Welcome readers to our next Spotlight installment, where we review current trends in depth.
This time we are looking at new trends in men's diamond jewelry. Last week after the Oscars we paid homage to our favorite ice that flowed down the red carpet on some of the female celebrities that attended. But woe to us to forget that men can wear diamonds as well, and have, and do.
For most of history, men and women have just about equally shared the practice of wearing diamonds, and it has been that wearing jewelry is a genderless custom in much of the world, even if the pieces worn are not always. While diamonds were the provenance of the highest echelons of society for thousands of years, the last two centuries have seen progressively more democratization of this unique and rarified gem.
The massive expansion of diamond mining operations and carats yielded in the late 19th and throughout most of the 20th century has made diamonds ubiquitous.
Lab-Grown Diamonds have changed the market even more drastically. In Switzerland, TAG Heuer is producing the Carrera Plasma, whose crown is a single, intricately cut diamond. Modern technology allows us to produce diamonds on a scale fast approaching what is possible through mining operations but at a fraction of the cost financially, ethically and environmentally. This is possible because not only can we now grow diamonds rather easily, but new cutting technology is advancing the scope of shapes and cuts far beyond what anyone had ever previously imagined.
Diamond's properties make it useful beyond being beautiful. Its light properties allow it to be used in features that would otherwise have to be directly illuminated in order to show up in minimal light. But a diamond can capture, reflect and refract minimal light with maximum shine. In the future, we expect to see diamond watch lenses, diamonds in the components of the watch mechanism, and in other products, replacing silicon as a semiconductor.
Social Trends have changed the market, contributing further to the change in trends. According to a report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Co. on the jewelry and watches industry, male consumers represent “...An opportunity for brands to capture share in a relatively uncrowded market driven by increasingly genderless aesthetics and high-profile celebrity influencers...”
Not only celebrities are wearing diamonds, and while men's jewelry is still only a fraction of the market, at 5-10%, that appears to be changing as many jewelers are introducing new men or genderless lines. Often this is the first time these companies have launched a men's or genderless line. Purchasing trends are changing as well. More men are buying tennis bracelets and chokers, while brooches and lapel pins are coming back in style.
But what about the Oscars? No, we didn't forget: Ignoring the fisticuffs, men at the Oscars displayed a prevalence for diamonds, a sign perhaps that the trend is not slowing down any time soon. Brooches and lapel pins stood out among the significant new styles in men's fashion to watch, and were very popular this year with the celebrity crowd, with some excellent pieces on display from many of the top fine jewelry and fashion jewelry producers.
Celebrities that wore brooches at the Oscars this year included: Rami Malek, Jamie Dornan, Wilmer Valderrama, Jay-Z, P.Diddy, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Travis Barker, Jay Ellis, Timothee Chalamet, Justin Timberlake.