Barely-there gold jewellery set with diamonds is proving to be a stylistic and commercial hit. Stacey Hailes explores why a girl’s best friend shouldn’t be confined to special occasions.
It is safe to say that diamonds are no longer the reserve of special occasions. Diamond-set jewellery can now be worn at any time of day, and delicate gold ranges with micro-set gems are attracting younger, fashion-conscious consumers looking to invest in contemporary fine pieces.
From animal and zodiac motifs to personalised pendants and charm bracelets, jewellery designers have been creating diamond designs more likely to be paired with jeans and a white T-shirt than an evening gown.
In response to a growing number of female customers looking to invest in fine jewellery that can be worn every day, Harrods tweaked its Luxury Jewellery Room to put more of an emphasis on diamonds for the daytime. The roster of brands within the newly refurbished room include established names like Tiffany & Co, Annoushka and H Stern, as well as six new brands set to launch in Harrods this month.
“It perfectly caters to this growing demand for beautifully made pieces, rather than statement fashion jewellery, which can be worn alone for a classic look or layered up for a more dramatic effect,” says Harrods fashion director Helen David.
When asked which pieces of jewellery have been most popular for Harrods in this category, David singles out bracelets, but adds that in recent months the store has noted a rise in demand for mix and match earrings. “We have noticed a trend for customers looking for single diamond studs or matching single studs to wear with more extravagant jewelled ear cuffs or ear jackets,” she says.
As Amazon UK continues to grow its portfolio of jewellery, this year the department scooped 20 new brands, many of which added to Amazon’s contemporary daytime diamond offering that already included brands such as La Brune et la Blonde, Jade Jagger and AS29.
“Many women today are investing in expensive and long-lasting pieces of jewellery that they can wear for seasons and years to come and that can take them from day to night,” says Amazon UK head of vendor management for jewellery Julian Exposito-Bader. “These pieces are made of fine metal and have diamonds, which makes it easy to wear during the daytime and therefore become part of their everyday wardrobe. Ina Beissner is doing a great job in creating fine jewellery that is perfect for everyday wear. The Pave Prive collection at the Amazon Jewellery Boutique is a great line of quirky pendants featuring emoticons crafted from high-quality 9ct white gold and adorned with eye-catching coloured diamonds, perfect to update your outfit for the daytime.”
Fine jewellery brand Sydney Evan, founded by Rosanne Karmes, has been creating fashion-focused jewels since its launch in 2001. From beaded bracelets with diamond charms to a range of script pieces with words such as love and happy crafted in 14ct gold, Sydney Evan offers a fine but fun choice for the modern consumer.
“I noticed a void in the industry for a fashion-based fine jewellery brand and that’s when I started Sydney Evan,” says Karmes. “At the time I was one of the only designers creating trenddriven jewellery in precious materials. It took a while for buyers to grasp the concept, but I was persistent. Cut to al- most 15 years later and look how many brands have entered the space.”
Another brand producing trend-led jewels out of precious metals and diamonds is Stone Paris, which offers modern, affordable and easy-to-wear jewellery that features intricate diamond details with a gothic aesthetic. Founder Marie Poniatowski says she was attracted to the designs of costume jewellery but wanted to create pieces that would last forever. “I founded Stone Paris because I wanted to design jewellery in a break with tradition, to offer an alternative to classic Place Vendôme jewellers,” she explains. “My idea was to keep the antique manufacturing techniques but give it an edgy look. I didn’t want to create costume jewellery because I love the concept of when you buy fine jewellery you know you will be able to pass it on. People would rather invest in something that will last forever, like diamonds.”
Jewellery designer Suzanne Kalan, whose latest collection Fireworks offers eye-catching jewels set with white and champagne baguette-cut diamonds, says she has noticed a growth in demand for daytime diamonds. “People want to enjoy their jewellery to the fullest, and they don’t want to be limited by the time of day,” she says. “You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy wearing one of my baguette diamond bangles, Fireworks studs or stackable rings.”
Fine jewellery designer Ilana Ariel, whose Legacy collection brings modern motifs to delicate 18ct gold and diamond designs, adds: “I think there is an ever-growing community of people out there who crave something different but don’t want to stray too far from the high end. That’s why I strive to design jewellery that’s not only classic and current, but also refined.”
In addition to the growth of daywear diamond jewels from fine jewellery designers, last year the industry saw popular consumer fashion brands move to the finer side. Notably, Daisy London produced its popular Chakra bracelets in 18ct gold plate and diamonds while Thomas Sabo launched a large and expanding fine jewellery offering including gold and diamond Karma, Chakra and Love Bridge pieces that are available online and in its flagship stores.
It seems wherever you turn at the moment, you find fashionable styles in barely-there gold, studded with a delicate flash of diamonds. In an industry constantly seeking out ways to attract the next generation of fine jewellery shoppers, this accessible trend seems like a winner.
This feature first appeared in the January issue of Professional Jeweller. Click here to read more.