Brevity Count- 2 Minute Read
Pavé- the artistic feature on jewelry where many tiny diamonds are set together in rows or groups - and other settings using melee (tiny diamonds) are rising in popularity after years during which minimalist settings held consumer focus. During the pandemic, the diamond market experienced a rise in sales as luxury spending shifted away from services and experiences to items of value. While the luxury experience and service sectors are now seeing a rebound as economies open up and advances in fighting covid become more widespread, there is no sign of waning demand for luxury goods; however, shifts in values and lifestyles have led to shifts in popularity.
Pave, derived from the French term for pavement, has a rich history that goes back several hundred years. It has had its go around the wheel of popularity many times, though it has always held firm in custom fine jewelry. Over the years many forms of pave have been developed that optimize varying effects. Some magnify the brilliance of the diamonds by reducing the amount of visible metal, while others develop designs that enhance the overall artistry of the ring, while others form a backdrop of sorts to a center stone or stones, magnifying their beauty.
Greater affordability per carat, as well as their perceived ethical superiority to mined diamonds has led to more use of lab-produced diamonds; and more and more, the melee stones used for pave have been lab-grown diamonds.
The expense of pave comes mainly from the labor involved. Even the cost for the intensive labor involved in producing pave and other settings using melee is not often as great as the extreme jumps in cost associated with larger and larger stones. Still, the more intricate the design, the smaller the diamonds, and how many will greatly affect how much pave can cost. That small diamonds would cost less per carat than large ones may be obvious, though at a certain point, especially with micro pave, the labor to set the stones is tremendous.
Consumer trends were vastly altered during the pandemic as we went through a dramatic shift in popular tastes. Flashbacks to the 80's are trending, with glitz and glamor outshining the minimalism that trended back in the 2000s and with the help of the 2008 recession.
A reason for this rising demand for flair and flamboyance: popular photography on social media. Since the introduction of smartphones with high-quality cameras about a decade ago, casual amateur photography has been on the rise. The pandemic saw a further jump in this, with more people focused on photos that would make a greater social media impact. Because of their ability to magnify the sparkle enough to show in even some of the darkest lit photos, pave setting and halos are rocketing in popular favor.
Costs for these diamonds, and therefore their settings will probably rise this year, due to various global and regional events and experiences, so expect those shoulder-dusting drop earrings to be more expensive by holiday time, even with sales, (Hint for Xmas, buy even earlier this year...). However they will still likely be less expensive than full carat stones.