When it comes to holiday jewelry, diamonds and gold remain the timeless classics.
But other metals and stones have worked their way into the holiday lineup as intriguing options.
In particular, there seems to be quite a run on silver, says Bernie Butterfield of Butterfield Jewelers.
“Silver is the new gold,” he says. “Its popularity is because of its price point. At $20 an ounce, you can get some really beautiful things. It makes it more affordable.”
A pear-shaped pendant hung from a silver necklace by Rebecca for $370 complemented by a silver braided bracelet by Rebecca for $299 makes a stunning combination, Butterfield says.
Still, it’s hard to beat the brilliance of a diamond, especially when apparently floating in air.
Known as the Shimmering Diamond, the collection by Ostbye features a faceted diamond that has been laser-drilled then suspended in its casing via a wire, giving the impression that it’s floating. Prices start at $750 for necklaces, of which Butterfield says, “I think it’s going to be very popular.”
Colored, fresh-water pearls are also a popular gift choice, he says. Innovative bracelets combining green and white pearls run from $250 to $450.
Bastian combines silver with diamonds in a teardrop pendant and chain that together sells for $600. Ten diamond chips accent the side of the silver teardrop, creating a fetching visual collaboration.
Beauchamp Jewelers is featuring some designers who are also making use of silver, says Ron Beauchamp.
Designer Ariva is making use of sterling silver with 18-karat gold accent utilizing a signature texture silk weave to give the designs a distinctive look, he says.
“It’s affordable and it’s unique,” Beauchamp says. “It’s not something you’re going to see on every other woman in Albuquerque.”
The base necklace goes for $975, and “you can attach any number of enhancing pendants to it,” he says.
The same designer also came up with a $150 ring design that will be appreciated for its local touch.
A layer of turquoise is set in a base of sterling silver with the signature silk weave and the turquoise is then covered in a colorless quartz to enhance and enrich the aqua-blue underneath.
Jude Frances makes use of heavy sterling silver with contrasting oxidized silver in combination to establish arresting patterns of light and dark in bracelets.
“I love the weight to it,” Beauchamp says. “It’s got a wonderful heft to it.”
The hinged-bangle bracelets that can also contain topaz accents go from $770 to $2,990.
“A lot of designers and retailers are featuring sterling silver,” Beauchamp says. “If course, here in the Southwest, it’s always been a popular choice.”
Beauchamp’s also carries antique jewelry that he believes make special gift items because of their one-of-a-kind nature.
For instance, a gothic-like, pin-on pendant of sterling silver, circa 1900, goes for $795.
But when it comes to gold, the Roberto Coin collection attracts attention, Beauchamp says, because of its unusual development.
Coin takes 18-karat gold and makes it “fluid, like it’s flowing,” Beauchamp says. “It’s really unusual.”
Each of his pieces has a signature ruby on the inside of the pieces to lie against the skin because the ancient Egyptians believed rubies bring the wearer long life, health and happiness, he says.
A large necklace costs $18,200.
At Shelton Jewelers, traditional yellow gold is giving way to rose-colored gold as designers are using creative ways to find new looks.
One of the truly interesting pieces is a ring with a slice of an amethyst geode designed by S & R. The striking purple stone ring costs $1,450.
“You can see all of the cycles of growth,” says Erica Shelton, marketing manager.
On the men’s end of things, while not really jewelry per se, a mokume pen by William Henry is a stunning accessory. The base is made from petrified brontosaurus bone and is trimmed in rose-colored gold with diamonds.
“It writes as good as it looks,” Shelton says of the $2,950 pen. “It’s perfect for the guy who has everything.”
And a small pocket knife by William Henry that costs $1,575 has inlaid sapphires that spring the blade, which is constructed in the same manner as samurai swords, she says.
“People say it’s too pretty to use, but go ahead, the steel is strong,” Shelton says.
Also popular this year are stackable rings, says Christina Perea, one of Shelton’s main buyers.
Created by First Image Design, the series of rings are made from different metals with different colors and are made to wear together on the finger to create different patterns. The rings start at $745 each.
“These are a lot of fun,” Perea says. “You can create any kind of look you want. There are a mix of golds and black diamonds. They can create high fashion and are in style every day.”