marble, onyx and agate are being incorporated with precious gemstones and metals, the designers’ not restrained in their usage with voluminous, bold shapes and cuts to allow the colours to really pop.
The clash of the opaque stones with a translucent gemstone is a really great combination if done well, as in the case of jewellery designer Hannah Martin and new London jewellery brand Completed Works, and, on a smaller scale, US based jewellery label Mociun.
London based designer Noor Fares is also fully exploring this theme with new stone choices in her ‘Fly me to the Moon’ collection including jade, ebony, agate and turquoise, proof that opaque stones are back in business, proving that this trend extends further than engagement rings and into the mainstream jewellery world.