Victoria Gomelsky, Editor-in-Chief of American jewelry industry bible, JCK magazine, shines a light on some of the hottest trends in 2013, and reveals some thought-provoking talking points that will be aired at the forthcoming JCK show in Las Vegas, May 31–June 3, 2013.
We’re also seeing a lot of drama in jewelry: big statement pieces made from silver, brass, and lucite interwoven with textiles.
What makes JCK Las Vegas such a key event on the jewelry industry calendar?
A lot of buying plans are formulated directly as a result of what’s seen at the conference—it’s where the industry gets its best reading of the market.
Tell us about current key trends.
Top of the list is emerald. Pantone picked it out as its color of the year, so we’re seeing a lot of rich green shades filtering into pieces.
The second is the jazz age. That art deco, diamond-on-diamond look has always been a bestseller, but this year I think we’ll see a heavy industry focus on it, thanks to the Baz Luhrmann remake of The Great Gatsby.
Thirdly, cabochon—polished, non-faceted gems—are receiving a lot of attention now.
We’re also seeing a lot of drama in jewelry: big statement pieces made from silver, brass, and lucite interwoven with textiles. It feels like ‘big is best’ right now.
Five years on, how has the financial crisis affected the market?
There’s a small but powerful niche at the high end—bespoke and super-precious—that has survived. The fine jewelry sphere, which really used to be committed to 18 and 14-karat gold, platinum, diamonds, and precious gems, has started to embrace silver. The lower end has moved away from gold and is using silver now, too, or gold plate. It’s the middle market that has suffered the most casualties.
What does that mean for price points?
The cut-off point for fashion jewelry is around $1,000, but $500 is nearer the mark. The sweet spot is between $100 and $300—the kind of money a woman might spend on an afternoon out with a girlfriend.
Where do you see the industry heading?
There’s an ever-increasing overlap between fashion and fine jewelry. I also think there will be a lot of talk about how different technologies—such as 3D printing and mobile purchasing—are enhancing the industry.