Colored Gemstones on Men’s Jewelry

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By Deborah A. YonickMore from this author

Colored Gemstones on Men's Jewelry is becoming a trend and may as will be dominating men's fashion as noted by  Deborah A. Yonick on  this article. Read on for her take on this fast becoming fact.


If diamonds are a girl's best friend, could colored gemstones be a man's? They might just be, according to the latest trends in men's fashions.

While women have traditionally dominated the consumption of accessories in the U.S. market, the world of personal accessories has been changing, as men's perception of fashion has changed. Euromonitor International luxury goods research, which has tracked the significant growth of men's accessories, attributes men's growing inclination to buy stylish accessories to greater availability, changing styles at work, demographic shifts, and new societal norms on grooming.

Men's fashion blogs are a big part of the shift in men's style, cites CPC Strategy, a retail focused search agency, with the newest crop of bloggers selfie-savvy dapper dandies such as TheGentlemanBlogger, YourMirrorStyle, OfftheCuff, and Street Etiquette. In fact, Euromonitor hails millennial men the key consumers for accessories. These young men care about their personal appearance and style as their lifestyles include snapping selfies and sharing them on social media.

Among the top accessories men are buzzing about in these burgeoning style circles are gem bead bracelets and necklaces, and traditional accessories such as signet rings, pendants (e.g. dog tags and crosses), cuff links, and bracelets with stone inlay. Layering and stacking of accessories is encouraged.

Bead Dazzle

Demand for unusual gem beads such as lapis, sodalite, bronzite, matte hematite, and meteorite is strong, says Scott Rauch, president of SHR Jewelry Group in New York City, a manufacturer of men's jewelry including the Esquire brand. Men groove on the unusual and masculine nature of the stories behind these stones. "From ancient volcanoes to remote mountain ranges come these exotic and traditional stones featured in our contemporary men's jewelry," describes Rauch. "Formed deep beneath the surface of the earth and discovered millions of years later, they create a look that is both rugged and refined, and men are responding to that."

Gem beads have been on the rise from runway to street style in the past year, cites Jonathan Goodman

Cohen for the men's jewelry manufacturer IB Goodman in Newport, Kentucky. "The trend took hold when designers introduced collections in 2017 showcasing the look of a modern man who also has a stylistic nostalgia for the pre-digital eras of the '70s and '90s. Gem beads carry a mystique for promoting good energy, which denotes a certain message about the wearer. The concept of good energy is appealing today in an unpredictable world, and gem beads provide a tangible way to express this quality in jewelry."

Gem bead bracelets are top sellers with men today. "They tend not to be overly flashy or distracting, which appeals to the millennial man, our target customer," says Alisa Bunger, director of sales for the Dallas-based Prime Art & Jewel. She says the bead bracelet continues to stay strong for men, especially when worn in tandem with other bracelet styles, as layering is a key trend. "Today's millennial man is evolving with the man-bun, skinny pants…and the layering bracelet trend goes along with that evolution."

Part of the layered look is a trend for leather wrap bracelets worn with stretch bead bracelets, reports Cora Lee Colaizzi, director of marketing and catalogs and senior merchandiser of Quality Gold in Fairfield, Ohio. She cites black agate, lava rock, and other naturally occurring materials, including wood, as popular in beads.

"Unusual gem beads such as lapis, sodalite, bronzite, matte hematite, and meteorite create a look that is both rugged and refined, and men are responding to that." - — Scott Rauch, SHR Jewelry Group

Classic Rock

Layering accessories is a trend that lets men experiment with their style, says Cohen, who encourages jewelers to use visual cues in their merchandising and marketing that show men how to mix and match color, texture, and style.

"Today, men want to express their full multi-dimensional personalities, not just a narrow sampling of their tastes," says Cohen. "Layering necklaces, for example, is a great way for men to show basic taste intermixed with unique preferences. The look can be grounded in simple gold chains, but weave in more expressive pieces like personalized dog tags."

There's more attention given to these classically male props, but with a twist in designs that are more contemporary and fashion-forward. "Natural stones such as turquoise and tiger's eye are trending because they're unique and add color and character," cites Cohen. He notes that gemstones set in signet rings or black enamel are easy ways to make classic styles stand out. "Pendants that incorporate graphics with gems for accent also are appealing because they add interest to an otherwise simpler metal interpretation."

Men are especially drawn to darker colors, patterns, and rugged textures, says Colaizzi, with more masculine stones such as black onyx, agate, tiger's eye, and lapis among the top picks.

Know Your Man

Jewelers must get to know their male customers, what they are interested in and value, says Cohen. "Brands doing well today know who their customers are and speak to them instead of focusing on what's cool. Guide men to styles that express their personal interests."

Cohen advises jewelers ask their customers the right questions to get to this answer: How does the product you wear play a meaningful role in your daily life? Why do you avoid wearing some styles? "Listen to honest feedback and observe customer preferences to determine effective merchandising in your market."

He advocates digital media as the leading way to communicate with consumers. "On your website and social media test new products, seek market information, talk style trends, share gift ideas, tell stories," says Cohen.

In association with

The award-winning Journal is published monthly by MJSA, the trade association for professional jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. “More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry,” says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.

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Deborah A. Yonick

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