Art Deco: Striking, Bold & Dramatic

By Isabelle Corvin, Certified Gemologist (CG)
Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

Jewelry trends change over time, influenced by the factors that make up life. Designs wax and wane in popularity, often cycling through many times as resurgences.

There is a strong emphasis in modern jewelry designs of this period reminiscent of the Art Deco movement. Angles, striking and sharp. Colors, bold and dramatic. Shapes, odd and thought-provoking.

Art Deco is steeped in international history, and to learn more about the modern trends, we’ll have to step back in time…

It was the Roaring Twenties.

A time of economic prosperity and technological advancement, a time of jazz and a celebration of life.

The shadow of war has passed, and the world is recovering, and growing.

The place is Paris, the most romantic city in the world.

This is the era that Art Deco was born from.

Armadani

Pink sapphire diamond pave mosaic ring by Armadani, featuring French cut pink sapphires and round brilliant diamonds.

In 1925, the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts took place in Paris, France, and marked the start of the Art Deco movement. The movement would continue up until the start of the Second World War, but would have a resurgence in popularity in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, thanks to a book published on the subject in 1968, and then to the rise of graphic design in the late 80s.

Where most design movements rose out of political or religious intentions or stresses, Art Deco was simply artistic.

The movement inspired clothing, architecture, art and of course, jewelry.

Unlike its predecessor, Art Nouveau, with its more whimsical, light designs, Art Deco was all about lines, interesting shapes and a modern flair.

Mastoloni

These timeless pearl and diamond Fan Earrings by Mastoloni, are part of the Deco Collection.

The inspiration for Art Deco came from advancing technologies and living life to the fullest. The world was speeding up, and this contributed to the modern feel of the movement. During this period, many famous archaeological finds took place, including excavation of King Tut’s tomb. Ancient influences, especially from Aztec and Egyptian cultures, can be seen in many Art Deco pieces, and the contrast between the geometrical shapes and ancient motifs creates a fanciful and unusual style.

Platinum was “discovered” during this period as well, and was used in many Art Deco pieces along with the finest of gems including blue sapphires, bright emeralds, and stunning rubies. Diamonds were also widely seen, set as both facial points and accents. Many opaque stones were popular as well; Carnelian, lapis, turquoise and black onyx.

Gemstones were cut into interesting shapes such as trapezoids and octagons, elongated rectangles and squares, sometimes with rounded corners. The cutting of these stones was often done wasting quite a bit of rough, but that just showed the lavish nature of the era.

Glass and new plastics were also very popular substances to use in jewelry and art, as well as non-precious metals like titanium and aluminum.

The jewelry was large and was made to draw attention. Straight lines, cubes, and chevrons, along with structured curves, all mixed together to create a jumbled, yet beautiful, style.

Necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings, brooches, and earrings were all made in the style of Art Deco, with an emphasis on being bold.

Art Deco is an expression of functionality, elegance and a passion for life.

UniqueSettingsNY

Unique Settings of New York presents their custom Art Deco-inspired designs. The ring above is 14K white gold with a 1.00 CT center stone, and 0.30 tcw in side diamonds.

Just like in the past, the current atmosphere in the USA is one of hopeful growth; the economy is recovering slowly from a recent recession. The tinges of the last war are fading from memory. The world is advancing at a fast pace, with emerging technologies and ideas.

The similarities of past and present are surprising, lending a hand to the new geometric shapes emerging from top designers.

A revival of Art Deco is in the air, with the classic looks from the past mingling with a new take on the movement. There’s never been a better time to add a striking and unique piece of wearable art to your collection!

joshuaj

The drama of the Art Deco period comes to life in this beautiful bracelet by Joshua J. Fine Jewelry. It features an Old European cut center diamond, with a splash of green emeralds for accent.

 

 

 

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: How Jewelry Insurance Works

Jewelry is a unique case when it comes to finding the value because it doesn’t depreciate the same way as a house or car. There are many insurance policy options out there, but it’s important to choose the one that works best for you.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company explains how jewelry insurance handles a replacement policy versus a traditional reimbursement. Learn more by reading their blog, How Jewelry Insurance Works: Replacement vs. Reimbursement.

 

 

Upcoming Jewelry Trends

By Randi Molofsky

With the leading jewelry event in North America—JCK Las Vegas—just around the corner, we’d like to take a look at another big jewelry show that happened this past March: Baselworld.

Held annually in the Swiss town of Basel, close to both the French and German borders, Baselworld does everything big: the massive booths that look like Fifth Avenue boutiques; the rare and exceptional gemstones for sale; and even the supersized beers and brats available on nearly every corner.

So how does someone not on the front lines make sense of such a huge show? We went straight to some of the biggest names in U.S. jewelry publications to find out their favorite trend from Baselworld so we can get a glimpse of what’s to come, then we paired those trends with AGS member jewelry and watches. Here’s what they were loving:

Victoria Gomelsky

Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief, JCK magazine

Watch brands across the price spectrum embraced black-on-black styles, mostly through the use of matte black PVD coatings, for an overall effect that was stylish and vaguely futuristic.

new-rolex-explorer-luminous-watch-dial

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer

LeVian

Le Vian black diamond watch from the Classico Series.

