BLOGS AND TRENDS

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2016/10/26

{TRENDS}

When it comes to jewellery, women have most definitely won the battle of the sexes. The most important designs, the best stones, the highest sales volumes are all reserved for women, with men often treated as an afterthought with a few unisex lines directed their way or some bland cufflinks designed to tie in with watch collections. But as men are becoming braver in their jewellery choices, so should buyers and designers.

 

“Men want to accessorise, and they just can't find much out there,” says Amedeo Scognamiglio, whose jewellery brand Amedeo has recently increased its offering for men, driven by the designer and founder’s personal desire to find more exciting designs in the market. “It started with me. I wanted to wear jewellery and so I started to design pieces for me. I wear a lot of designer sneakers, I collect them, and I started to design jewellery that would go with my designer shoes from Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy and Balenciaga, as I thought jewellery and shoes always go together.”

 

Amedeo is known for its cameos, which can be worn on bracelets, pendants or rings, but also makes unusual pendants for men carved from black lava. Greek jewellery brand Minas, which says that much of its customer base is male, also works with dark materials, opting to oxidise silver designs until it gets a black, almost matte, finish. Many of Minas’ men’s jewellery pieces also have secondary functional uses, such as pendants that are working spirit levels or rings that double as cigar holders.

 

Minas creates silver men's pendants that double as spirit levels

Minas creates silver men's pendants that double as spirit levels

 

 

Minas also works with dark materials

Amedeo also works with dark materials

 

Some new men’s designs are embracing gemstones but doing so in a less obvious way, tailored to appeal to men who want the luxury of diamonds and coloured gemstones without it becoming too blingy. Russian brand Openjart has a collection of rings that sets diamonds on the inside of the band, so only the wearer will know they are there.

 

This Openjart men's ring hides its diamonds in the inside of the band

This Openjart men's ring hides its diamonds in the inside of the band

 

Others, however, are embracing the bold new spirit of men’s jewellery. Italian brand Federico Primiceri, for example, has included Pac-Man-inspired two-finger diamond-encrusted silver rings in its new men’s collection, while Sarah Ho has upsized her popular Numerati collection of rings designed around lucky numbers to offer men the chance to buy into the creative style in silver or gold.  

 

Pac-Man-inspired men's two-finger ring by Federico Primiceri

Pac-Man-inspired men's two-finger ring by Federico Primiceri

 

Sarah Ho is now offering the Number 3 ring, and all others from the Numerati collection, in men's sizes

Sarah Ho is now offering the Number 3 ring, and all others from the Numerati collection, in men's sizes

 

For jeweller Ana de Costa, who this year designed her first collection for men in a partnership with luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce – 18karat gold pins set with blue sapphires inspired by the history of the brand – it was not just about creating jewellery that men can wear but objet d’art that will appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life.

 

“The sapphires blend seamlessly into the blue gold lacquer but the brilliance in the stones helps them to sparkle and twinkle subtly when the light catches them,” says de Costa. “They are understated but still visible. The man who would wear one of these pins would be someone who is a connoisseur of luxury but also of craft and design.”

 

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers.

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2015/08/17

For the last five to seven years, trade press and jewellery bloggers have commented on the growing demand for men’s jewellery. While a good part of this growth has been due to an increasing number of men’s wedding ring purchases, men’s fashion rings have also seen a bounce. Bracelets, too, are in great demand. “If men are not buying a wedding ring,” says Israeli-born New York designer Eli Halili, “they’re buying a bracelet.” Bracelets are also prevalent in the offerings of designers such as William Henry, and the world-renowned David Yurman.

Men often gravitate to white metals (white gold, sterling, or industrial or “space-age” metals, such as stainless, tungsten, titanium) either alone or in combination with yellow gold, copper, bronze, leather, Kevlar, or rubber. They are drawn to textured or patterned metals, such as mokume gane, which is often patinated. Designs reminiscent of gears or technology are top choices.

But how does this all translate when men select stone-set jewellery?

