By Jennifer Heebner, Guest Writer
A springtime tradition in Basel, Switzerland is for visitors to nosh on in-season white asparagus and dinnertime staple rösti potatoes, but many diners are also privy to a coveted non-edible feast: new fine jewelry and watches at the Baselworld Watch & Jewellery Fair.
Some of the world’s glitziest brands exhibit in this high-end annual happening, which took place March 23-30, 2017. Baselworld is where the toniest international merchants shop the latest and most lavish looks. Unlike many other trade-only fairs, however, consumers are permitted entry to ogle over-the-top window displays of gem-encrusted wares alongside business-minded buyers from San Francisco to Shanghai. (Local hotels fill up quickly, though, so book your 2018 trip now if interested.)
During our time at this year’s event, a few top looks stood out in the sea of bling. Here are three categories of jewels you can expect to see in stores by the holidays.
Classic color. The term “Big Three” refers to the trio of most widely sold gemstones—ruby, emerald, and sapphire—after diamonds, and these were abundant at the fair. Why? When the world markets are unsettled, manufacturers often position classics as familiar, safe buys. Stone dealer Vinod Kotahwala of the eponymous firm had ample offerings of better-quality sapphires and emeralds on hand for this reason. “We offer unheated goods only,” he explains. [Stones that escape heating are almost always top quality rocks.]
Fancy shapes and cuts of gemstones. These are ideal for designer-driven looks. For example, mixed sizes and shapes of Colombian and Zambian emeralds from Gaurav Shah of Real Gems were a hit at the fair because they are abundant and available in consistent sizes. “The cautiousness of the market means that smaller commercial and calibrated goods are selling,” he says. Translation: Unique, well-priced, and on-trend numbers are yours to claim by fall.
Delicate looks for layering. New styles unveiled at the show confirm that lightweight long station necklaces, dainty pendants, and slim bangles ideal for stacking will remain store staples in 2017. Vishal Kotahwala of Royal India noted that the delicate silhouettes available in his Aero line of tiny bezel-free, drilled diamonds dangling from platinum and gold wire feature myriad fancy shapes, offer a feathery feel on the skin, and have an entry price that costs less than an airline ticket to the show.
If you’re in search of trends like those above, be sure to visit an AGS jeweler near you. They’ll help you find the style and gemstones that best fit your personality and lifestyle!