 

Michelle-Graff-1

Michelle Graff, Editor in Chief, National Jeweler

One trend I noticed with both the watch brands and jewelry designers was this whole idea of designing jewelry and watches that can work for both day and evening wear —something that’s not too flashy to wear around your office during the day but will still get noticed at night. I realize this is probably not a brand-new trend but, in my opinion, it was mentioned more than ever before at Baselworld this year, particularly among the watch brands.

I think this trend is a by-product of two factors: First, our society overall is more casual and people rarely, if ever, get dressed up anymore so they are seeking more casual jewelry; and second, the fact that there are more women in the workforce than ever before. In other words, whatever women put on in the morning is what they are wearing out that night, so it needs to work all day.

Simon G

Simon G. Jewelry diamond ring in 18k white gold from the Garden collection.

Simon G bracelet

Simon G. Jewelry diamond bangle in 18k white and rose gold from the Fabled collection.

 

GEMFIELDS hosts U.S. Launch and Private Dinner

Tanya Dukes, Senior Editor at InDesign and InStore magazines

What I loved was the unrestrained use of color. From big time brands to independent designers, there was a surfeit of stones in upbeat colors virtually everywhere. It was great to see them in unexpected places, liked mixed with pearls or used as a watch’s dial. And plenty of jewelry brands and watchmakers introduced designs with a rainbow’s worth of hues in a single piece, but with totally sophisticated, un-kitschy results.

Lika Behar

Lika Behar 24K Yellow Gold and Oxidized Sterling Rings with assorted gemstones.

Goshwara

Goshwara multi-gemstone earrings from the Gossip collection.

If you’re looking for jewelry designs like those displayed above, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you.

Design Details: Ilaria Lanzoni of Hearts On Fire

By Randi Molofsky

MeetTheDesigner-HeroImageLeft_488x488If your ultimate diamond wishlist includes the most sparkly rock on the block, look no further than Hearts On Fire (HOF), a company that boasts the tagline, The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond®.

Director of Design, Ilaria Lanzoni, has been with Hearts On Fire for four years, creating exceptional collections of jewelry around these dazzling diamonds. With 20 years of experience as a jewelry designer with top brands including Asprey and Garrard, she brought a new level of sophistication and European sensibility with her to HOF. We spoke to Ilaria and asked her five questions about her inspiration, her designs and what’s to come!

What about the perfection of an HOF diamond inspires your design?

When I joined Hearts On Fire, I was truly mesmerized by the beauty of the diamonds. And I am still blown away by their beauty every day. The perfection and quality allow me to do more creative designs than I would have ever imagined. Wait until you see our new collection this year! I am continuously working with my team to create new ideas of designs that can both be worn every day and proudly display the unique Hearts On Fire sparkle. It’s a challenge that any designer loves!

We’ve heard you use inspiration boards to help with your creative process. Why does this work for you and what’s currently on your inspiration board?

I do love inspiration boards – you should see my work space! I’m an incredibly visual person, and as I go about my daily life, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. It always comes from places you don’t expect it, so I like to memorize images and colors and shapes and add it to my working space so I can remember it in the future. As I mention below, all of my collections follow unique themes and are inspired by a particular place or experience…and these boards help capture the energy I am feeling.

Ilaria_InStudio

I am constantly adding to my boards, and pin all sort of images on boards…architecture, house interiors, fashion accessories, pieces of fabrics, close-up pictures of details of all sorts, like doors, iron gates, windows…the list can go on and on. Every day is completely different and every day we see the world a little differently, too. That is what I am always building on.

Can you pick three of your favorite HOF designs and tell us why they are so successful?

It’s always hard to pick my favorites, but if I had to choose just a few that are loved by both myself and consumers, they would be the ILLA Cluster star pendant for being so timelessly fashionable, the Triplicity Lariat for being so elegantly sexy, and the Lorelei Diamond Floral pendant for its chic, feminine style. All of these designs seamlessly blend modern trends with the classic beauty of diamond jewelry, something that we always strive to create at Hearts On Fire.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s next for HOF jewelry?

We are incredibly excited to be launching our next designer jewelry collection in June at the 2016 Couture Show [an invitation-only event for the fine jewelry trade]! All of my collections are inspired by my personal experiences in life and mix timeless beauty with modern trends. The only hint I can give is that a year ago I moved to New York City, and that has impacted this next collection. So watch out for something blending a vibrant, edgy style with classic diamond beauty. It’s amazing!

Illa-Cluster-Pendant-1

Illa Cluster Pendant comprised of perfectly cut Hearts On Fire diamonds. Wear it alone or paired with other necklaces.

Copley-Circle-Earrings-1

Copley Circle Earrings with eleven perfectly cut Hearts On Fire diamonds in each loop.

Lorelei-Interlocking-Diamond-Heart-Bracelet-1

Lorelei Interlocking Diamond Heart Bracelet is the perfect addition to any look, day or night.

Lorelei-Bow-Necklace-1

The dainty Lorelei Bow Necklace is perfect for every day, adding simple sparkle to any look.

Aerial-Cluster-Engagement-Ring-1

The Aerial Cluster Engagement Ring was designed to resemble a snowflake.