With economic uncertainty playing the lead role in shaping business for 2002, designers are attempting to lure buyers by infusing new jewelry with innovative ideas rather than costly materials.
Perhaps the biggest change seen at Basel was a departure from the over-the-top sparkle seen during the past few years. Diamond pave has given way to a lighter look with sprinkles of either prong-set or burnished diamonds.
Brown diamonds remain a strong trend in Europe and, increasingly, within the United States. The stones are often seen in small sizes–pave, burnished or clusters of prong-set stones.
With designers turning to less precious stones to achieve a big look without a big pricetag, it is relatively good news to the diamond industry that there is no longer a class distinction in the use of stones. With the acceptance of diamond and silver combinations during the past few years, designers are now combining diamond accents not with the usual precious gemstones but, rather, with lower-priced stones like turquoise.
The hottest shape among designers for diamonds–as well as other stones and jewelry motifs–is the tear drop or pear-shape.