WE ASKED 800-PLUS retail jewelers to take an educated guess at the next breakout category in jewelry. Here are their top 10 responses:
1. By far the largest number of jewelers responded to this question by citing the continuing popularity of laboratory-grown diamonds and fashion jewelry, specifically mentioning lab-grown diamonds set in metals ranging from silver and 10K gold to platinum. This was also considered the top trend in the 2019 survey.
2. Jewelers believe custom jewelry will continue to drive sales. “During the COVID-19 shutdowns our foot traffic diminished to a crawl, however our custom jewelry items took off,” said one respondent. “We had a customer stationed overseas contact us for a very unique and beautiful piece.” Another said custom clients and not industry trends will drive business: “That’s the thing about custom. Our clients will let us know.”
3. Yellow gold jewelry in any and every style from bold to delicate and layered. Advertisement
4. Earrings of all types were mentioned, driven in part by the fact women are looking for jewelry that looks goods in the virtual world. “Something that has great movement and is good to wear during Zoom meetings.” Some of the specific types mentioned include: Statement earrings, large diamond stud earrings, dangle earrings with diamonds or color as well as smaller earring that do not catch on masks.
5. Female self-purchase trends. Dainty bracelets and smaller necklaces, often worn layered, are predicted to become even more popular as are bezel-set solitaire pendants set in yellow gold. “Thin rings and delicate pendants in yellow gold with precious stones, turquoise, diamond beads and sapphires.” Stackable rings and bracelets, too.
6. Chains. “It’s already happening. Gold chains a la ‘80s style,” said one respondent. Also mentioned: paperclip chains with diamond accents, heavy curb and Cuban-link necklaces and all styles of link bracelets and necklaces for both men and women.
7. Organic, rustic and rough-cut diamonds were mentioned frequently in the bridal category, as was almost the polar opposite: a return to simple, traditional solitaires. Also mentioned more than once: colored gemstones, an emphasis on wedding bands, yellow gold, fancy shapes, bigger diamonds, estate diamonds and ethically sourced diamonds and gold.
8. Affordable options. Survey respondents believe that gold-plated jewelry, lower carat gold, vermeil and mixed metals will increasingly be in demand as the price of gold has risen. That includes sterling silver set with precious gemstones. Advertisement
9. Personalized jewelry. This included emotionally inspired uplifting pieces and women’s empowerment jewelry, as well as push jewelry, family jewelry and commemorative jewelry. “I recently sold a Covid cuff to a woman. A 30 mm cuff bracelet engraved with the initials of all the people who weren’t able to attend her wedding because of the coronavirus,” one respondent said.
10. Tech jewelry. Men and women will increasingly look for smart wearable jewelry and seek out smart watch bands that look more like jewelry. They will also seek out jewelry related to personal electronics, such as Fitbit covers and thumb-drive pendants.