Gilt-y Pleasures: Holiday Gift Ideas for the Jewelry Lover

Jewelry enhances outfits, especially the dressed down variety, with minimal effort. Maybe that’s why sales have been booming, despite the pandemic and the economic stress it has caused, and why jewelry might be an ideal gift this year.

For some ideas, here are three trends that highlight what’s new in the market.

From throwback medallions to oversize rings, not since the last days of disco has there been such an abundance of gold jewelry with painstaking workmanship and larger-than-life scale.

Archival designs from the 1960s informed the creative process behind David Webb’s zodiac pendants, which depict a stylized rendering of an astrological sign on one side and the corresponding symbol on the other.

The elemental power of fire, paisley motifs and retro jewelry are among the influences merged in Fernando Jorge’s Flame collection, which includes pieces that showcase gemstones like emerald, citrine and amethyst and some that are composed exclusively of gold.

Vram Minassian translates his preoccupation with themes of geological time and cosmology into jewels that are both precious and idiosyncratic; his Chrona earrings juxtapose organic asymmetrical shapes and a glamorous chandelier silhouette.

When Deborah Pagani created a new setting for a diamond inherited from her grandmother, it was supposed to be a personal, one-off ring. But she was so pleased with the result that the domed signet, derived from the shape of antique beehive-shaped honey pots, became part of her own collection.

Whether based on ancient mythology or imagery from a deck of playing cards, no one can resist an auspicious emblem wrapped up with a bow.

Variously associated with qualities ranging from warding off evil to promoting fertility, the open hand of the hamsa is thought to have originated in Mesopotamia and is recognized the world over. At a bare minimum, the diamond and gemstone embellished hamsa earrings from Buddha Mama supply a dose of sparkle.

Modeled on a gift from her husband — an ancient faience amulet depicting the eye of Horus, a lucky charm and harbinger of good health — Carolina Bucci’s rendition is reversible, with diamonds and sapphires on one side and a textured gold finish on the reverse.

Ileana Makri, the newly appointed creative director of the New York-based jewelry brand Reinstein Ross, drew on the culture of her native Greece for one of her debut collections, a series of jewels featuring a protective Greek eye motif.

Nicole Carosella, half of the sister duo behind the label Sorellina, channeled her fascination with cartomancy into new work that draws from images commonly found on tarot cards, like the wheel of fortune, a representation of life’s always changing cycles.

The sky’s the limit for jewelry designers who look to the sun, moon and stars for inspiration.

Just awarded the Artistic Crafts Watch Prize at the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the Lady Arpels Soleil Féerique watch has a dial that features a sun of honeycomb-set yellow sapphires and diamonds and plique-à-jour enamel.

Many of the pieces from Chanel’s very first diamond jewelry collection, in 1932, could be worn multiple ways. And the house has continued that tradition with its current fine jewelry offerings, including the gold and diamond Soleil de Chanel ring, which transforms from a single piece into two separate rings.

Part of the Sole collection, the last of a three-part series inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” Temple St. Clair’s Sorcerer earrings feature a star-shaped motif and a scattering of diamonds meant to evoke the night sky.

More than 18 independent designers were enlisted by Muse, a jewelry showroom in New York, to create celestially inspired charms for its Be A Star initiative. Proceeds from purchases will benefit designated charitable institutions.

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