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April 2006

Early design indicators show an increased interest in non-traditional diamond jewelry for fashion. Jewelry designers mixed things up for spring/summer 2006 collections, using diamonds less as bling and more as a fashionable accessory. Here are the trends in this year’s collections:

A strong trend in jewelry this season are rose-cut stones in fashion pieces. Diamond station necklaces, like Tiffany’s famous Diamonds by the Yard design, feature rose cuts in place of brilliants for both a lower price point and subtle sparkle.

Another unexpected use of diamonds come in the form of rough diamonds. With hippie-ish, natural forms a favorite in beauty and fashion, it is no surprise that rough diamonds are gaining popularity. Often seen mixed with brilliant cuts, these stones are, at the moment exclusive to higher-end designers catering to more sophisticated consumers.

Finally, the industry is seeing more brown and champagne colored diamonds used in fashion creations. Most often, these stones are mixed with yellow gold for a tone-on-tone look where the diamonds offer a subtle sparkle against the trendy warm hue of the yellow metal. The mix is a natural for the female self-purchase market, which understands the use of diamonds, not for statement-making, but as a complementary look for most skin-tones.

In design, the favorite silhouettes are changing this season, thanks in large part to celebrity fashion driving consumer demand. Large chandelier earrings featuring briolette-cut diamonds have fallen out of favor while short diamond drops–often on wires–take their place. Most often these earrings feature significant single stones in square cuts like princess, Asscher or cushion cuts.

While celebrities sport five or six carat versions, this trend will likely drive consumers who would buy one-carat studs to consider one-carat drops instead.

Another silhouette being driven by celebrity and fashion runways is the necklace. Long multi-layered necklaces are the most important look, especially long diamond station necklaces and long medallion-style pendants, often in diamond pave. 

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