January 2017

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Diamond Trends & Jewelry Fashion: What to Expect in 2017

Every year, the industry makes new predictions on diamond trends in the jewelry industry, based on the catwalk, consumer habits, and market expert forecasts. 2017 jewelry and diamond trends show some continuation of those that hit the market in 2016, with some new and diverse trends that experts predict will carry through until the end of the year and possibly beyond.

Diamond Trends: Bridal Beauty

Engagement rings comprise the bulk of diamond sales. There are many trends hitting the shelves that retailers hope will appeal to the individualism of millennial consumers. 2017 jewelry trends for engagement jewelry include many cool, artistic and unique settings, rather than traditional solitaire stones, such as halo settings, rose gold, black diamonds, stacked rings and clusters. Other interesting offerings are opals in place of diamonds, intertwined bands and Edwardian settings, either vintage, or newly created but with a vintage look and feel. Popular wedding site The Knot predicts that colored diamonds, floral accents and square bands in place of traditional round bands will be the new “in” in engagement rings.

Another interesting trend is upgraded wedding rings. While this is not necessarily a new trend, the dynamics of the trend have changed considerably. Previously, those who upgraded their rings generally did so at 25 to 30 years into the marriage. Today, upgrading is taking place with greater demand than ever before, and more often at the 5 to 10 year mark instead. While many people still don’t upgrade due to sentimentality about their wedding band, improved financial status can spur demand for a newer, larger ring, or one more suited to the consumer’s current taste.

Not Just the Look

While many consumers choose their ring purely based on aesthetics, current jewelry trends show that younger consumers are looking for rings with a meaningful brand experience and  a unique story. Many diamond retailers are attaching a story to their diamonds, detailing its complete journey from the mine to the consumer. These “stories” include the diamond’s origins, assuring the buyer that the diamond is ethically sourced and not lab grown.  This new trend is popular with Signet’s Jared line, as well as China’s Chow Tai Fook.

Luxury Jewelry Trends

There are several new trends in the luxury jewelry market. The rise in consumers from China and India can be connected to their recent increased exposure to Western culture as well as their improved socioeconomic background.

An interesting trend is the increase in women buying jewelry for themselves and the change in marketing focusing on female consumers rather than male consumers. According to Bonhams auction house in London, female buyers accounted for 28 % of all jewelry bought in their auctions. Experts predict this trend to increase in 2017.

Fashion trends making their way into the 2017 luxury jewelry market include baroque pearls, seen on fashion runways from Mikimoto, Celine and Annoushka, as well as a predominance of silver.

Color, and lots of it, is also expected to be a major trend, with colored gemstones and enamel-enhanced jewelry making its way into fashion. Cool colors for 2017 include jade, coral, turquoise, watermelon and tourmaline. As far as style and design is concerned, chokers, rose gold, sapphire, especially used in engagement rings, and stacked bracelets are big upcoming trends.

While 2017 jewelry trends are diverse, one thing remains clear: Millennial shoppers are changing the face of the diamond and jewelry market. Traditional is no longer the “go-to” jewelry choice; rather, nontraditional, unique and even bespoke are the new way to go.

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