Based on trends from the June 2012 Las Vegas Couture Show, American Estate Jewelry reports a strong growth of interest in the silver cuff
. The annual jewelry event, exclusively hosting the top 300 U.S. couture retail jewelers, revealed a new appeal of silver cuffs-plus. The plus means that, though the bracelets are made largely of silver, designers are now taking a fresh approach, adding precious stones, gold touches and nature-inspired textures. As July 4th draws near, consumers can enjoy cuffs-plus from American Estate and feel pride knowing they are made in America.
At the Couture Show, precious stones were featured in designs by Katie Decker, such as an openwork sterling cuff with white sapphires, retailing for $1,563. Lauren Harper won a Couture Design Award for her matte sterling cuff rimmed with moonstones and white topaz in three bands.
Tiny Jewel Box, one of America's top couture jewelers, favors American Estate's handcrafted, exquisitely detailed Chrysanthemum Cuff with Cabochon Sapphires for $750 and its Bamboo Cuff with Natural Turquoise
for $920. The Bamboo cuff and accompanying pieces are also available with large, faceted natural crystal quartz. Particularly popular in DC is American Estate's Cherry Blossom Cuff with Pink Tourmalines.
Silver cuffs-plus were also featured in Buccellati's couture collection. Its blossom cuff with gold exterior touches, made in Italy, is offered at Bloomingdale's in NYC for $1,300. Works Gallery, also on the upper East side of Manhattan, showcases The Three Bloom Peony Cuff
, handcrafted by Galmer in America. Created using the rare repousse' technique, the cuff features three plump sculptural blooms, gold textured centers and romantic openwork, for $750. As part of the American Estate collection, all made in the USA, Galmer has also touched 24K gold on the exteriors of The Wild Iris Cuff and The Touch of Gold Peony Cuff. Additionally, the Galmer signature is a 24K gold lining inside every cuff in the collection.
Smooth silver cuff surfaces were not in evidence at the Couture Show. Instead, the textures of nature were abundant in Buccellati's collection as they are in American Estate pieces. Buccellati's vine leaf cuff for $1,200 features tiny same-sized leaves forming a geometric impression. Galmer's Vineyard Cuff recently introduced by American Estate for $725 also features natural textures, and openwork between large grape leaves beautifully veined. The Palm Cuff features sensuous linear detail.
In the past, the Couture show was dominated by gold and large gemstones. Now luxury silver is welcomed due to exquisite design and expressiveness. Silver designers' creativity and experimentation is allowed, in part, by the lower cost of silver vs. gold. Why the silver cuff? Carolyn O'Keefe, founder of American Estate Jewelry, offers two reasons. First, the bold elegance fits the American woman's confident style. And, second, O'Keefe notes, "The silver cuff is an American legacy
In the 1900's the American Stieff Company created its classic repousse’ rose cuff by rolling sterling silver over a molded surface. Today Tiffany offers its cherubic cuffs created by the same technique using original molds from the turn of the century. Galmer revives this tradition with changes today’s women seek. It’s the classic American cuff done several notches better with a snug, more comfortable fit, tapered edges, a higher, sturdier silver weight, sophisticated floral designs and the new "plus" features so popular at Couture.