Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 2000, Volume 36, No. 4

Jewelry of the 1990s

This article provides an overview of the many changes that took place in how jewelry was designed, manufactured, and marketed during the last decade. Driven by a highly competitive market that favored the unique, designers created innovative cuts for diamonds and colored stones. The use of gem materials in the ‘90s was marked by a greater demand for fancy-color diamonds, colored stones in dramatic combinations, and large and multicolored cultured pearls. In precious metals, the emphasis shifted toward platinum and other white metals. Designer jewelry took on a variety of distinctive setting styles, textures, and motifs. As designers sought to distinguish themselves through name recognition, the branding of diamonds and finished jewelry became a major force. Jewelry worn by entertainers and promoted in the mass media touched off instant trends, which the new marketplace of television shopping networks and the Internet was able to accommodate directly.