Comments: 0 0

Top Industry Trends from JCK 2022

In episode #178 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share a post-JCK, mid-year trends report based on what I observed in Vegas this year. I had such a great time at the show, meeting virtual friends in person, seeing how brands have grown and evolved (even from last year’s JCK), being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and exhibitors – and I can’t wait to share my insights and takeaways with you. 

Check out the transcript below!

Welcome to the Joy Joya podcast, where jewelry is joy and everyone is encouraged to add more polish and sparkle to the world. With topics ranging from marketing tips to business development, best practices and beyond, this is the go-to podcast for ambitious jewelry industry dreamers like you!

Hi, I’m your host, Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast, I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know, jewelry is joy, so I’ll gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it.

This is Episode 178, and today I’m sharing a very exciting post-JCK mid-year trends report based on what I observed in Vegas this past year. I had such a great time at the show—meeting virtual friends in person, seeing how brands have grown and evolved even since last year’s JCK—being completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and exhibitors, especially in comparison to last year. And I can’t wait to share my insights and takeaways with you, especially if you didn’t attend this year’s show and you want to hear my perspective. So keep listening or watching this episode for the full scoop.

But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both an audio and video component. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching Joy Joya. I love creating this content as my act of service to you, my awesome listeners and viewers. And you can support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe, but also to leave a rating and review on iTunes, which helps other jewelry dreamers find it too.

In this segment of the podcast, I give out my Sparkle Award for the week. During this segment, I highlight a jewelry brand that’s impressing me with their marketing. The Sparkle Award is also interactive, so you can visit to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.

This week’s Sparkle Award goes to the jewelry brand Casual Carats, a friend of the Joy Joya podcast but also a brand I really admire. I got to meet founder and designer Alyssa for the first time in person at this year’s JCK show. And it was also Alyssa’s first time exhibiting. Yay! I think it takes a lot of guts and courage to debut your brand at a major trade show like JCK, and I’m super proud of her for being a rockstar and bringing her A game.

If you are not familiar with Casual Carats, they are a maker of colorful and playful silicone rings that are set with diamonds and gemstones in 14 karat gold. They make rings that are the perfect alternative to the gold wedding ring set for anyone who has an active lifestyle or maybe people who just want something a little more colorful, a little more playful, something to wear for travel that won’t break the bank if it’s lost or damaged. They can even be worn for fashion, and she has them in alternative motifs just for fun styling. It’s a no-brainer upsell for jewelry retailers who sell wedding jewelry. And if you want to learn more about Alyssa and Casual Carats, you can check out the assortment at; not sponsored, just my personal endorsement and sharing my admiration. As I mentioned, you can visit to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.

Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or marketing. Each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles, and you can get those links by visiting Once you’re on that VIP list, you’ll receive our weekly digest filled with new episode announcements. But one second—I want to give a shout out to the “NYC Jewelry Week” Rough Cut podcast, hosted by JB Jones and Alain Simic. Alain is a past guest of the Joy Joya podcast.

I was so excited about the most recent episode, Episode 8. They had Liz Kantner on as a guest. So, of course, Liz has been a two-time guest on the Joy Joya podcast. And Liz is my collaborator in a project that we’re doing called “Success with Jewelry.” It’s a six-part webinar series, and many more things to come. So Liz was on this recent episode. She talked about the “Success with Jewelry” webinar series, and she plugged the Joy Joya podcast. It was a really fun and informative episode. So if you don’t already listen to the “NYC Jewelry Week” Rough Cut podcast, I highly recommend you check that one out.

So my first article comes from Later, one of my favorite resources lately for social media news and insights. They really do such a great job of providing in-depth, highly researched, thoughtful articles, especially about Instagram. And this one is called “What Happens When You Only Share Reels on Instagram?” So content creator Olivia Noceda noticed a decline in engagement on her static photo content. With reel content on the rise, she decided to shift her strategy to an Instagram reels-only strategy on her feed along with posting daily stories when, “After six months, Olivia grew her account by 60,000 followers, a 75% increase in follower growth.” She previously had 80,000 followers, but after the strategy switch, she now has 140,000 engaged followers. So what are her takeaways and tips from pursuing a reels-only strategy on Instagram?

One, she says it’s not all about going viral. Making reels just to go viral loses authenticity behind the content. And she says, instead of thinking about the viral potential of a video, Olivia considers, “How can I grow my community and add value?”

Tip number two: content pillars are key. So, having three to five topics that the brand is consistently discussing really emphasizes and communicates the brand message. It also kind of gives you some structure for social media. It helps you amplify your niche as a brand.

Tip number three: trending music is everything. Olivia really recommends thinking of reels with an audio lens first. So, one tip would be to scroll through Instagram to see what audio is trending and then bookmark any songs that you hear on repeat to determine how to make that audio work for you and your content.

Tip number four: try, try, try and try again. Your reel strategy may not work right away, and that’s okay. It actually took Olivia six months to see that growth that I just mentioned a few minutes ago.

Tip number five: she says that 6-12 seconds is really the sweet spot for reels. People are loving short-form content, and Olivia found that that 6-12 second range worked the best for her.

