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BY BETH BERNSTEIN | Published in the June 2013 issue

It's that time of year when you are betting on what trends, items and collections will be high rollers for holiday selling. Sometimes you have to take the odds and a risk; sometimes go with your gut and other times, roll the dice on a new trend. It's Vegas, and we hope this year what you see in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas but will translate into a winning season for your store.



Hottest Seller

The category started with bead bracelets and blossomed into a trend the entire market took and ran with. It then expanded with dangling discs, motifs and the addition of necklace and ring styles as well as multi charm pendants with meaning and a story to tell. The trend continues in myriad variations.

Goddess necklace in gold-plated brass
MSRP: $148

Our expert's take

DUVALL O'STEEN: Today, woman are making a statement — posting, tweeting, collaging with Pinterest and Instagram. Everyone has something to say. It is no wonder, then, that charms abound. Symbolic elements like crosses, skulls or peace signs are also stylish and allow for affordable add-ons to existing necklaces and bracelets. We not only carry our portable scrapbooks on smartphones today, we wear them around our wrists and necks, even dangling from our ears.

LAURA PARKER: I'm seeing a lot of charm cluster necklaces for new moms — featuring monograms, baby shoes, etc. There is also a dark side emerging in the charm world, with skull charms, snakes and evil eyes making a splash in celebrity circles. And design-your-own lockets seem to be the new Pandora charm bracelet. Get ready for a house party near you!

YES: 51% NO: 49%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • I love the Victorian Wax Seal Charms — they are so much fun with the stone bead charms connected to them. // Cathy Grad, Caffray Jewellers, Hinsdale, IL
  • They are great! Either beads or conventional — they are a jeweler's annuity! // Tory Michel, Tory's Jewely, Marblehead, MA
  • We're pretty hot for charms. We do exceptionally well with four categories: 1. Crosses. 2. Judaica 3. Affirmations 4. Charm groupings with themes and leitmotifs. // Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, Folsom, CA
  • Charms and charm-like jewelry have a great sentimental value. You can tell a story about the event the charm represents, and as the charm passes through generations, the story remains and is cherished. // Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • This will continue to be strong because each one tells a story about the person wearing it. // Alan Goodheart, Goodheart's Jewelry, Overland Park, KS




Precious and non-precious materials come together to form fine jewelry that creates a bolder, bigger look. It's a time in jewelry when anything goes. Materials include wood, horn, carved stones, Bakelite and resin mixed with diamonds, precious stones and gold.

Wood bangles with sterling silver leaf design and granulation
MSRP: $265 each - (888) 547-2655 |

Our expert's take

DUVALL O'STEEN: Edgy, chic architectural styles abound that fuse non-precious substances like resin, enamel, Lucite or steel with gold and silver. Organic substances like horn and wood are also being enhanced with a colorful array of gemstones. These compilations have a very contemporary feel and many will layer or mix well with more classic or traditional styles.

SHAYE STRAGER // Stylist and CBS Trend Tracker: In an ever changing world, I'm excited that antler, bone and even rare gems like sapphire slices are being made into timeless and exotic pieces of jewelry.

YES: 37% NO: 63%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • I get the best results with steel and gold. I tried wood and silver and horn and silver, but they weren't good sellers. // Sally Hovis, Nuechterlein's of Frankenmuth, Frankenmuth, MI
  • Guys really like the wedding bands. Women like the bands for the guys, but not for themselves. // Dale Robertson, Jacob Stone, Milford, OH
  • I won't be "going long" on alternative collections, but we will have some unique fashion pieces. // Kathi Main, Kevin Main Jewelry, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • The trick is to make sure it doesn't look like something you could get at Target and looks like something the customer will wear for more than a season and with more than one outfit. // Tory Michel, Tory's Jewelry, Marblehead, MA
  • It's what all the younger crowd wants. // Karin Burg, The Corner Studio, Sheboygan Falls, WI
  • Love. Adore. Great stuff in non-traditional combos. What is the point of being normal? // Erin McMichael Hess, Accents, Colorado Springs, CO
  • This is a strong trend for us not because of fashion but because of price. // James Sickinger, Sickinger's Jewelry, Lowell, IN




Whether your customers are more of a bold cuff statement-maker or a stacklable bangle add-on girl, this is the season to mix, match and create stories in your cases that revolve around the wrist.

