Mixing It Up

Alex Soldier uses 18kt gold, rubies and black diamonds in his statement rings.

With a global economy deflating and precious metal prices inflating over the past few years, even fine jewelry’s most visionary artists were finding it hard to predict the future. When would gold prices go down? How much would customers be willing to spend on a handcrafted one-off in 22kt? Does jewelry even matter to people anymore?

Yet one thing was perfectly clear: artists needed to take off their rose-colored glasses and refocus. Embracing their traditional jewelry training, some of the best challenged themselves to work in new materials, create unique alloys, invent original finishes, and make it a priority to understand cultural trends that had become meaningful to their customers in the new economy.

The result? Fine jewelry designers have achieved a sharp new vision for their work in 2011. It is a pivotal moment, one that’s redefining the jewelry industry.

For more of “Mixing It Up” pick up a copy of the Spring 2011 NICHE magazine.

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