What is Contemporary Jewellery
What is contemporary jewellery? Surely everything’s contemporary unless it’s vintage, right? Well, yes and no. This type of jewellery could be dubbed fashion-fine. It’s a category we love to play with at AC. It’s defined by pieces that use 18-ct gold vermeil, gemstones, and that are made in the same way as fine and designed to be heirlooms, but that are more trend led and not as expensive as designs made from precious metal and stones. It’s a way of combining luxury and fashion, so you can tap into trends but without feeling guilty that you’re spending money on transient trash.
How is contemporary jewellery different from fine?
As the name suggests, contemporary jewellery is more fashion forward. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fine jewellery that looks of the moment, it’s just more likely to lean towards the classic. No one wants to spend a fortune on something that’s going to look tacky in ten years. The other difference is the materials. Fine jewellery implies precious metals – 14-ct or 18-ct golds, platinum perhaps – and the big four of precious stones – diamond, emerald, sapphire, and ruby. You will encounter other gemstones like malachite or turquoise, but it will be set in solid precious metal and probably accompanied by diamonds. We can’t speak for anyone else, but there is no difference in the expert craftsmanship used for both our contemporary and our fine collections. Both are made using the same traditional jewellery techniques, such as the craft technique of beading used in our Soulful Stones, it’s just the contemporary collection will be made from vermeil, and so-called non-precious gemstones, and it is where we get to have fun with fashion.
Contemporary jewellery trends to invest in now
We love a necklace or three so this trend is very much one we can get on board with. Blame the on-going fascination with all things Nineties for this one. Chokers are back and instead of fabric, it’s gemstones and vermeil. You can wear one tight to the neck for the quintessential Nineties vibe or have it as the starting point for a layered neckline. Either way, a choker is your contemporary jewellery companion this summer.
Forget your demure single strands and “ladies who lunch” outfits, contemporary pearl jewellery comes with an edge. It’s all about contrasts. A leather jacket and a choker, a pair of contemporary earrings set with pearls and worn with a t-shirt and denim cutoffs, a bold signet ring and a bikini. Just leave the twinset at home.
After years dominated by gold, contemporary silver jewellery is back in the spotlight. Scrub from your mind memories of dingy incense-scented shops in Camden selling cheap, flimsy designs for pocket-money prices, 2022’s silver is elegant, refined, and a white-hot alternative to gold. Due to its relative lack of rarity when compared to gold, silver has previously had a reputation for being cheap, the style of jewellery made from it didn’t help its image either. However, it is being reappraised. Firstly, because it’s a great gateway metal into the world of heirloom jewellery and because its malleability means you can have more fun with it. Its cool, crisp appearance also feels like a grown-up antidote to all the Y2K giddiness. Time to be seduced by silver.
We want candy
Fashion is always about contradictions so in contrast to the sleek refinement of silver is the craving for all things candy coloured. When things are a bit rubbish generally, we like to retreat to the safe haven of childhood where it was all “pink elephants and lemonade” (vintage Madonna reference, in case you were wondering). In this case pretty jewellery in tooth-achingly sweet shades. Luckily, we have all your candy needs covered with our Cirque collection. Warning – consume responsibly as it can cause a sugar rush.
Wear the rainbow
Dopamine dressing has had an update. It’s no longer about wearing one mood-boosting colour but a whole kaleidoscope of them. Catwalks have been full of Jolly-Rancheresque shades but if you’re unsure about wearing three different shades of neon, why not experiment with your jewellery? We have very easy ways to add colour in a non-scary way. If you have a sweet tooth, see above. If you’d rather a ready-made rainbow, then this should be in your basket. Otherwise take your pick. We love colour – from the delicate allure of labradorite to the all-out blaze of a red agate there’s plenty of different coloured contemporary gemstone pieces to choose from. Why not create your own rainbow.
Buy now, treasure forever
This isn’t about what we buy but how. The criticism of fast fashion has led to Love Island’s clothing being supplied by eBay and to protests about the working conditions at places such as Missguided. At AC, everything we design is made to the highest standards. Our contemporary jewellery may have fun with fashion, but it’s built to last not to end up in landfill. We want our jewellery to tell your story, for each piece to mean something so that, when you pass it on to the next generation, your history becomes part of their present.