Industry Interview: Jewelry Trends to Look Out for in 2021

Although 2020 has been a year like no other, fashion trends are still emerging and new styles are still making an appearance. As we look forward to a new year, we consider the previous trends and design elements that will play a role in jewelry in the future. Here at Roman Malakov, we’ve teamed up with some other industry experts to give you a complete look at the future jewelry trends that we expect to see next calendar year.

Multi-Color South Sea and Tahitian Pearl Necklace


Pearls literally never go out of style. But somehow, with each passing year, designers are able to reinvent the looks that feature this classic precious gem. Jeannine Adams, founder of Ready Pretty, states that she and her colleagues believe that pearls will be big in 2021. The timeless beauty of pearls is easy to embrace, but the pearl trends we expect to see this upcoming year are not your grandmother’s classic pearl studs or the typical pearl necklace. Think about a modern take on a classic look, and that’s where pearls will live in 2021. We anticipate pearls being added to unique and trendy pieces, like ear cuffs, sculptural bracelets, brooches, long necklaces, and so much more. They are even likely to be found in accessories and clothing, as contemporary embellishments elevate even the simplest items in closets everywhere. We are excited to see all of the perfectly round pearls and asymmetrical, naturally-shaped pearls in various applications all across the fashion and jewelry industries next year.

GIA Certified 1.97 Carat Round Intense Yellow with Pink Diamond Ring

“Royal” Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are getting more and more unique with each passing year, and 2021 looks to be another turning point in the individuality expressed through engagement rings. Royalty is mesmerizing to many of us who are far removed from that world, and any feeling of royalty that we can integrate into our own worlds is sought after for their austere, luxurious appeal. “With the highly anticipated Diana season of The Crown coming up, the latest engagement ring trend is going to be royal,” states Abby Tufts of UEG Worldwide. “For those thinking about popping the question this holiday season and after the new year, men can now choose a diamond which was once exclusive to nobility and Hollywood to make their soon-to-be fiancée feel like a princess.” Not only are royal designs and styles appealing, but the notion of replicating something royalty-worthy is thrilling. Any woman would be proud to show off her royalty-inspired engagement ring, and any man that purchases such a ring is sure to be adored and appreciated to the nth degree.

1.12 Carat Pink Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring 

Bright Gemstones

Along with royal designs and styles, engagement rings and other jewelry are seeing a huge surge in the use of bright gemstones. From sapphire to tourmaline to alexandrite and more, brightly colored gemstones are absolutely going to be taking the jewelry market by storm. The connection between royal looks and gemstones cannot be overlooked, since so many iconic gemstone pieces were made popular by those of the royal family or otherwise well-known celebrities. Expect to see gemstones all over the jewelry market, from engagement rings to earrings to necklaces, and more.

Jeff Moriarty of Moriarty’s Gem Art, had this to say about gemstone engagement rings: “[In 2020], we have been seeing a huge spike in requests and sales of colored gemstone engagement rings. Many [male] customers are choosing this because of tighter budgets. The women coming in are seeing celebrities wearing more colored gemstones, which is pushing them to choose stones such as morganite, tanzanite, and sapphire. Since the early summer, we have sold more colored gemstone engagement rings than all of last year, and we expect it to continue into 2021.”

1.90 Carats Total Round Diamond Three-Stone Engagement Ring

Classic Styles

As is common with many trends, styles tend to circle back around to what was popular decades ago. Jewelry is no different. While unique pieces are certainly gaining momentum, many are finding that they prefer the classic styles from the days of jewelry simplicity. Ornate and elaborate designs are being passed over for delicate, subtle elegance and classic motifs. And even in more unique, modern pieces, there are nods to classic design elements that will truly never go out of style. Brandon Moak of Federal Way Custom Jewelers notes this throwback to classicism as well, saying that, “In the 2021 engagement ring market, we expect to see a continued trend toward classic styles and reserved designs. Expect to see fewer halos and intricate diamond-encrusted white metal mountings, and instead look for yellow gold or two-tone, thin bands, solitaires, and three-stone rings.”

