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May 2007

Diamond jewelry—both fashion and bridal—is best characterized this season as in search of a new look. In bridal, the antique look seems to have passed, in favor of cleaner lines and minimal settings that put all focus on the center stone. The hip shape of the moment seems to be marquise, especially set in ways that set it apart from its 1980s ancestors. Look for east-west settings and other interesting versions of marquise diamonds. Meanwhile, square stones of all sorts—from the ubiquitous princess to the sleek Asscher—continue to be popular, and are bolstered by a movement in general jewelry design toward angular geometrical shapes, the square in particular.

Diamond fashion, meanwhile, is being driven by several factors. Designers, understanding the self-purchase power of women, are more in tune than ever before with overall fashion trends of the season. This factor also seems to be pushing those designers and manufacturers to find ways to make diamond fashion jewelry an affordable self-purchase without lowering quality.

Some of the favorite resulting looks for the season are in the form of clusters. As retro styles like button earrings come back into play, cluster designs—especially earrings and rings—are popular in both diamond and other gemstone jewelry. Rings and earrings featuring groups of smaller stones, especially in elegant floral looks (featuring a mix of shapes, but especially pear and marquise stones that offer a petal-like look), have quickly gone from old-fashioned to chic. The look is both elegant and, especially in button earrings, flattering to most women. A-list stars at the Academy Awards drove this point home, while also illustrating the versatility of cluster earrings—with a group ranging from Penelope Cruz and Helen Mirren sporting diamond cluster earrings.

While these floral-like clusters are right for evening dress-up, the look is tamed for day and looks more casual looks when incorporating round stones or stones in round settings for a clean look that channels fashion’s Mod trend quite well.

Another popular look in diamond fashion jewelry—a look that both brings down pricepoints and plays into the diamonds-for-everyday concept—is the incorporation of rose-cut stones. While designers started using more rose cuts several years ago, those early trend-setters often played into the stone’s history, creating elegant and antique-looking jewelry to feature rose cut diamonds. Today, the stones have gone more mainstream, and the resulting jewelry is more contemporary. The famous diamonds-by-the-yard diamond station necklaces, for example, are being made with rose cuts for a more affordable price and a more subtle look.

Finally, one of the strongest trends of the season—across all categories of jewelry design, is brown as a neutral. From brown pearls to brown enamel to, even, brown gold. These browns are a no-brainer, as they work well with yellow gold, which continues to be the metal of choice in fashion. In diamond fashion jewelry, therefore, we are continuing to see designers using brown diamonds for subtle sparkle in yellow-metal pieces.

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