Colored gemstones emerge as the rock stars of jewelry showcase

Colored gemstones emerge as the rock stars of jewelry showcase
Left to right, Stephen Webster Magnipheasant rainbow collar, AS29 earrings and a peacock feather collar by Alessio Boschi. (Sandro Art + Photography (left and right), AS29 (center))

The sparkle showcase known as the Couture Show wraps up Monday at the Wynn Las Vegas, where hundreds of people have gathered to show and see what's new in fine jewelry.

There were designers from around the globe, from the big and well-established (Kwiat, Fred Leighton, Stephen Webster, Pomellato) to first-time exhibitors such as Bangkok-based Alessio Boschi, whose peacock feather collar featuring 15 astounding Australian opals (it can actually be pulled apart to create five pieces) made an unforgettable impression.

Several trends emerged at the show. One of the biggest and brightest was colored gemstones.

The jewelry industry's love affair with diamonds is making room for stones in rainbow hues, including rubies, sapphires and emeralds — all on the same piece.

Stephen Webster's collection was inspired by the iridescent colors of British pheasants. His most magnificent piece? The appropriately named Magnipheasant feather collar of 18-karat white gold set with pavé black diamond, citrine, amethyst, rhodolite, red garnet, blue topaz, peridot and iolite. Also impressive? The disco-chic Magnipheasant bracelet with rainbow-colored sapphires. "Once the stores get behind color, you've got it," Webster said, adding that several stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, were eager to feature his colorful pieces.

L.A. designer Anita Ko, whose diamond-and-pearl ear cuffs and ear jackets are already a favorite of Katy Perry, Suki Waterhouse and other celebs, is offering multi-colored versions with rubies, sapphires and emeralds. (It's quite a look, like a party on the ear.)

"I love colored stones and had wanted to introduce them in my line for a while," Ko said. "But I'm not the opal, chrysoprase, moon stone person. And that was already in the market anyway. So I went true to my roots with rubies, yellow diamonds, aquamarines and other gemstones. It's whimsical and cool. And color adds personality."

L.A. designer Andrea Fohrman, whose rainbow-shaped, rainbow-hued gemstone pendants put her on the map last year, is reinterpreting the shape in colored malachite. And Belgian designer Audrey Savransky of AS29, who is known for her pave diamond creations, is adding multicolored sapphires to earrings, cuff bracelets, two-, three-, and four-finger rings with wing and bar-shaped motifs. "It's a trend," Savransky said of the sunny colors. "And it's refreshing."

Even Milan-based jewelry house Pomellato, famous since the 1970s for its candy-like gems, is getting in on the trend by offering its chain-link Tango collection with colored gemstones for the first time.