Cuff bracelet in 18K yellow gold, with diamonds (0.35 TCW)
MSRP: $5,750 | (973) 879-8689 |

Our expert's take

LAURA PARKER: Designers couldn't get enough of the layered look for spring ready-to-wear runways. From chunky gold bangles to Wonder Woman cuffs, these looks made a huge splash on the sartorial scene.

DUVALL O'STEEN: Thin or thick, the only necessity for bangles is quantity — stack them up and be sure to include variety, showcasing bangles with or without gemstones or combining solid and more open or lacy styles. For cuffs, encourage customers to select a one-of-a-kind style — a wearable work of art that inspires conversation and a sexy sense of confidence.

YES: 66% NO: 34%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • We have been stacking on our salespeople for quite some time as it gives customers the idea that it is OK to mix different designers on their arms. Plus, we sell more! // Kate Mancini, Versant, Bethlehem, PA
  • We have cuffs in just about every type of metal and even in stingray with great spring and summer colors. // Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • Ladies like to stack jewelry, it is just fun and stylish, and retailers like to stack too ... stacking up add-on sales! // Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallhassee, FL
  • I'm seeing this trend on my customers already, and I'm sure I can sell it! // Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • The noisier and bolder the better! // Nathaniel Smith, Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design, Champaign, IL
  • If it's on the red carpet, it should gain traction, especially if you can tie into a POS display. // J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • Personalized and stackable bangles are popular across all ages but especially younger customers. // Kathy Corey, Day's Jewellers, Waterville, ME




When Pantone named emerald as its Color of the Year for 2013, the industry was reminded of stars such as Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore and a host of other A-list actresses donning this lively gemstone at various red carpet appearances over the past four years. Although emerald still stands out in all categories of jewelry, especially earrings that remind us of the celebs' choices, we are also seeing jade, tourmaline and tsavarorite as the new green.

14K yellow gold earrings with emeralds, white sapphires and diamonds
(713) 780-2828 |

Our expert's take

LAURA PARKER: Emerald jewelry has been bedazzling red carpets since 2009, but now that it's Pantone's Color of the Year I'm seeing the gemstone on mere mortals everywhere. The color 'emerald green' is also showing up in other bejeweled incarnations, including one of my personal favorites, green onyx. The stone is the perfect way to go green without spending a lot of green.

Shaye Strager: Is there a better time to be green? I've spent more in 2013 than any year past collecting my favorite shades of emerald and kelly green.

YES: 58% NO: 42%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • I think it will open more opportunity to show gems that are similar in color without that emerald price! // Daniel Reynolds, Daniel J. Reynolds Jewelers, Cedar Springs, MI
  • I have become a huge fan of this new bright green trend: I wear the new Citizen green dive watch more than my Rolex. Green shirts, hats ... love it and we see so much of it — it is everywhere. // Evan Duke, Classic Creations in Diamonds & Gold, Venice, FL
  • There are several different stones that could be used in variations of this color trend. This allows the trend to cross over various price points. // Andy Groag, Elfstone Silver and Gold, Mashpee, MA
  • Last year I sold quite a bit of tangerine tango so I'm thinking this year green will do well also. // Ben Brantley, Ben Brantley & Co., Shelbyville, TN
  • We always stock some major pieces that will be in whatever is the trending color. We typically work with one of our vendors so that if it doesn't sell it can be switched out for the next in-style color. // Joel Wiland, J. David's Jewelry, Broken Arrow, OK
  • I am more likely to invest in alternative green stones than more emerald until I see how it is going. // Winnie M. Marvel, Alvin Magnon Jewelers, Tampa, FL




Jewelry borrows inspiration from the Mughal jewelry of the East to the queen's jewels of the West to czarist Russia's sumptuous regal pieces recently captured in the 2012 release of Anna Karenina. Royal and embellished looks in jewelry are back with a more discrete and elegant feeling — rather than being ostentatious and over-the-top.

