Jewelry Trends

5 Jewelry Trends in 2021 for Women Going Back to the Office

By Beth Bernstein
September 7th, 2021

As we head back to our offices full-time or our employers have created a schedule that allows for working from home half the week and going in the other half, or some variation of that, we need to get back into real clothes and jewelry again. We have been advised what masks will work best for travel to, from and at our workplaces and we have figured out how to create fashionable uniforms out of staples in our wardrobes and flat shoes. If you are a jewelry enthusiast like me—your uniform usually acts as the backdrop for your favorite pieces and new styles you want to add to your collections, whether modern, vintage or antique, or all three.

Here are the looks we suggest you explore. Within each there is variety, therefore you can find the style that suits you best.

Those of us considering new jewelry trends for 2021 that we are seeing via online magazines and print magazines and social media, we are purchasing the pieces we covet for ourselves. This has been the case for 15 plus years. Women know their personal styles best. We have figured out we don’t need a man to purchase jewelry for us (although it’s always nice to receive a sentimental gift for a special occasion we share with our significant other). However, when it comes to celebrating a promotion or an event that we want to commemorate, we can buy those pieces for ourselves. It makes us feel empowered and independent and it imbues the pieces we purchase for ourselves with even more meaning.

For our re-entry into our offices, we are looking forward to new everyday jewelry pieces that go along with the trends but that are still timeless yet enduring. We are also looking towards pieces that help tell our story and display our individuality. It’s a tall order but there are a number of talented jewelry designers that have rejuvenated classics into unexpectedly elegant yet everyday pieces. We can also find some beautiful and rare antique or vintage styles that work together with the modern pieces.

The Treasured Talisman

A rendering of symbols of love, luck and protection from antique jewelry

The main trend we are seeing today is Treasured Talisman jewelry which has been evolving for the past five to ten years. It’s based on our desire to wear pieces that bring us love, luck, protection, guidance and strength and also journal our journey-from where we have been to where we are going . It is based on ancient amulets from different cultures and civilizations which kept evil away and brought good fortune, courage and health.

Symbolism of love and luck from the Victorian era are also present in modern interpretations and authentic antiques. Charms inspired by and from the mid-20th century which are more celebratory all are part of this mix. The chunky gold chain necklace and charm necklace with different links from which to hang favorite medallions and motifs, has taken over the charm bracelet and can feature one strong symbol or a range of them. The beauty of these type of necklaces is that you can purchase one at a time and add to them when you find those that most represent your beliefs, hope and where you are going. New purchases also rejuvenate pieces already in our collections or heirlooms.  These are particularly popular now due to the pandemic and those of us who need something to hold onto (literally and spiritually).

Chunkier Chains

Two antique watch fob chains joined together to form a longer chain

Why not join the Chain Gang if you are not a member already. All it takes is to purchase one wear-anywhere, with-anything yellow gold chain—preferably chunkier—one that can be worn by itself or with your treasured talisman. The choices are diverse and range from antique to vintage to modern chains or those that are inspired by the older styles.

The most popular are rounded curb chains that are imbued with the feeling of an antique watch fob chain as a choker or longer. Some designers are combining these with different weights of curbs or curb chains and basic cables for a more unique approach. Paper clip chains which are similar to the trombone chains of the past have also been showing up in all different lengths and can be worn ultra-long , doubled or tripled. Inspired by the 1970s and originals from that era include elongated rounded rectangular chains and those with textural interest in the links.

Once you chose your chain and your length, it will provide you with a range of ways to wear it. We suggest you start with one in a weight that feels comfortable and then you can add either more delicate or weightier chains for a graduated layered look.

Tennis Bracelets & Necklaces

A classic timeless white gold prong set diamond tennis bracelet

Did someone say, Tennis Anyone? Diamond tennis bracelets and necklaces have actually been around since the Art Deco period but the bracelets were called line or eternity bracelets. They went in and out of popularity through much of the 20th century in different settings, platinum and colors of gold. That all changed in the late 1970’s when Chris Evert’s diamond bracelet flew off her wrist and went flying. She stopped the match to look for the bracelet and ever since then, it earned it’s moniker of the tennis bracelet.

In the past several years, diamond tennis bracelets and necklaces have seen a renewed popularity in round diamonds, in different cuts and shapes such as marquise, baguette, princess and emerald and in colored gemstones. They are also set in bezel, channel and prong settings but are detailed with modern touches such as a pull thread in the back, an unexpected clasp, a mix of different stones shapes featured in one bracelet or necklace. These are the type of jewels that everyone woman needs  in her jewelry collection if she doesn’t have one already. And if she does, then she might want to add a more modern, current version which she can wear stacked with the ones she owns. Or wear one on each wrist. If you are choosing one for yourself, you might want to go more delicate and more subtle so you can wear it with your everyday rotation.

Hoop Earrings

Diamond hoops that reveal diamonds on the inside and outside of the hoops. They look great for the office as well as an evening

You ask, What’s All The Hoopla? It’s about trendy hoop earrings. When I think of hoop earrings, I think of the 60s and 70s—from models like Twiggy to actresses such as Natalie Wood and Ali McGraw—I can think of many more examples but hoops, which in ancient times had a bad rep, were the hot jewel of two eras— UK’s 60’s MOD fashion, and the U.S.’  70’s feminist movement or the beginning of the disco era.

Today’s most popular music icons such as J.Lo, Rihanna and Beyonce are huge fans of hoop earrings as are Hollywood’s A list actresses, wearing them often on the red carpet (before the pandemic and more recently at the Oscars and Cannes Film Festival).

Hoops are available in practically every style from twisted, braided and hammered, offering a tactile feeling to yellow gold, to diamond and gem set hoops in different shapes of stones to different silhouettes—round, inverted pear shapes, oval and a range of geometric styles. Huggies have made a comeback too—we haven’t seen this much creativity in them since the 1990s and they are being worn with a mix of studs and ear climbers when women have multiple piercing in their lobes. You should choose the hoops that complement your face shape best. But don’t just stop at one pair. There have become like chocolate—you can’t just have one. And it seems they are here to stay this time.

Rainbow Colors Abound

Rings is a range of different colored gemstones

In the words of the great Rolling Stones, “She’s A Rainbow,” which describes the trend toward the explosion of color from a mix of vibrant brights in different rainbow gemstone jewelry styles. But you don’t need to wear a mix of colors to make a bold statement.

Choose your favorite gemstone and go with a simple yet singular cocktail ring, or a pair of drop earrings. Pendants and bracelets are wonderful options too but I would suggest choosing earrings in a vivid color to brighten you face or as a ring as it is the piece of jewelry you can just look down at your hand and see without every looking in the mirror.

There are myriad choices in antique and modern styles. Some of the most timely yet enduring stone choices include: multi-color sapphires: violet lavender, green, light and bright pink and cornflower blue are most sought after. We are also seeing bicolor and watermelon tourmalines, violet and red spinel, all different shade of garnets such as tsavorite for the greens and mandarin  for the deep yellow/burnt orange. Emeralds, rubies and blue sapphires are always a wonderful option. Or go for a piece which combines unexpected colors such as faceted and opaque gems such as ruby and turquoise, or morganite and lapis.

Don’t Forget to Insure Your Treasures

When you stop by your jewelry store to shop for that special piece, be sure to protect your fine jewelry with a policy from a specialized jewelry insurance company like BriteCo. You can get your ring, bracelet, or necklace insurance in under two minutes on your smartphone. You’ll be protecting up to 125% of your piece’s value for loss, theft, damage and even what’s called mysterious disappearance. Visit BriteCo™ to get your FREE jewelry insurance quote and to learn why insuring your jewelry with Homeowners or Renters Insurance may not be your best option when you can get a very affordable, no deductible jewelry insurance policy from BriteCo with a monthly pay option.

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About the Author

Beth Bernstein is a jewelry historian, jewelry expert and collector of period and modern jewels—a purveyor of all things sparkly. She has a romance going on with the legend, language and sentiment behind the pieces. Her love for the story has inspired Beth to pen three books, with a fourth one in the works, and to spend the past twenty years as an editor and writer on the subject of jewels-old and new.
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