And finally, tip number six: on-screen text is a must. That helps for accessibility and inclusivity. So, if someone is speaking in your reels, you should always enable captions so that if someone is hearing impaired or they have their sound off, they can still understand the content without necessarily having to listen.

Article number two comes from Women’s Wear Daily. And the title is “Christie’s Turns Spotlight to Jewelry and Handbags.” So after the auction house Christie’s record-breaking art sales, they’re continuing to rev up sales through high-ticketed accessories and jewelry. Rachel Koffsky was named Senior Vice President of International Handbags on June 1st and will continue to work as an auctioneer. I like that job title: Senior VP of International Handbags.

The Magnificent Jewels sale includes The Light of Africa Diamond, which is an emerald cut diamond that weighs in at 103.49 carats and with an estimate ranging from $11 million to $18 million. This sale also includes notable jewelry by JAR and a set of Van Cleef & Arpels coral and gold jewelry that was owned by the late NYC Grand Dame Brooke Astor. There was also a two-night watches evening sale and an ongoing online sale for designer handbags.

The pandemic has definitely changed the way people shop, and more and more people are comfortable with online sales as well as with the secondary market. Supply chain issues have also shifted consumers to that secondary market. “Interest in resale is being led by Gen Z, whose members are very comfortable buying and selling on the secondary market” according to Koffsky.

Finally, our last article comes from Bloomberg, and it’s, “De Beers Hikes Small Diamond Prices as Sanctions Cause Shortages.” That’s a tongue twister right there. “The price of smaller diamonds has surged since the start of March as cutters, polishers and traders are struggling to source supply after the US levied sanctions on Russia’s Alrosa PJSC, which accounts for about a third of global production.” De Beers raised prices of rough diamonds throughout most of 2021 to recover from the first year of the pandemic. But now they’ve even raised prices on cheaper, smaller stones. Despite the price increases, there’s still strong demand for the goods. Of course! I mean… “De Beers raised the prices of smaller stones by between 5% and 7% at its sale in Botswana.”

The diamond industry has been facing big challenges due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions that have followed. Big name US jewelers like Tiffany & Co. and Signet have said that they will stop buying new diamonds mined in Russia, while retailers in countries like China, India, and the Middle East have not followed suit with those US companies.

As I mentioned, if you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment of the podcast, you can become a Joy Joya VIP by visiting

Okay, let’s talk about some trends. I’m going to break my trends into four different categories to kind of make them easier to digest. And these were all things that I observed at JCK that I’m really excited about and that I think will really guide the rest of the year into 2023. So the first one was all about talk around NFTs and Web3. So, I mean, the opening keynote of the show was called “Web3 Is Coming—Navigating the Past, Present, and Future of Retail.” So if that’s the keynote, I think that kind of sets the tone for a lot of the conversation and happenings at the show.

I did attend one talk with Oliver Maroney. He’s the co-founder of Cameo Pass and the GM of Web3 at Cameo. He did an excellent job explaining Web3; I think he really simplified it. Oh, side note: I’m also hoping to secure him as a guest for this podcast in the near future. So, while Web 1.0 was all about reading the internet, Web 2.0 was about reading and writing the internet, and Web 3.0, this new frontier of the internet, is about reading, writing, and owning the internet. And that owning part is where NFTs come in, so everyone can feel like they have ownership in this digital world where we exist online.

I think a lot of people in the industry right now are super curious about how to get into NFTs. What are they? How can they play a role in business growth and in marketing? It doesn’t really seem like right now there’s a straightforward way to do it, and I think that’s kind of the exciting thing about it. It requires creativity—a desire to create community within your business or around your business. It requires innovation and outside-the-box thinking.

So at the show, there was an NFT art gallery that I noticed. And then recently on this podcast, I also spoke about a collaboration between artist Reena Ahluwalia and the company Greenland Ruby. So they partnered together to create a limited edition Ruby Art NFT and I was so excited. I got to see that original Ruby painting at the show. It was at Greenland Ruby’s booth, and I saw it from afar and I remember talking about it, and that was really cool to me. It kind of helped me understand and appreciate the limited-edition creative nature of what they’re trying to go for in this collaboration and with NFTs in general.

Color is not going anywhere anytime soon, especially neon bright poppy colors that can’t even be found in natural gemstones. And that is where neon enamel comes in. I saw a ton of enamel at the show. I love the color trend. Walking around, I’m immediately spotting the color. It’s drawing me in. It’s attracting me. I think that it’s here to stay—not going anywhere. And I’m excited about that.

Another trend: tons of chains in yellow gold, especially curb chains. Oh my, I saw curb chains everywhere. Necklaces, bracelets, fat, skinny, whatever, you name it, diamond encrusted, etc. Curb chains look amazing and they were all over the show this year. Of course, tennis necklaces and bracelets—I think that trend is really hot and popular among Gen Z right now.

