While projections for jewelry sales for the holidays were tempered compared to last year, and while INSTORE’s 2022 Holiday Season Mini Survey, taken one week before Christmas, determined jewelry retailers were feeling trepidations about meeting their goals, without a doubt, jewelry is a go-to for anyone wanting to give a gift with meaning. What’s purchased for the holidays can often be an indicator of future trends and can be useful to note when looking to replenish cases following the season. If I were a retailer, I can’t imagine doing anything after turning on that “closed” sign on Christmas other than collapsing in exhaustion! Thankfully, a few intrepid retailers managed to weigh in with some feedback that could give us insight into some of this year’s biggest trends.

A penchant towards classics, but with a twist, was evident in Tiny Gods, a boutique designer fine jewelry store in Charlotte, North Carolina. The store’s owner, Mary Margaret Beaver, sees this trend continuing in the future, and noted a key opportunity to target the self-purchaser, “This holiday season there were some definite selling trends that I believe we will continue to see well into 2023. There is a strong resurgence to classics—specifically modern and updated interpretations of timeless designs. Yellow gold and diamonds were the showcase stars. Earrings were by far the strongest category for Tiny Gods. From studs to hoops to a statement earring to be worn every day, earrings were not only on all wish lists but led the self-purchase category well.” 

Ellen Hertz, owner of Max’s in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, in the Twin Cities area, also identified some classics trends that were keeping her customers coming in, despite the frigid December temps. She noted charms, wrap bracelets, delicate gold chain necklaces and paperclip chains sold very well. December is traditionally a peak month for getting engaged, and Ellen happily reported that love was in the air for her customers, saying they sold some big engagement rings (and a few smaller ones, too).

Owner of Jack Lewis Jewelers in Bloomington, Illinois, John Carter, CGA, GG, said the holiday season was fantastic and that the year overall was one of growth. He noted that diamond stud sales were “off the chart,” and referred me to his general manager, Missy Ranney, to give us a more detailed report from the front line. “We sold lots of paper clip chains and diamond basics like studs, solitaire pendants, and tennis bracelets,” Ranney shared, identifying JA New York exhibitor Shy Creations as one of the store’s biggest selling brands. “We also saw great success with our permanent bracelets. This trend continues to grow. We are seeing whole families getting ‘Connected.’ The number of new customers we are getting by offering this service has been the best part!” 

First hitting the scene as a noticeable trend in 2019, permanent bracelets continue to grow in popularity. According to Ranney, after selecting the chain, the process of attaching the bracelets only takes about 5 minutes. Symbolizing the permanence of a relationship, or even one’s commitment to oneself, permanent jewelry, along with the classics noted by the experts cited above, are sure to be driving consumer traffic for months, and perhaps years, to come.