Shows Reflect Slow Start to the Year;
Continuation of Major Fashion Trends - March.2001
Reports from the year’s first fine jewelry trade shows around the world
reflected a slow start to buying.
Suppliers of gemstones, diamonds and jewelry said sales were slow as
retailers shopped for new ideas, but did little buying.
Retailers who attended—or chose not to attend in many cases—the year’s
first shows in Vicenza, Italy; Tucson, Ariz.; New York and Orlando
said they were still overstocked from the less-than stellar holiday season.
Like buying trends, new ideas in jewelry design and gemstones were hard to
spot. Perhaps anticipating an economically sluggish first half, suppliers took
the conservative route, continuing along with fashion trends from 2000.
At Vicenza, the first jewelry show of the year and, undoubtedly, the exhibit
of trend-setting ideas in use of gems and jewelry, among the strongest looks was
a long-term favorite. Filling the cases was diamond pave in white gold—a look
that has become commonplace in recent years.
Colored diamonds, meanwhile, also continued to be seen. Champagne and cognac
stones are still being promoted by not only leading jewelry designers, but also
being seen more and more frequently in consumer fashion venues.
At New York and Orlando, meanwhile, the major trends in diamond jewelry were
increasing numbers of square-cut stones—especially princess-cut.
Thanks undoubtedly to questionable consumer spending for the first half of
2001, diamonds were less statement-making than last year. This follows in line
with a holiday season in which retailers reported a decline in sales of larger
stones and a focus on quality in stones smaller than two carats.
The diamond line bracelet and three-stone styles (rings and pendants) being
promoted by De Beers are favorites again for spring. The line style is carrying
over, meanwhile, into dangling earrings with a drop of in-line diamonds. The
most popular stones being princess for the line bracelets and oval-cut stones
for the three-stone designs.v