14 Karat Yellow Gold Wide Cuban Link Chain Bracelet

Thicker Chains

Thick, chunky chains have seen an increase in high fashion runway appearances in recent years, but we foresee them making a huge showing in 2021. Chains can be worn alone as a statement necklace, or they can be integrated into layered looks, which is also going to be a big trend next year. Chain-like designs are also being utilized in bracelets and earrings, adding to the popularity of this trend. These thicker chains may be paired with other trends, such as brightly-colored gemstones or uniquely-shaped pearls, or they may simply be bold and beautiful in a singular metal.

Two-tone chunky chains and chain accessories are also common, as this trend can be easily integrated into bags, belts, hair accessories, and more. Look for yellow gold chains to get the most attention in 2021, with silver-colored metals following closely behind. The chunky chains of 2021 won’t be as rugged or edgy as those popular in previous years, but they still have an industrial look to them, making them extremely versatile. We anticipate this trend sticking around for quite some time.

8.76 Carat Total Multicolor Cabochon Intertwined Fashion Ring

Layered Looks

Gone are the days of a singular piece of jewelry serving as the focal point for an entire look. Now, as we move into the highly anticipated year of 2021, layered looks are in, and they’re in big time. Trendsetters and high fashion designers were layering basically everything—necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and even watches—during fashion weeks around the globe.

“The more, the merrier” seems to be the motto of jewelry layering, but there also seems to be an art to the layering that does take some practice. To get the look you desire, play with various textures, lengths, and even design styles. Sometimes, the more mismatched the pieces seem, the more easily they layer to create a cohesive look. Collar necklaces are increasingly popular nowadays, and those can be easily layered with other necklaces of similar lengths or even those slightly longer. With bracelets, layers can be created with different types of bracelet styles, such as bangles, tennis bracelets, and chunky chain bracelets. Stackable rings have been “in” for a while, but the layered ring look is continuing to flourish.

Layered watches are also going to be huge in 2021. This look encompasses two things—first, a watch that actually wraps around your wrist multiple times; and second, wearing multiple pieces of jewelry on your wrist at a time, one of which is a watch. This layering trend is getting bigger and bigger with each passing year, and we expect to see some incredible looks because of it.

Adams mentioned layering in regards to the digitally-focused world we’re currently living in, noting that, “As virtual gatherings continue to take place, women will still embrace the idea of expressing their personality through style. The perfect pair of earrings or statement necklace can speak volumes without saying a word and all while being seen through the screen of a desktop or smartphone.” She goes on to say that heavy layering will be big this upcoming year, and we believe that’s largely due to the attempt to stand out digitally and in person.

Crochet Elements

We have seen a huge uptick in crochet clothing and accessories, and we’ve already seen that trend begin to take over jewelry as well. Joe Flanagan, founder of 90s Fashion World, has noticed this trend, too: “Something that is quite unique and that I am seeing a lot is crochet jewelry. Tiny roses made of ever-so-tiny petals combined with beads and little Swarovski crystals. It’s gaining momentum, particularly in Asia.” Floral designs are certainly popular in the world of crochet jewelry, but that is only the beginning. From intricate crochet lotus earrings to delicate crochet necklaces and bold crochet bracelets, this trend is set to explode in the upcoming year. Dangle earrings, studs, chandeliers, and hoops are among the multitudes of crochet jewelry. Layered necklaces, wide chokers, and pendant necklaces are growing in popularity as well, as are bangles, bead- and gemstone-adorned bracelets. The possibilities with this trend are simply endless, particularly when designers integrate other elements into jewelry to optimize versatility and beauty.

Discover Trends with Roman Malakov

To explore these upcoming trends and to learn more about what jewelry styles suit you best, make an appointment to shop in-person with Roman Malakov or get in touch with us online. Our jewelry professionals are happy to assist you in your discovery of new trends or they can assist you in exploring your classic, go-to styles.