By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief
While Diamond jewelry is a perennial best seller, anecdotal evidence mounts that 2022 holiday jewelry purchases feature ample amounts of color, according to those interviewed by AGTA.
Classic gemstones—think Big Three combo of Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire—sold well this holiday season. Emerald sales were strong for Jeffrey Landsberg of Landsberg Jewelers in Rye Brook, N.Y., as were blue Sapphires in a variety of bracelet types, including clasp-less ones. Among those that moved? Stretch styles from Roberto Demeglio.
Susan Harrison of Jewelry Emporium in Fort Collins, Colo., also sold through on myriad Sapphires set into earrings, pendants, and rings, with pendants her best-selling style.
And Andrea Riso at Talisman Collection in El Dorado Hills, Calif., did well with two different color-rich price point lines, Royal Jewelry and Afarin. She also continues to sell well with higher-end color line Lisa Nik, gemstone staples from Kimberly Collins Gems, the exotic color combinations of the Eden Presley line, and designs from Laurie Kaiser and Meredith Young.
“It was our best color season ever,” she says. “Everybody seemed to want a little bit of color.
In Diamonds, tennis and station necklaces and inside-out hoops moved best—a sharp departure from years of Diamond studs reigning supreme. “Tennis necklaces from Shy Creation with Diamonds (0.95 ctw.) sold like pancakes,” confirms Landsberg.
Under-the-radar gemstones like Garnet, Tanzanite, and even Aquamarine sold. Opals, Moonstones, and Topaz moved, too, as did the newest gemstone find in the world. “We sold Aquaprase pieces from Lika Behar,” notes Harrison.
Yellow gold and chain were other strong sellers. For Riso, paper clip styles with or without Diamonds moved as did chain necklaces, bracelets, and one other unexpected style. “We kept making and selling higher-priced anklets,” she says. In another surprising turn of events, yellow gold far outsold white. “It’s been a white gold world, but yellow and rose are starting to resurface with young people.”
At Robert Guild Jewelry in Chicago, a purveyor of mostly custom pieces, heavy hand-hammered paper clip chains and medallions were in demand. “People are really into yellow gold now,” confirms Lisa Guild, president. Business partner Robert Galustian—a 2022 Spectrum Award winner—is vice president.
Finally, custom jewelry was another key category for some. It’s an obvious winner for Robert Guild Jewelry, whose business is built on it. “Ninety percent of what we sell is custom,” says Guild. To wit, one highlight from her sales season is a Sonoran Gold Turquoise pendant necklace with mint green Tourmaline in yellow gold. Guild bought the gems from an AGTA dealer during GemFairTM Tucson three years ago.
Sentimental styles, some made to order, were especially in demand at Bradley’s Jewelers in Fort Myers, Fla. Much of south Florida was devastated by a hurricane in late September, prompting an interest in symbolic jewelry, according to owners Brad and Colbi Congress.
“Storm damage shifted buying patterns,” says Brad.
From 14K gold Tree of Life pendants to Diamond engagement rings, many holiday jewelry purchases “were emotionally driven and celebrated the importance of family,” he adds.
The Congress’s season standout are two custom rings remade with gemstones from a man who died a week before the storm. A son brought in two of his father’s old rings, one with a Diamond and another with a Tanzanite. He had two new rings made—one for himself and one for his mother—in remembrance.
Colbi recalls the son’s emotion at pickup: “Now we both have something to remember my dad by.”
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