b'THE STATE OF RETAIL DIAMONDSJEWELRYCOLORED DESIGN STONESINLAY D esigners current love affair with color is a macro trend in itself. Its apparent in the prolific use of colored gemstone inlay among brands like Mason & Books, Sorellina, Jacquie Aiche, and Retrouva. For designers who have long counted inlay a brand signature, were used to seeing plenty of lapis lazuli, turquoise, and malachite. Today, these materials are just the jumping-off point for so many more unique gemstone options. Think: pink opal, moss agate, chrysoprase, and chalcedonythe more distinctive or uncommon, the better. Whats interesting about inlay is its practical element.Mason and Books Large DNA Heart Pendant in 14-karat yellow gold with black Using large chunks of colored gems, and often the less expen- onyx, Ethiopian opal and diamonds ($5,815)sive varieties, is an economical alternative to gold or lots of faceted, more expensive stones. The trend doesnt read as prudent, however. Instead, it exudes a joyful, maximalist, gemmy look.Mason & Books uses all kinds of inlay in its collections, which are built around sweet, child-like motifs such as a ladybug, a bow, and a heart. While overall styles remain the same, each piece is inherently one-of-a-kind depending on design-er Jamie Books stone sourcing. Mason & Books is a great example of mixing faceted stones with gemstone inlay, providingSorellina signet ring in Emily P. Wheeler 18-karat yellow goldthe best of both styles.18-karat yellow gold with Patchwork Earrings with turquoise,This trend also has been a signature for designer Kirsty Stonespink opal and diamonds white agate, lemon chrysoprase and($3,600)13.33 carats of white topaz($14,800) brand, Retrouva, which has always utilized inlay in its collection. The Lollipop range, specifically, houses a faceted gemstone within an inlay halo. The look is bold and ripe for interesting color combinations.Sorellina, the brand helmed by sisters Nicole and Kim Carosella, has made the signet ring its ownnot an easy featthrough use of inlay that it tops with diamond and gold letters and symbols. The style is so successful its available in a pendant version, too. Jacquie Aiche, meanwhile, makes inlay feel on-brand with its hippie mosaic styles that equate to elevated flower-child jewelry. Keep an eye on multi-inlay designs that utilize layers of inlay,la Orly Marcel, and tigers eye, which is making a comeback after not being a hot commodity in recent years. ENAMELANow the trend has settled into a healthy hum, with lots of brands utilizing the ma-few years ago, enamel as a trend reached its peak, with nearly every new collection from an independent designer seeming to debut an enamel element in their lines. terials colorful possibilities if it makes sense for their vision, rather than out of pressure to jump on the bandwagon. Like inlay, enamel is one way to experiment with color without breaking the bank. Plus, while gemstones must be sourced, designers can create their own custom enamel shades to fulfill theMelissa Kaye 18-karat yellow visions of their artistic universe. gold Lola Hoops Melissa Kaye undoubtedly has been the trends leader, debuting colors that just werent seen inwith diamonds and pastel blue enamel the fine jewelry marketplace, like hot pink and glowing yellow.($2,950)After showcasing neon shades, she moved on to pastels. Buyers, and customers, have responded to all of it, proving that no creative should be limited to the tried-and-true out of fear new designs wont sell. Designer Selim Mouzannar expertly demonstrates how to do a trend ones own way. If Melissa Kaye is modern, Mouzannars eponymous brand is an ode to heritage and antique techniques. Its take on enamel involves pairing different gems with contrasting and complementary enamel shades, or highlighting an engraved guilloch pattern. Accordingly, the feel is totally different. 62 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2023'