When it comes to jewelry trends, glamour is alive and well, says Brad Lawrence, owner of Gold Casters Fine Jewelry at 430 S. Washington St. Since the economy rebounded from the recent recession, customers have shown a renewed interest in shine and sparkle, prompting him to stock the shop with glittering bling for a range of budgets.
Just don’t expect to find the big, flashy looks of the 1970s and ’80s, he says.
“Glam, today, is more subtle and sophisticated,” Lawrence explains.
“Even what you see on the red carpet is subdued compared to those eras. Instead of clustered diamonds, you see single stones. Instead of chunky pieces, you get volume by layering delicate necklaces.”
One of Gold Casters’ most popular lines is Ippolita, which features simple settings of semi-precious stones with a handcrafted look of brushed or hammered gold and silver. Most of the line is under $500, with rings starting around $200. This artisan-inspired aesthetic appeals to the 40-and-under crowd, Lawrence says, noting that trendsetters often stack the rings and bracelets for visual impact.
At the other end of the price spectrum, Lawrence designs one-of-a-kind earrings and necklaces to showcase the largest and rarest gems he finds. It took 10 years for him to assemble the sapphires for a single, $300,000 necklace whose flower-like arrangements of diamonds and platinum give the piece an Edwardian vibe.
Glam-seekers of more middle-of-the-road means are turning to morganite, a peach-hued stone named for its most avid collector, J.P. Morgan. “It looks more expensive than it is,” says Lawrence. “Most of our morganite pieces are under $2,000, even with larger stones.” He notes that the gem’s soft colors complement skin tones, a quality that is also making rose gold a favorite.
Pointing out geometric shapes, high metal-to-stone ratios, and innovations such as placing mother-of-pearl behind quartz for a luminescent effect, Lawrence says that contemporary glamour has its own understated opulence.
“Glam is definitely back,” he says, “but it’s more refined and more artsy.”