One of the most popular trends happening in jewelry today is a shift from big, bold "statement" jewelry... To understated "minimalist" jewelry.
And this shift makes sense, doesn't it? In the 1980s and 1990s, the concept of "keeping up with the Jones'" was in full swing. It was common practice to over-extend on credit cards so you could keep up appearances of affluence.
But since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, people's understanding of wealth, affluence, luxury, and fashion has shifted.
This shift can be seen in everything from more people choosing electric cars, to the trend of "farm to table" restaurants, to the explosion of DIY home improvement and furniture restoration, to more people cooking at home with food delivery services instead of going out.
It seems like everyone is trying to experience more and consume less. And this shift has, without question, also impacted the jewelry industry in a number of ways. It's not that people are buying less jewelry (they're actually buying MORE jewelry than they were in the 90s or early 2000s, source), but the kind of jewelry they're buying has changed over the last decade.
Stated simply, the focus has shifted from overtly flashy jewelry to well-made but understated jewelry. It's shifted from "statement" pieces that are meant to draw attention and envy, to "minimalist" pieces that both fit current fashion trends and symbolize important life events inconspicuously.
This shift can even be seen in how much the word "minimalism" has been used since its beginnings in the 1950s (source: Google):
Make no mistake, people today are much more aware of the concept of minimalism, they are seeking it out, and this is reflected in the jewelry and fashion choices they make daily. To see how this trend has impacted jewelry specifically, here are some examples of the Minimalism trend in jewelry:
The Fall of Pandora
One of the most interesting examples of this is the decline of the Pandora bracelet. If you've set foot in a jewelry store in the last 10 year, you've likely come across the Pandora charm bracelet. These charms were so popular that Pandora became a massive billion dollar company virtually overnight.
But, according to CNN Money, the bead crazy is not just waning but has fallen into a steep nosedive. According to CNN, Pandora's stock "crashed 24%" recently, and Pandora has "pinned the blame on a shift to minimalist fashions." They go on to say that while people are still wearing their Pandora bracelets, they're no longer completely filling them with beads.
We've seen similar changes from our own clients who still wear Pandora (we used to carry Pandora bracelets but moved away from them when we saw that the "bead bubble" was about to burst.). We used to see clients wearing not just one bracelet loaded with charms, but sometimes two or three bracelets worn stacked together.
The CNN article states that they're seeing more and more Pandora customers wearing 4 or 5 well-chosen beads on a single bracelet instead.
People purchasing diamonds hasn't declined, but the way it's thought about has changed. Where we used to get a lot of call for big, "chunky" diamond jewelry, like this...
We've been getting more call for simple, elegant jewelry in recent years...
This shift from "Bold Statement" to "Simple Substance" is everywhere. It's also seen in fashion jewelry where simple in-line diamond necklaces have dominated pinterest boards and fashion magazines.
Quality Over Quantity In Engagement Rings
The old sayings about how much you should spend on an engagement ring ("two months salary"), or the idea that you should want your diamond to be "bigger than your girlfriends'," are almost nonexistent today.
We always tell people exactly what they know to be true anyway:
You should spend as much as you can or want, to get the ring that's right for you.
It's not rocket science.
You're not buying this ring to impress your neighbor. You're buying it as a symbol of commitment to the person you love.
Here at Garcia & Co. Jewelers, we've see a substantial shift in how people buy diamonds over the past few years.
First, people want "more bang for their buck" in their diamond. They want as much sparkle and quality as possible without overpaying for a fancy brand name.
Second, we see people being willing to pay for quality in their diamond because they've been educated on diamond buying and they know that's where the long-term value of the ring is, and that's wear all the sparkling beauty comes from.
And third, our clients want a wide variety of ring styles to choose from so they can choose something that fits their unique personality and relationship.
So if you're shopping for an engagement ring, that's exactly what you get at Garcia & Co. Jewelers in Farmington NM. You get a more beautiful diamond for a better price, plus the Four Corners' largest selection of engagement rings.
Minimalism In Jewelry: Wrap Up
This is one of the most important trends in jewelry happening today. Not just because of the impact on fashion and style, but because people are consciously focusing on the meaning behind jewelry more than the shallow flash of showing off.
I love that.
As a jeweler who helps people celebrate the most important milestones of the most important relationships in their lives, I'm all for this shift toward higher quality and more meaningful jewelry.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the minimalist design trend? Do you go for size and flash over understated fashion?
If you have any questions about jewelry trends, available styles, or taking your next steps in getting engaged, feel free to reach out to us HERE.