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2008 Summer New Jewelry Introductions: Fact Sheet

During the JCK Las Vegas Show on June 2, 2008, vice president of finished jewelry Michael Clarke laid out Stuller’s motivation for introducing 594 new finished jewelry products and styles during the summer trade show season, many of which are Stuller’s first collection of silver jewelry with gold accents.

We first asked, “What do our retailers want?” Items that fill entry-level price points, yet have quality and integrity of design: styles with fashion relevance and modern appeal.

What do shoppers (consumers) want? Jewelry that is price-accessible without sacrificing quality or style. For most consumers, this year’s gift budgets are smaller than last year, but they still need jewelry to mark those special occasions. Most consumers of today’s jewelry market are discerning shoppers who want to buy and give jewelry they are proud of, pieces that are well-made yet don’t break the bank in price.

Among the solutions to these needs is jewelry of sterling silver set with colored gemstones accented by 14-karat yellow gold. The combination of sterling silver with yellow gold is both an accepted classic as well as a new fashion trend. And when you add the punch of colored gemstones, the look becomes truly contemporary.

In addition to its moderate price, silver is an ideal choice for pairing with colored gemstones, because the metal’s cool sheen makes the stone color pop. Choose from a rainbow of options — translucents such as amethyst, citrine, blue topaz or moonstone — or the opaque drama of black onyx, turquoise or coral.

Another highly popular combination to consider is pearls in silver. The look is understated yet wearable, flattering to any skin tone and can be worn with anything from workout clothes to formalwear. A perfect mabé pearl in a silver-and-gold setting is a concept that can be translated into earrings, pendants, necklaces or rings.

The huge range of color and design is available because of Stuller’s ability to source such a wide variety of colored gemstones and to cut them in-house. Many pieces can be ordered in a dozen colors or more!

It’s interesting to note that as little as five years ago, this kind of jewelry was not widely available. For popular-priced sterling silver jewelry, one could go to a mall store for cheap, stamped pieces or to a branded designer collection with quality workmanship but steep prices. Designers for Stuller’s new Stuller First Collection (of silver jewelry) deliberately opted for 14-karat gold, not the cheaper solution of 10-karat, nor the designer choice of 18-karat. Instead, this is Stuller’s unique take on jewelry with contemporary style: pieces that are high in quality yet price-accessible.

When you take a closer look at the make of this jewelry, you will clearly see it is not a one-step stamping. Every design is a multiple-piece construction using several individual parts and detailed front and back. In many cases, the back is almost as beautiful as the front! It’s important to remember that the components may be of lower price, but the craftsmanship is still there.

Among the newest looks are silver and gold combinations with hand-detailed textural treatments, such as braids, ribs, knots, nailheads, rope patterns, fluting, filigree and cutouts. Some borrow themes from the intricate Byzantine designs of ages past; others reflect understated modernity with a sleek mixture of polished gold and silver.