From the continued reign of cheery pastels and rare organic material to innovations in transformable jewels and bridal accessories that make a personal statement, these are the five jewellery trends that will rule 2019.
Make mine peachy
This is the year to go organic in more ways than one. With Pantone declaring ‘Living Coral’ – “an animating and life-affirming hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge” – as the colour of 2019, there are a few ways to incorporate the soft coral hue in your jewels. Wear oversized peachy coral solitaire earrings set in yellow gold with enamelling (gold and coral are a match made in vintage heaven), and for an evening look, pair corals and diamonds in waterfall shoulder dusters (a glamorous accessory to your LBD). A coral brooch with a sprinkling of emeralds or jade is a terrific unisex ornament; corals also look great on men (peach and diamond cufflinks, boys?).
Macarons in a row
Pastel gemstones gain further momentum this year, but instead of sparkles and glitter, opt for cabochon cuts to channel a vision straight out of a quaint Parisienne bakery. Uncut aquamarine, rose quartz, yellow topaz, and lilac-hued amethyst, all stacked in a tennis bracelet will resemble macarons in a box. For a luxe addition, source conch pearls in the trending hue for the year – a smooth, porcelain-like peachy pink. The conch pearl is a very rare, organic gem, which grows naturally inside a pearl sac in the mantle of the Queen conch, harvested in the waters of the Caribbean. A Victorian-era favourite, this expensive gem has made a smashing comeback and deserves pride of place on your macaron platter this year.
Luxe jewels on double duty
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In the 50s, Van Cleef & Arpels earned squeals of delights from haute jewel connoisseurs with the zip necklace, which transformed into a bracelet by opening and closing just like a real zipper. Fine jewellery houses like Boucheron and Piaget have continued to produce imaginative, skilfully designed jewels that pack double or triple the punch.
In 2019, fine jewels with schizophrenic personalities filter down to a more affordable price tag, though still remaining in the custom-made, artisan space. We’re talking of transformations that are a notch above your standard necklace with a detachable pendant or an ear stud with detachable briolette. Think of subtle details like solitaires snuggled in rings (you whisk them out for a dressier evening look) or ring jackets that function as conversation starters. Whether you’re travelling or looking to steal the spotlight at your office party, an element of cleverness/surprise coupled with the practicality of a two-in-one piece is irresistible.
The bride does it her way
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In 2019, brides will want to keep it classical and upscale, while layering in a personalised element – a custom-made jewel that has an emotional value. Think of a ruby locket with ‘our song’ engraved within, or His & Her rings that fit seamlessly like a puzzle (two incompletes that make a whole, for the poetically inclined), or a statement bracelet bearing a cheetah head in yellow sapphires and black diamonds, reminiscent of the time that he popped the question on your Kenyan safari adventure. The idea is to wear your story in the form of a bespoke jewel for your special day and happily thereafter.
Mix them up
Rebellious Uranus enters Taurus on May 15 this year, intending to stay until 2025 and shake up things until then. Surely, it’s a cosmic message to look beyond the usual suspects in your jewellery closet. Just last year, visionary Hong Kong-based artist Wallace Chan created unbreakable porcelain infused with iron, silicon and a secret ingredient, which he used with gemstones to create vivid jewels. You may not want to go mighty high-tech or plain batty like the German jewellery house that’s determined to mount rubies over walrus teeth, but while commissioning your next piece of bespoke jewellery, consider materials like lightweight titanium, malleable aluminium, copper or even crystal. Of course, you’ll need to hunt for uniquely skilled craftsmen, but that’s all part of the exciting, intrepid process of creating new-age, bespoke jewellery.