For the most part, they choose understated gem materials: jades, black onyx, carnelian, lapis, and sponge coral

 

14k white gold ring set with carved black jade, lapis, and 0.23 ct. round brilliant diamond. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

14k white gold ring set with carved black jade, lapis, and 0.23 ct. round brilliant diamond. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

 

Black diamonds, raw diamonds, and diamond slices provide the same kind of dark, rugged, matte, textural look that men prefer in metals. Materials such as malachite, dinosaur bone, labradorite, tiger-eye, and tiger iron (a combination of tiger-eye, jasper and hematite), and matrix opal suit the desire for subtle patterns.

 

 Sterling cufflinks set with round cabochon tiger iron. Photo courtesy Tacori..

Sterling cufflinks set with round cabochon tiger iron. Photo courtesy Tacori.

 

 European style men’s ring set with square cut diamond. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

22K Yelow Gold Ring with Trapezoidal diamond . Photo courtesy by Eli Halili.

 

Subtlety is found also in translucent to opaque varieties of gemstones such as aquamarine, or by giving blue topaz a moody look by adding a hematite backing, a technique used by Tacori. Sometimes men are willing to liven things up with brighter stones, such as turquoise, says California jewellery designer John Biagiotti.

 

 18k yellow gold ring inlaid with Gibeon meteorite and set with 1.01 ct. round brilliant cut, orange/red sapphire. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

18k yellow gold ring inlaid with Gibeon meteorite and set with 1.01 ct. round brilliant cut, orange/red sapphire. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

 

 Sterling silver ring set with Sky Blue Topaz over hematite. Photo courtesy Tacori.

Sterling silver ring set with Sky Blue Topaz over hematite. Photo courtesy Tacori.

 

Interest in science and technology is reflected in the growing presence of meteorites in jewellery. These gray, iron-rich rocks from space may be set as gemstones, but they’re also used as an alternative metal usually combined with silver or gold bands in rings. Dinosaur and mammoth bone, too, show up frequently. “When men see something like meteorite or dinosaur bone, it triggers their childhood fascination with things outside our normal existence,” says Biagiotti.

 

 18k yellow gold ring with bands of dinosaur bone and Gibeon meteorite, set with 0.35 ct. round brilliant diamond. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

18k yellow gold ring with bands of dinosaur bone and Gibeon meteorite, set with 0.35 ct. round brilliant diamond. Photo courtesy John Biagiotti, Metamorphosis Design.

 

Gemstone preferences tend to vary by region, reports Francis Barthe, a jewellery manufacturer in Bangkok. European men lean toward dark, hard stones—such as black diamonds, black sapphires, and black spinels—in small to medium sizes. In the US, the trend is also dark, but includes dark green stones such as tourmaline and diopside. Halili says men balance the darkness with gold and the subtle sparkle of black diamonds or diamond slices. “Men really like dark, sliced Burmese sapphires,” he adds.

 

 European style men’s ring set with blue sapphire and diamonds. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

European style men’s ring set with blue sapphire and diamonds. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

 

 European style men’s ring set with square cut diamond. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

European style men’s ring set with square cut diamond. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

 

Jewellery, for many Asian men, says Barthe, is a sign of success or wealth, and their choice of gemstones tends to be a bit more dramatic: rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and white diamonds. In a line Halili sells into South Korea and China, iridescent stones, or those with phenomena, such as labradorite and moonstones, are popular. “They don’t go for matte stones. They do like to have a little bit of sparkle,” he says.

 

 22k yellow gold ring set with round faceted labradorite. Photo courtesy Eli Halili Jewelry.

22k yellow gold ring set with round faceted labradorite. Photo courtesy Eli Halili Jewelry.

 

Australian men, often choose large sapphires in all colors, and prefer Australian stones, if possible, says Barthe.

 

Men’s 9k yellow gold ring set with yellow sapphire and round brilliant cut diamonds. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

Men’s 9k yellow gold ring set with yellow sapphire and round brilliant cut diamonds. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

 

Men’s 9k yellow gold ring set with blue star sapphire and round brilliant cut orange sapphires. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

Men’s 9k yellow gold ring set with blue star sapphire and round brilliant cut orange sapphires. Photo courtesy Francis Barthe.

 

 


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