Glance earrings from the Candide EyE Collection in 18K rose gold with amethysts (17 TCW), diamonds (1.2 TCW) and pink sapphires (0.34 TCW)
MSRP: $11,500 | (212) 563-7683 |

Our expert's take

LAURA PARKER: Duchess Kate's baby bump isn't the only royal jewel creating a buzz. My favorite royal-inspired jewelry moment this year was Dolce & Gabanna's fall 2013 ready-to-wear show where they featured huge, opulent Byzantine cross earrings and necklaces and gemstone encrusted crowns. Any royal watcher (or Game of Thrones fan) would kill for this stuff.

DUVALL O'STEEN: From the British royal wedding to the popularity of period pieces in film and television, the many facets of monarchy are inspiring creative expressions in fine jewelry. The more detailed and the more diamond-encrusted, the better, as everyone seeks to express her inner princess these days.

YES: 20% NO: 80%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • Absolutely beautiful but I haven't seen this effectively done for all price points. // Daniel Reynolds, Daniel J. Reynolds Jewelers, Cedar Springs, MI
  • Regal is forever. Besides there is a bumper crop of entitled self-appointed queens and princesses around! // Tory Michel, Tory's Jewelry, Marblehead, MA
  • We are carrying this in non-precious metals as gold makes the price point too high for most of our clients. // Shahraz Kassam, Shamin Jewellers, Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • Women will always love the Lady Di/Duchess Kate style so we will always have those accessories available. // Morgan Bartel, Collins Diamonds, Liberal, KS
  • It's a classic trend in which color and detail rule. This is a wonderful category for us and we have high hopes for the holidays in this niche. // Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, Folsom, CA
  • As a former archeologist, I've been doing this for years, and it has a big following. It looks good with blackened metals, but I find these are not permanent, so am staying cautious with that trend. // Eve Alfillé, Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL




Alternative bridal rings continue to grow with passionate creativity. Designers marry Old World cuts such as rose and cushion cuts with modern or feminine styling and add individual and distinctive touches that will allow the customer to feel that the rings were expressly made for her and her groom-to-be.

Left to right: Hammered-finish square ring with sapphires in 18K gold, 18K gold ring with antique star setting with sapphires; 18K gold textured ring with diamonds (0.72 TCW)
MSRP: $2,200 (square ring); $2,340 (antique star setting ring); $2,100 (diamond ring)
(413) 329-5824 |

Our expert's take

DUVALL O'STEEN: Celebrity status now seems to bring a requirement for innovation. Younger generations are no longer satisfied with the status quo, preferring instead to mix tradition with a healthy dose of innovation. And young brides across the country are demanding more unusual or bespoke styles for their engagement rings to set themselves apart and find more ways to enjoy the ubiquitous bridal ring ensembles.

SHAYE STRAGER: Color is my favorite bridal trend of 2013. Being a proud wearer of an all-yellow wedding ring (yellow diamonds, yellow sapphire and yellow gold), I'm invigorated by brides today who have made their desire for unique and different engagement rings known. Way to go retailers for giving your customers the options they desire and need!

