'Gatsby' Is Back, and So Is Its Jewelry for 2012

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- The fine-jewelry market is going back to the future in 2012, with 1920s-style Art Deco pieces and 1960s-like bangles poised to take the industry by storm.

"The same woman who wants a very high-end platinum ring also often wants some really cool bakelite bangles to give her a sense of style of personality," says Victoria Gomelsky, editor-in-chief of jewelry trade magazine JCK. "Classic, elegant fine jewelry sells year in and year out, but there are also fine pieces available this year for the more fashion-minded buyer."
Art Deco jewelry is poised to be big in 2012, although moviegoers will have to wait until December to see it on display in Warner Bros.' "The Great Gatsby" with Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton. The film features authentic 1920s-style Art Deco pieces provided Tiffany.

Gomelsky expects the tough economy to partly drive upscale-jewelry fashions this year, with silver often trumping gold and semi-precious stones stealing some thunder from diamonds.

"A lot of designers who normally work with platinum or 18-karat gold have launched less-expensive, secondary lines -- which is why you're seeing innovations like oxidized silver," she says.

The expert also expects a planned Dec. 25 release of a big-budget "Great Gatsby" remake to be part of a renaissance in modern interpretations of 1920s Art Deco jewelry.

Tiffany ( TIF) created all of the jewelry for the film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire and which Warner Bros. hopes will become its Christmas Day blockbuster.

"The fashion world has really celebrated the 1920s flapper and the 'Gibson Girl' look in recent years, and that's a look that lends itself very well to diamond jewelry that's very clean and geometric," Gomelsky says.

Here's a look at several fine-jewelry styles the editor believes will sparkle with consumers during 2012:

Art Deco pieces
Look for Art Deco rings and earrings to fly out of jewelers' display cases this year.

Gomelsmky expects pieces to feature square- or baguette-cut diamonds, with ruby, black onyx or green jade serving as "accent" stones.

"Art Deco has a real sense of sleek, sophisticated modernity to it," she says. "It isn't a very flowery style."

Blackened oxidized silver
Yellow gold is still tops for fine-jewelry buyers, but high prices have boosted the popularity of "blackened oxidized silver" -- silver deliberately left unpolished so that it oxidizes and turns black.

"Blackened silver has got this ethnic, edgy vibe that looks very 'current,' " Gomelsky says. "It's very popular right now."

The expert thinks buyers will particularly snap up blackened-silver pieces with gold accents, as well as gold pieces with blackened-silver accents.

"Both are a very cool look," she says.

Bangles
Gomelsky says wearing multiple bangle bracelets on the same arm is "a very big trend right now."

High-end bangles made of precious metals and diamonds are hot, but so are combinations of expensive bangles and low-cost, costume ones.

"There's a new crop of super-cool bangles that feature gemstones, cutouts, cusps that enclose your wrists or even mixed metals like blackened oxidized silver with gold," Gomelsky says. "They all look really good together -- very modern and fresh."

Semi-precious stones
Expect blue semi-precious stones such as turquoise, labradorite and lapis lazuli to sell well this year, along with green gems such as chrysoprase. Gomelsky also sees multicolored and "orange fire" opals taking center stage in 2012.

"Colored semi-precious stones don't offer that classic fine-jewelry look, but they're gorgeous and are orders of magnitude cheaper than diamonds are," she says

Black and brown diamonds
These two stones look great but typically cost less than traditional white diamonds, making them popular choices in today's tough economy.

"Black and brown diamonds can be just gorgeous and just beautifully suited to the jewelry they're in," Gomelsky says.

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