Jewelry Trends: What's Hot Now in the World of Jewelry

Even though I've always had fairly classic or traditional tastes in most things, I love looking at the latest accessories and jewelry in fashion magazines. I'm inspired by seeing what the hottest (and hopefully the newest, freshest) jewelry designers are making. We all know what's on the cutting edge today will be mainstream tomorrow, so it's always wise to keep an eye on these things! Plus fresh, trendy work is so inspiring.

Rachel Kalina, one of our newest guest bloggers, lives in New York City–a hub of fashion and birthplace of many top trends. Who better to share with us what trends are catching her eye in The Big City?

Jewelry Trend Report: Bring On the Bling!
by Rachel Kalina

There are some truly fantastic jewelry styles to be seen in shop windows, on the street, and all around the Web right now. Check out the following designs that should be on any jewelry designer's radar.

Upper Arm Bracelets

Sometimes called "armlets" or "arm cuffs," upper arm bracelets are made to be worn above the elbow. They comprise all sorts of materials–chain, wire, textiles, beads, metal tubing, gemstones–which allows for wonderful flexibility when choosing supplies to make them. (Pictured clockwise: from theELEPHANTpink, alapopjewelry, SpectralStories, and Lux Divine Jewelry, all on Etsy.)

Raw Crystals

These must-have minerals exhibit real staying power, and although super popular in recent years, they've been on and off the scene for decades. Use raw crystals to evoke a bohemian or tribal look in designs. They look wonderful as studs or wire-wrapped pendants, with equally raw or patinated base metals, and electroformed. (Pictured clockwise: from AlinaandT, rememberZEN, Adriana Soto, and DeerGirlDesigns, all on Etsy.)

Backdrop Necklaces

Adorning celebrities, brides, and fashionistas everywhere, backdrop necklaces (sometimes called "backlaces") make for a versatile and stunning accessory. While they may counter intuition, the necklaces create striking looks when paired with dressy outfits. (Pictured left to right: from Dream Day Designs, SAGUAROJEWELLERY, and Dainty Little Bows, all on Etsy.)

Minimalist Brass and Gold

Minimalist type of jewelry is a chic hipster staple. Simple pieces may be layered or worn separately. Often, minimalist brass and gold pieces embrace geometric shapes like triangles and lengths of tubing. (Pictured top row, left to right: from KODESIGNxo and TashaWestJewelry. Bottom row, left to right: DearMushka and brackishchannel, all on Etsy.)

Ladder Patterns

Found in necklaces, bracelets, body chains, and earrings, ladder patterns are super fun to wear–and to create! The possibilities for variations are endless. Incorporate beads, tubes, wire, chain, etc. in your ladder jewelry designs. (Pictured clockwise: from margotjoan, LunaPines, gaureya, and weathergirl, all on Etsy.)

Friendship Bracelets

The friendship bracelet trend is going strong with new twists constantly arising. They feature colorful rhinestones and beads, rope, yarn, embroidery floss, and even bungee cords. (Pictured clockwise: from daisypetaldesigns, deezdoggs, and Puppagis, all on Etsy.)

Ring Stacks

Simple gold, silver, brass, and copper rings that may be worn in clusters are attractive for everyday wear or fancier accompaniments. Stack them below and above the knuckle. (Pictured clockwise: littlethingsplanetTheStrayArrow, and AlinMay, all on Etsy.)


Move over, chevron, there's a new pattern in town. Necklaces and earrings with scallop components are cropping up all over the place. Designers are predominantly using sheet metal and polymer clay to craft their collections. (Pictured, left to right: from marigoldmary and nearlylost, all on Etsy.)



Ear Cuffs and Jackets

To participate in the ear cuff revival, pierced ears are not a requirement. Made of wire, sheet metal, and sometimes beads, the cuffs offer an edgy look. Ear jackets are style cousins to the cuffs, but most of those do require lobe piercings. These darling pairs present a peep of design from behind the curve of one's ear (not shown). (Pictured left, ear cuff by TheLazyLeopard on Etsy.)


Pantone color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Find this color on gemstones, beads, patinas, chains–you name it. Radiant Orchid boasts hints of pink, purple, and fuchsia, making it compatible with an array of other hues. (Pictured right from ATwistOfWhimsy on Etsy.)

Body Chains

To round out the latest trends, let's turn to body chains. They've been seen on hips, shoulders, legs, and arms, as well as over or under clothing. A favorite among Hollywood starlets, body chains have so many variants, you're sure to find a style that works for your designers. —Rachel

All photos courtesy of the designers.

His or Hers Pottery Shard pendant in Boho Chic

Chains, crystals, beads, stack rings and friendship bracelets–that all sounds pretty boho to me! Get lots of inspiration for making your own trendy, bohemian-style jewelry in Laura Beth Love's Boho Chic, a favorite book from our sister publisher that I finally got brought over for you guys! Boho Chic has 25 timeless but trendy jewelry-making projects featuring chain, texture, found objects like shells, beads and crystals, beloved buttons, upcycled pieces like leather belts and broken china, and some new-to-me ideas for repurposing old silverware into fresh jewelry. Don't miss it!

About the author:
Rachel Morgan Kalina is the owner of The Wood and Watch jewelry company and the editor-in-chief of ParentGuide magazine. She knows how to wield a flame to shape metal; loves to travel; and is passionate about art, antiques, and environmental conservation. Learn more about her at


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