What is a trend? It is easier to answer what it is not: a designer’s inspired idea, which brings immediate and great sucess. Trends are more a mixture of creative, spontaneous ideas and long-term developments. The range of jewelry with colored stones is characterized by this process of bringing together existing ideas with the latest concepts to form something new.
On the one hand, the age-old myths surrounding precious stones have lost none of their magical power. And they are connected with the ever-increasing desire for color. “Color is simply good for us,” says the French designer Dominique Pétot, who creates colorful furnishings influenced by African artisans at his workshop in Senegal. In their combination with European design traditions, his designs go far beyond simple imitation of African motifs.
Proponents of ethnic style in jewelry also orient themselves frequently toward the Dark Continent. The accessories that come from these ancient cultures with their independent senses of identity, usually unique pierces, have unique ways of radiating a closeness to nature and life-affirming vitality that fit ideally with all aspects of the current leisure look. Fashion titles such as Vogue, Elle, Madame, and Elegance have published enthusiastic reports, not only in Europe, but also throughout the West, on the march to victory of these expressive jewelry creations. Materials such as glass, wood, natural stone, animal bones, coral, and silver communicate the deepest emotional experience of originality and vivid individuality. Color is once more becoming an entirely essential factor in current design: the sense of being spoken to by color can be a reason for an impulse purchase. For psychologists, this is considered a means to overcome the deep-seated pessimism that has spread in recent years.
There has been much speculation in numerous scientific investigations about the psychological effects of colors. Clear, definitive results were, however, not attained. Investigations of the effects of color returned time and again to individual elements that each person carries inside him- or herself. One thing remains undisputed: that colors have effects. And also that it is always particular colors that find greatest favor among consumers.
Cool, hard, deep blue is not currently in high demand. Warmth, homeliness, and well-being are called for, all of which are associated more with colors such as red, orange, green, and earth tones. This fits seamlessly into the design renaissance of the 1960s. Verner Panton, a Danish designer, developed the most important trend-setting designs for living spaces at that time. Their intensity of color was intended to transform people’s feelings into a sense of well-being; in color, Panton always saw an argument that was important, sometimes even more so than form. He developed his living ambiences as a conscious contrast to the bourgeois white and beige.
In contrast to the great upheaval of the 1960s, the people of today see color, form, and function as a single unit. In this way, platinum jewelry asserts itself as the polar opposite of the trend toward black and white, while also being opposite to the feminine, nostalgic-seeming style of dress that defined summer 2003. Theatrical tips in violet and jade-green exude a modern retro charm. Platinum, above all in combination with diamonds and colored stones, fits well with this look. Rings that capture the attention, or ultra-feminine earrings with colored stones: platinum once more shows off the quality for which it became famous approximately one hundred years ago, when Louis Cartier discovered the characteristics of the valuable precious metal in combination with precious stones. Colored stones in impressive sizes display all their beauty and hint at their origin. Alongside the clear, light blue of aquamarine, strong colors such as a warm, deep red or a self-confidently luminous orange assert themselves. The recently arisen popularity of theme jewelry has expanded into an absolute boom. This year, talismans and good luck motifs are high in popularity.
The jewelry designer Ulrike Weyrich, from ldar-Oberstein, recommends four main trends for the lovely, muted colors of autumn and winter and the play with ornamental motifs: Bordeaux first. A color that shows to even better effect when combined with accessories that brighten it. Light, apricot-rose pearls, copper-colored pearls, rhodochrosite, garnet, rose quartz, and red tourmaline create a striking tone-on-tone mélange. New trends are being set by Andean opal in rosé.
Among the brown tones are faceted spheres made of mandarin garnet or spessartine, and pearls to match. Carnelian, red tiger’s eye (revival), fire opal, and smoky-citrine quartz also effectively complement the color brown.
The topic of China calls engravings and ornaments into discussion. Cut crystal with Chinese engravings, jade engravings, coral, and onyx are the preferred materials. Very current: black tourmaline in green quartz or green pearls.
Light-gray labradorite or whitish-gray pearls fit superbly with winter white. Trends are set by turquoise, aquamarine, iolite, and Ceylon sapphires.
Jewelry with stones in innumerable colors and shades, as Nicole Kidman has a special fondness for wearing, brings happiness and playfulness with it. Items in gold also offer variety thanks to color combinations and the many varied surfaces (polished, matte, sandblasted, satinized, hatched, brushed, beaten, meticulously polished, chiseled, etc.).
Rings are increasing in volume: placement of several rings next to one another, and large rings with notable centrally set stones as cabochons or coussins surrounded by smaller stones set in rows or scattered, all meet with success. The gleam of gold goes well with gold-colored pearls, citrine, spessartine, brown tourmaline (dravite), and the newly discovered yellow Andean opal.
The color of white diamonds is bewitching in a particular way. They play with the entire rainbow spectrum of light without committing themselves. According to the angle of the rays and the reflection, the sparkling gleam with its brilliant tones is like experiencing the beautiful but short and fleeting moments in life. One can enjoy them, but never hold them still, and never repeat them in exactly the same way.
For many creative designers, amber has also taken a place among the preferred stones. Its warm tone, and the possibilities of working in larger volume and creating unusual forms, have been fostered, not least by competitions such as the Amberif Design Award Electronos.