Trips to the International Jewelry Expo in Hong Kong are always fascinating. You meet new people; you learn about new techniques in the world of pearls; you discover new designs and inspirations for the new season. This year, our focus was on what will be hot in pearl jewelry for 2012. We found 4 themes that were the most prevalent during the fair...
The (lesser known) Big Bang theory
As innovative cultivation techniques, particularly in freshwater pearls, get more advanced, the pearls available to the pearl lovers of this world just keep on getting bigger. Soufflé pearls that are hollow inside and so-called “Edison” pearls (bead-nucleated) were amongst the best representatives of these large pearls, with sizes ranging from 12 to a whopping 27mm! Also, 20mm+ baroque pearls were present at virtually every wholesale stand. If you’ve always wanted the largest pearls you could afford, please take notice: “largest” has now changed its meaning for good!
|Souffle pearls. Large but light. Yay!|
Finally, a wider public has begun to accept that beautiful pearls are not always round! We absolutely loved these huge baroque pearls paired for earrings, or even larger shiny nuggets, seemingly predestined to be beautiful pendants around a lucky girl’s neck. Their organic shapes are very mysterious and yet so modern!
|Nicely matched large baroque pearls for earrings. So in!|
The natural coloring of pearls has become more intense than was found in the past. The emphasis of the industry is on metallic pearls, that exhibit insanely deep natural shades, and also on rare colors of South Sea and Tahitian pearls. There were blue Akoya pearls, silver green South Sea, and pinkish Tahitians. In the end, it was golden copper freshwater pearls that got our full attention and this photo:
|Copper-colored freshwater pearls. Breathtaking!|
Bye, bye heavy metal!
Let’s face it. The recent enormous surge in the prices of precious metals like gold and silver has forced jewelers to innovate and turn to other materials for jewelry-making. We saw an amazing quantity of innovative and very beautiful pearl jewelry that incorporated strips of leather, dyed in the hippest colors of the season, neoprene tubes, or carved gemstones that made up for jewelry elements usually made of metal. We particularly loved this combination of a Tahitian pearl on a zebra-patterned leather bracelet and a large golden South Sea pearl ring where the ring band was made of black onyx.
|Tahitian pearl on a zebra patterned leather bracelet. Fun combination!|
Overall, we’d say these are all changes for the better. New materials, new shapes, new colors, new sizes - it all gives us more choice, and makes our beloved pearls even more versatile!