When we consider the modern jewellery that is currently adorning the public, we don’t necessarily associate this idea of modernity with gemstones. Gemstones linked with vintage tradition, have been in use for years as a go-to for adding elements of classic sparkle to one’s person. Indeed, gemstones are much more associated with a vintage feel than modern fashion. However, this has been slowly changing with many designers adding the classicism of gemstones to their collections. Recent designer jewellery collections have featured gemstones, for example, Louis Vuitton’s Acte V collection, that has managed to set the highest of standards with jewellery in modern fashion. Large black opals have a major feature in this collection as well as many other Capri Jewels, thus making gemstones an in trend. This reinvention of gemstone jewellery has had a trickle down effect into modern fashion and has led to a definite rise in the popularity of gemstones and an increase in the different forms of trends related to them. No longer are gemstones only being featured in old vintage jewellery but are being modernised to fit in with the styles of the time. Suddenly different forms and methods in the way gemstones are used and treated for both men and women’s jewellery have emerged and become popular. Different shapes and colours are now defining society with the jewellery that is being worn. Let’s take a look at some of the current gemstone trends.
Currently, a trend for naturalism has become apparent in all sectors of modern society. We don’t want our food, clothes or other elements processed too much, in order to preserve the natural taste or, in the case of gemstones, the form of the stone. Allowing the natural shape of the gemstones set in necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings creates an otherworldly feel of natural beauty. It allows the wearer to display a piece of unique individuality around their necks, in the sense that whatever gemstone they are wearing, they are unlikely to find the exact same piece of jewellery, with the exact same shape of gemstone on anyone else. Also, the non-perfection of raw/rough gemstones gives a casual theme to an outfit for any occasion. This can also relate to another recent trend as to the colour of gemstones; as we saw from the Louis Vuitton catwalk, we are no longer lusting for shiny colourless diamonds but more the bright and bold colours of garnets, rubies and opals. Coloured gemstones add a brilliant bright flash of colour to any outfit, whilst also keeping with the timeless classicism of shiny jewels. They have also become preferential for engagement rings. Let’s face it, we would all love to have a diamond around our engagement finger, but wearing a bright red garnet is far more eye-grabbing than colourless diamonds regardless of their cost. The variation in colour also adds to a sense of individualism, similar to that created by wearing the gemstone related to your birth month. Birthstone jewellery is another trend that has had proved endlessly popular.
However, a more interesting trend with gemstones, and one that has gone on for hundreds of years is the belief in the use of their healing powers. Rather than just being pretty adornments to be worn around the neck, gemstones and the power they are believed to possess has multiple uses. For example, garnets are not only believed to keep the wearer safe whilst traveling, but are also thought capable of beating depression and warding off bad dreams. Amethysts are said to sooth bad energy and create positivity; to be able to help heal disorders or addictions with the natural soothing energy that they create. And this trend isn’t just for the girls, with more ‘masculine’ stones also being worn for their healing properties. Tiger’s Eye, having long been worn as protection against evil spirits, is thought to provide the wearer with positive energy, improving self-confidence and boosting self-esteem. Hematite, also worn to promote self-esteem, eliminates negative thoughts and brings a sense of tranquillity to its wearer. The wealth of historic evidence that exists linking health and natural stones is hard to ignore and many people wear them simply for this reason alone. But before your head fills with images of cheap hippie handicraft, the mainstay of any folk festival jewellery stall, designers have also been quick to recognize both the popularity and belief in the power harnessed within these stones, and have incorporated them into their main collections. Van Cleef’s Alhambra gemstone jewellery collection, for example, is a simply stunning arrangement of highly individual pieces, all incorporating natural stones; malachite (cleansing, healing and positivity) tiger eye, carnelian (courage), onyx (strength) and turquoise (cleansing and psychic awareness), all highly polished revealing their true beauty.
As Van Cleef’s collection proves, the relationship between gemstones and modern fashion trends remains fluid, evident in the style/shape of jewellery in which they are set. Now rather than just being set in elegant vintage necklaces, gemstones are used for all sorts of styles reflecting modern fashion, from simplistic stud earrings to large eye-grabbing necklaces, the trend for naturalism in jewellery leading to one for simplicity; a simplicity that has been evident on catwalks and red carpets alike. Necklaces with a single gemstone possessing a most simplistic form of elegance.
The fluidity of the relationship between gemstones and modern fashion, reflected in current trends, illustrates the remaining popularity of the gemstone, with an increase in the unusual ways and styles that they are being presented in; the designer Victoria Beckham, for example, is a firm believer in the positive power of crystals, carrying one with her at all times and issuing them to all members of her creative team. Regardless of how these stones are utilized, this trend is set to continue over the coming years, with the popularity for rough cuts and unusual shapes definitely on the rise and the belief in their healing properties a continuing part of our history. Whatever the style, shape or colour, it is safe to say that gemstones are a timeless classic and we hope that they will continue to be used in the collections of designers for years to come.