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JCK Las Vegas Show Review & Trends

Even in this year's challenging retail environment, manufacturers and designers brought a lot of optimism and innovation to the Jewelers Circular Key (JCK) Show. The days of a single, uniform look are over! I spotted a mélange of metal colors, gemstone cuts and fancy glass beads fighting for the attention of old and new customers, with many different elements, colors and textures together in one piece. From colored, braided leather to blackened gold findings, from pink rose gold to modern carved cameos, from tungsten chain to gigantic cocktail rings with white opal cabochons, the hottest trends are those that make people believe anything is possible. Here are the looks we'll be seeing more of in the coming year:

White was the big color story at JCK this year. The hottest stone of the season, white opal, looks fabulous and fresh when combined with new white Beadalon 7 and any opalescent Crystallized - Swarovski Elements.

Copper stays strong mixed with other metals or on its own, especially since it is an easy, affordable substitution for the higher end rose gold being used in the street wear jewelry segment. Large, colored wooden beads and glass elements can be used together to enhance the reddish copper shades.

Because of the economy, pearls are making a big return to many jewelry store windows. Retailers who do not want to increase their inventories in diamonds and precious metals feel more secure buying pearls because they are a jewelry staple and bring a feminine appeal without the price. Freshwater pearls look great when combined with chain and other inexpensive components.

Mixed metallics are hot, hot, hot and so are geometric links, connectors and chain. Chain maille will be a big presence in the coming year, with many high end designers showing Viking-inspired chain maille designs.

White may be the new black, but that doesn't mean it has to be simple. Organic shapes like keishi, sticks, baroque, pear, and disk-shaped pearls are IN. Carved bones and shells have lots of texture and natural coloration, taking their place among the biggest trends of the season.

Statement necklaces are IN again, so opt for a coral branch necklace mixed with split pea green seed beads and Crystallized briolettes (also known as rondelles). Briolette is the most popular shape of Crystallized components among high end designers, but, choose the big ones, honey! Forget about subtlety!

Ethnic inspiration comes from around the globe, with several dramatic colors making their way into a single piece. After an Indian-inspired design fever, Afghanistan is now the inspiration. The pieces are influenced by the Greek and Roman civilizations but have a touch of India and Thailand as well. Look for ornate yellow gold designs and a rich mixture of colors.

Venetian glass components have entered the world of fine jewelry! Mix these luscious components with 18k yellow gold chain and tassels for an Upper East side, Bohemian chic look.

As more designers get hip to the green movement, they're using more raw stones that are not irradiated.This necklace features aquamarine chips and big Venetian glass beads, mixing silver and gold tones together harmoniously.

Fernando's List of Hot Jewelry Trends:

Mixed metals
White, rose and yellow gold together
Blackened gold chain and chandelier earrings
Tungsten jewelry for men
Braided and dyed sterling silver micro wire
Hot stones: onyx, white opal, agates, drusy, tiger-eye, abalone, coral brunches, duo colored quartz, Royal Sahara jasper, rose diamonds, carved shells & cameos
Pave setting, cathedral cut, enameling
Top-drilled round gemstone beads
Sting ray leather
Beads made with half volcanic lava and half sterling silver
Feather charms mixed with real feathers
Long necklaces: braided silk, chain combined with 20mm round beads
A explosion of design accents inspired by the 70” and 80”s
Geometric necklaces featuring repetition of patterns on entire length
Design elements: butterflies, stars, hearts, lockets, ornate flowers in pavé settings
And, my favorite trend now is the big, white opal cocktail ring that's surrounded by diamonds or colored stones

Jewelry designs in this post ©Fernando Dasilva 2009. Please note that all jewelry pictures are for inspiration purposes only and are not to be duplicated for resale.

by Fernando Dasilva for Beadalon