But also, as you know, a full-blown, beautiful-quality big diamond tennis necklace is not an inexpensive buy. So I saw a lot of really dainty and delicate alternatives, and I also saw this style not only in lab-grown diamonds at a much more affordable price point, but also in simulated diamonds to really make the look, the fashion look, more accessible for people who want to indulge in it. Definitely bypass and two-stone rings. That toi et moi—I don’t know if I’m saying it right—trend has been really hot on Instagram. But one thing I loved that I also saw—let’s take it extra, let’s take it to a whole new level—a three-stone ring; and I’m not talking about your past, present, and future. But that toi et moi look with three stones instead of two. Rahaminov Diamonds had this amazing three-stone ring with three different shapes in a cluster, and I loved that look.

Definitely, the 1980s are back, guys! Get your hair teased. Put on that neon pink lipstick. The 80s are here! Lots of herringbone chains. Definitely channel set stones, which I think fell out of favor for a few decades—not the coolest look. But I really think that channel setting is coming back.

The next category I want to talk about is wedding jewelry. I think that kind of deserves its own discussion in general. So one thing that I definitely heard about—I had a few conversations with people at booths that specialize in customized wedding bands—is that a lot of retailers are looking for ways to accommodate super custom wedding jewelry requests. So people don’t just want your typical gold band in this age of Etsy, where you can literally go on Etsy and find anything you could possibly want out there in terms of wedding jewelry, even if it’s not made out of fine materials.

I really believe that a lot of people getting married today just want to have that extra something that no one else has. So they’re really going out of their way to create a ring that is uniquely theirs. So manufacturers are offering all different kinds of alternative materials—ways to combine and mix and match those materials in just one ring to give consumers that really custom look that they are desiring.

Also, solitaires—I think the halos are going away. The elaborate sidestone looks are going away. Of course, there’s the toi et moi trending style. But that’s almost like a variation on a solitaire just with two stones. I think that a more simple, minimalist look is really trending in wedding jewelry.

Oval shaped diamond center stones—definitely a hot look—I think it’s been for maybe a year or so. It’s nothing like super new. But I definitely saw that look at the show in terms of engagement rings. And then one thing that kind of surprised me was that there were a lot of alternatives for lower priced engagement ring styles. And I’m talking about simulated diamonds, maybe even gold-plated. And these aren’t just being worn as travel jewelry—you know, like, you leave your expensive engagement ring at home when you travel. But there are some couples out there that maybe can’t afford that dream ring right now. Or maybe they want the look of the engagement ring but the actual materials aren’t as important to them because they’re focused on buying a house or investing in starting a family or what have you. So this simulated look that still has the beauty of a traditional diamond and gold or platinum engagement ring, but at a much lower price point.

And the last category I want to talk about is innovations in the jewelry industry that are trending. So of course, I can’t leave this out: lab-grown diamonds. They had a much bigger presence at JCK this year in comparison to last year. And I think the conversation around lab-grown diamonds was not just about the sustainable aspect of them. Of course, there was a lot of messaging around green, around sustainability, and how that compares with natural diamonds and that argument there. We won’t get into it right now. But on top of that, the fact that lab-grown diamonds can be innovative in a way that maybe some natural diamonds can’t be because you can create these really interesting shapes in larger size stones developed lab-grown, that is maybe not even possible in natural diamonds. And even some interesting color waves in diamonds that again, are either not possible or just very, very difficult to find. So that tech innovation aspect of lab-grown diamonds is really interesting and offers another counterpoint to natural diamonds.

Another innovation trend that I saw were these designer and manufacturer collaborations. So I think a lot of up-and-coming manufacturers now, to almost market themselves, brand themselves, add a new layer of sophistication to what they do. They’re collaborating with designers who create these capsule collections using the products, the stones, utilizing that manufacturer for the actual production. So one that I saw was—friend of the Joy Joya podcast, Debra Navarro, she did a collaboration with Asian Star Diamonds. And the reason she wanted to do that was she really liked the traceability factor of their stones. And it connects with her own brand values. So it was really nice to see Debra exhibiting that capsule collection at the Asian Star booth in the Plumb Club at JCK.

And then finally, the last innovation trend that I saw was all about wearables: medical jewelry, tech-embedded jewelry, and also bling for wearables, like something to embellish your Apple Watch. One exhibitor that I saw—I believe they just started this company in 2021—is EZEC. I think I’m saying that right. It’s literally the letters EZEC, and it’s short for “Easy Emergency Contact.” And it’s a platform that allows jewelers to design medical jewelry—any designer, any look—really, the possibilities are endless with this. But then they can equip that piece with a microchip so that in an emergency situation, first responders can scan that chip and get information about the person’s pre-existing conditions—any important medication that they need to take. So it’s trying to overcome the stigma of ugly medical jewelry and give people who need to wear medical IDs an opportunity to wear something pretty and stylish. So I thought that that was a very cool innovation. And that’s it—those are all my trends!

What did you think? You can always email me, Laryssa, at If you love this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on iTunes. To purchase a signed copy of my book, Jewelry Marketing Joy, visit for more information.

Thanks for listening! Remember to subscribe so you never miss an episode. For more information about working with Joy Joya, visit, where you can sign up to download our free eBooks about various topics in jewelry marketing.