If there was one accessory that marked this summer for jewelry lovers, it was the gemstone-bead necklace. Luxurious versions of this simple design often dressed up with gold and diamond spacers or charms, became an essential component of every neck stack. They brought color, vibrancy, and the chance to connect with gems in an incredibly tactile manner.
This is no summer fling, however. New York jeweler Suzy Levian is confident that gemstone beads will remain just as popular year-round, though their colors will shift with the seasons, she believes. “This trend has been widely seen on women of all ages, from 20s to 70s. The versatile shapes, sizes and colors are easily matched to different outfits and have become paramount for elevating simple wardrobes.”
The bead trend is also drawing men. Los Angeles fashion brand Polite Worldwide has dressed stars such as pop icon Justin Bieber and race-car driver Lewis Hamilton in strings of pearls and gemstone beads, opening the door for men who want to experiment with their style. Jacquie Aiche has been selling necklaces, bracelets and even anklets strung with chrysoprase, moonstone, opal and lapis lazuli via luxury men’s outfitter Mr Porter.
Versatility is what will give this trend longevity. In addition to bridging the gender gap and fitting a wide spectrum of styles, the bead look lends itself well to different market segments. Simply swap in affordable lower-grade gems or top-quality stones as befits the customer, and let the good times roll.
Main image: Polite Worldwide necklaces and bracelet in 14-karat gold with natural gemstone beads and pearls. (Polite Worldwide)