Spring has sprung with bold, big stones Barbara Kingstone January 19, 2011 Indulgences, Jewellry It seems to be unanimous. Bigger is better. Certainly, that’s the consensus of some of Canada’s top retailers especially when it comes to diamonds and designer items. Never out of style and becoming the trendiest accessory for the Spring are diamond studs. So, you ask, what’s new about that? Size. Consider the demand for 5 carat stones..that’s one for each ear. Moneca Kaufmann of Kaufmann de Suisse in Montreal is seeing this wave hit a crest for demand. Look through any top American fashion publication and there they are on all the socialites, lobe-filling bling Again large diamonds, both in rings and earrings, are the big sellers for Royale de Versailles in Toronto where items are manufactured on their premises and clients are international. “Our clients love complicated designs but always with large stones,” says Michael Shay, director. Radiant and emerald cuts are top of the wish list and sizes range from 2 carats up to 15 carats. However, they are having a bumper season with pink diamonds. “No matter how many we are able to get, we sell immediately,” says Shay. Meanwhile back in Montreal, blue is the rage. Sapphire, tanzanite and of course topaz and aquamarine are featured. And although Kaufmann sees white metal still popular, there’s a growing demand for gold coloured gold. Again she’s having the same results with diamonds as Toronto’s Shay. “We’re finding that clients are upgrading their smaller stones for larger stones especially emerald cut,” says Kaufmann. Monique Sangeno of Fabrice Boutique in Toronto’s fashionable Hazelton Lanes and the fashionistas favoured shop concurs saying the white is out. And although drop earrings are still the style of choice, it is no longer the chandelier that’s catching the light but drops with soft curves that flatter the face. Kaufmann also states their designs are looking at natures for inspiration e.g. leaves. And lightweight but still sizeable designs are replacing heavy looking pieces. Look for drop earrings with silhoutte faces. That’s Kaufmann’s big prediction for Spring. Fabrice still likes long too for spring but here large hoops, some with stones others just plain, are very in vogue. As for bracelets, Kaufmann’s own design, Callista, a hard bangle of gold and stainless steel set with coloured gem stones, are being sought out by clients in the US as well as Canada. Monique says charm bracelets have been a walk away success and will continue into the warm season. Sangeno or Monique as she is known to consumers, has a very trendy clientele and brings her choices from Italy and France where she spends most of the year. “Long fine jewelled chains from 40 inches to 48 inches are going head to head with larger beads,” she says, “but for Spring we’ll be having pastel coloured ribbon or light weight fabric interspersed with various coloured semi precious stones and multi coloured pearls. It’s so fresh and young.” Internationally renowned British designer, Solange Azagury Partridge is still holding tight with her philosophy of “jewelry is whatever you fancy at the moment,” but she does offer one trend that’s still big in London, “cleavage nestling pendants” with any variety of coloured stones. From Italy, there’s a trend that will probably be the most notable. At Holt Renfrew’s fine jewelry counter, Italian designs from Ippolita has a series of large, various sized links in hammered gold. One long neck piece has both narrow and wide, round and oval links which is repeated in bracelets and earrings. It’s a look that’s both delicate and bold, trendy yet dressy, to be worn both with jeans or late afternoon ensembles. Again size is important and links are big. Back at Royale de Versailles, Shay says sales are up but as for trends, the biggest indicator is that their large gemstones are the grabbers in any jewelry item. Precious gems stones, easy to wear, and obvious knock-out casual jewelry will be the heavy hitter for the upcoming season. jewelry is still the accessory of choice.