YES: 45% NO: 55%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • The consumer today is definitely looking for an alternative look. It is wise to offer this to the consumer because it will bring in a larger sale than normal. // John Zeke, Zeke's Jewelers, Brandon, MB, Canada
  • It's a great design look with raw diamonds and slices. This has opened a whole new category for the more organic bridal customer. // Mark Kasuba, M. Edward Jewelers, Pittsfield, MA
  • Our community is small and tends to shy away from the ostentatious look, so subtle and organic do well. // Kathi Main, Kevin Main Jewelry, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We are doing a lot with colored stone bridal. Rubies, sapphires and tanzanites are proving to be very popular choices when going out of the box with wedding ring selection. // Morgan Bartel, Collins Diamonds, Liberal, KS
  • Besides offering a design alternative, they can be priced lower, given that less labor is involved in processing the stones. They are loved by the younger generation. // Mark Rosanski, Goldart Jewellery Studio, Ottawa, ON




With custom jewelry at the forefront of design and women wanting more individuality than ever before, the designers and manufacturers who have expanded their personalized jewelry options are sure to win the hearts of sentimental shoppers this holiday season.

14K gold diamond mini disc initial necklace
MSRP: $535 | (212) 921-9270 |

Our expert's take

LAURA PARKER: I've been seeing retro monogram designs we used to see in the '70s and '80s (yes, those swirly letters we put on everything from pendants to purses) in a variety of jewelry categories lately — most notably bridal. It's a great gift for the bride and her bridesmaids.

DUVALL O'STEEN: Join the conversation ... as consumers get more involved in social media and enjoy having their voices heard, they begin demanding more personalized expressions in their jewelry. Monogram earrings, pendants and rings are popular; photo lockets and cameos have also made a comeback on the fashion scene, as well as jumbled charms and initial, inscribed messages or love letter pendants and cuffs.

YES: 56% NO: 44%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • Monograms are all the rage, with young teens to women in their 30s bringing in their grandmothers' items to be repaired. // Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • A small investment in samples helps sell the monograms and initials well. // Frank Salinardi, Linardi's Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • Monograms, lockets, etc., are always a good bet when people are more family focused and being careful about finances. These are pieces that are easy to romance. // Nancy Carbonetti, Stephen's Jewelers, Wilmington, DE
  • I am only stocking prototypes. I recall this happening in the late '80s and ended up melting a huge quantity of initials. // David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • We love this — such an easy sale to a young husband who's otherwise lost. Plus young moms want this too. // Kristy Goodrich, JK Jewelers, St. George, UT
  • Personalization is the one trend that makes sense. She'll never tire of her jewelry when it's been given even more meaning than for the occasion it was received. // Candice Milstein, Wyatt Austin Jewelers, Schaumburg, IL




Silver continues to grow as a category unto itself in fine jewelry stores with new innovations, textures and finishes, but the most popular looks are those that combine silver with gold — particularly blackened or rhodium-plated silver looks with the gleam of high-karat textured touches. Not only does this offer an alternative price for your customers, it offers a look that can pull together all the metal colors in their existing jewelry wardrobes.

Cuff in handcrafted 24K gold and  oxidized “gilver”
MSRP: $13,740 | (212) 463-7950 |

Our expert's take

SHAYE STRAGER: Long reign the mixing of metals. No longer is it a trend but a mainstay. In the world of personal style, mixing and matching and high/low are here to stay.

YES: 69% NO: 31%
Stock it for Christmas?
  • It's accepted more readily than I imagined, especially if I point to the wearer's bicolor watch! // Eve Alfillé, Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • It's a great look and people like the idea of mixing. It gives them an opportunity to wear different pieces together. // Kathi Main, Kevin Main Jewelry, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • I love oxidized silver and gold, the overall effect is so very eye-catching! Sprinkle in some different polishing finishes and you have a "no selling necessary" winner! // Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • This category is a little edgier and appeals to fashionistas of all ages. // Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • Silver has always been in style. Jewelers and designers have just now taken silver to a serious craftsmanship level, taking time to develop silver lines by adding color and diamonds and touches of gold to give it value. // Amber Gustafson, Amber's Designs, Katy, TX
  • Anything eclectic sells. // Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN