By Hannah Connorton
Studs in geometric shapes and with colored gemstones are styles retailers should consider stocking alongside classic diamond earrings this Christmas.Each year, National Jeweler contacts independent jewelry store owners the day after Christmas to gauge their top-sellers for the season and stud earrings always are near the top of the list. 

“I think no matter what, your top stud is going to be a diamond stud,” says Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich Jewelers in Manhattan. “The diamond halo (stud) is a classic style, we sell a lot of those during the holidays, but there are companies that are now reinterpreting that.”

How, you may ask? By substituting the diamonds for gemstones, Gandia says. 

“I think colored gemstones as a stud will be very popular this year. Designers are giving the stud a little bit of a fresher look by adding a rose-cut labradorite with a diamond frame, or some other kind of popular, contemporary gemstone. We buy that style, as well as a lot of Jamie Joseph bezel-set stud earrings we sold last year.”

Gandia says her store also sells a lot of Zoe Chicco studs, specifically her pyramid-shaped earrings. 

“Geometric shapes are definitely popular, and we did order a lot of geometric styles this year. It will remain to be seen if that’s a popular item, or if it’s more of a self-purchase. But that’s OK too, because when women shop they think, ‘One for you, one for me.’ They buy it for themselves, so you still need to have that product.”

Self-purchasing might extend beyond trendy geometric styles this holiday season. 

In Brattleboro, Vt. at Evan James Ltd., owner Evan James Deutsch says he recently had a woman self-purchase a pair of diamond studs. Still, he says the majority of people buying this style are husbands for wives, or boyfriends for girlfriends.

However, there’s a newer style at the store--“a different take on diamond studs,” Deutsch says--that will be popular this year.

“We’re starting to sell multi-diamond studs, like four 20-point diamonds that together look like a 1-carat diamond, but at a much less expensive price point,” he says.  

Traditional pearl studs are also a best-selling category at the store, the American Gem Society jeweler says. Pearls ranging in size from 4 to 7 mm with a diamond accent or diamond bezel sell for weddings, Valentine’s Day and the holiday season.

Price-point wise, Deutsch says $199 to $399 retail is the sweet spot for a pair of gemstone or pearl stud earrings, while some customers will spend $400 to $500 to snag studs of a larger size. 

“But, the $200 to $300 range is the bread-and-butter of any successful retailer jeweler,” he says. 

When it comes to diamond studs, Deutsch says he carries pairs that range anywhere from $100 into the five figures, “but I think that a $700 to $1,200 is a good price point for diamond studs. We have a diamond trade-in guarantee, so if you buy a pair from us and want to change it for a larger pair (later), then you get all of your purchase price back.”

Aside from being a staple holiday season jewelry purchase year after year, stud earrings were a common fixture on the red carpet in 2014. 

At the Golden Globes in January, celebrities wore large diamond stud earrings and gold earrings with diamond pave on the red carpet. The same looks were spotted at the Emmy Awards and at MTV’s Video Music Awards, among other star-studded events.

At the JA New York Summer show in July, Jewelers of America’s Director of Public Relations and Special Events Amanda Gizzi stated in a seminar on trend forecasting that “abstract minimalism” would be a trend for the upcoming holiday season and into 2015. 

She defined abstract minimalism as jewelry with clean lines, unfussy silhouettes, diamond pavé, pearl accents and high-quality materials, noting that “A focus on quality is what allows the minimalism to work, with pavé and pearl accents.”

Stud earrings can provide all of these on-trend qualities: clean lines and unfussy silhouettes rule geometric pieces, and diamond pavé around gemstones fits with popular diamond-framed gemstone pairs that sell well at Greenwich Jewelers. High-quality materials include studs made in gold, platinum and silver with gemstones and diamonds.

“Larger cluster ‘stud’ earrings give maximum impact and bling for the budget,” Gizzi tells National Jeweler. “Colored gemstones and diamond versions are great gifts.”

This story originally appeared in the inaugural issue of National Jeweler’s online-only magazine. View the entire publication here.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.