That’s right – I have another Vegas recap post ready for you!! Today, we’re going to look at some of my favorite glittering sights from the mammoth JCK Las Vegas trade show.
JCK Las Vegas, if you’re not familiar with it, is one of the major trade shows that anchor Jewelry Market Week in Las Vegas. JCK is so vast, it’s almost more like a city of small trade shows than one big one. The show is divided into neighborhoods where exhibitors are organized in various ways, from the up and coming designers in the Rising Stars to the ultra glam of the Luxury section and a hundred more distinctions. I could have spent a whole week there and not seen everything.
That said: I did see quite a few things at JCK, and so many of them are worth sharing with you! Let’s dive in.
I was so excited to see what new treasures Omi Prive was showing at JCK Las Vegas that I showed up to my 4 pm appointment with them at 10 am. Because the Omi Prive team is wonderful, they rolled with it and handed over the goods even though I was a full 6 hours early.
Just look at these rings! You would have shown up 6 hours early, too.
Here’s a closer look at this glorious Omi Prive opal behemoth. Goodness gracious. I know I had it on my hand, but it still blows me away, even in photos.
It won’t shock you to learn that this beauty is an award-winner.
Rahaminov Diamonds was another JCK Las Vegas stop I was very excited to make. I’d been pining for these earrings, ever since I saw them on my friend Ben’s Instagram months earlier. I loved them so much I’d already featured them in Instore Magazine, even before seeing them in person.
What’s the big deal with these? They use carre cut diamonds, an unusual cut that you don’t see much in pieces like this. They don’t sparkle as aggressively as another cut of this size would, but I think their sharp angles and clean facets are irresistible, especially in these sleek bezel settings. I’m wearing two separate pairs here, one dangling trio of carre cuts and one three carat stud. I was expecting to love the dangles more, but I think those giant studs have my heart (video here).
The Rahaminov Diamonds necklace I have on is worth mentioning, too! What a stunner.
In addition to their exceptional stones, Rahaminov Diamonds is known for their flower designs. It’s not hard to understand why, while looking at this beauty.
Please consider that shower of light to be concrete evidence of these diamonds’ superlative quality. See it in action here.
From incomparable diamond classics to the cutting edge of design, we’re going to look next at one of my favorites from the Rising Stars section of JCK Las Vegas, which is dedicated to up and coming brands.
A lot of designers are doing interesting work, but little h is one whose ideas I would describe as truly innovative. She creates “pearl geodes” by cutting open pearls in various ways and setting their insides with diamonds, gems, or even smaller pearls. It creates an otherworldy effect that’s just not like anything else out there.
You can see a video of these rings on my Instagram.
I don’t care much about pearls in a general way: they just don’t get me excited. But I’d wear any piece of little h’s, anytime, anywhere. Just look at this bonanza of color and texture. You know you love it.
When I look at this pendant, I hear the voice from the movie Aladdin saying “THE CAAAVEE OF WONDERSSS” when Aladdin is seeking the genie’s lamp. You know the scene – there’s a giant tiger made of sand.
I’ve seen and loved little h’s designs a few times, but JCK Las Vegas this year was the first time I’d had the pleasure of meeting the designer herself. I love getting to meet the artists behind the pieces I admire.
Speaking of adoring the people behind the jewels: these delicate, irresistible dendritic quartz pieces are the work of one of my favorite ladies in the jewelry industry, Judi Powers.
I actually had so much fun chatting with Judi that I forgot to take very many pictures of her work, which is a shame. These dendritic beauties were one of my favorites, as well as this chalcedony ring, which can only be properly captured in video.
Judi was kind enough to introduce me to a young designer who immediately became one of my favorite new discoveries of the entire week: Lillian Ismail.
Lillian’s strong, architectural designs are a blend of Art Deco inspiration with 70’s flair and a panache that is fully modern and utterly irresistible. Just look at that ring – could it be any more effortlessly cool? I already want to be friends with the woman who is wearing it even though I know the woman who’s wearing it here is me.
Here are two more designs. The turquoise and onyx color combo has a strong Art Deco vibe, but the design itself is all modern.
Lillian Ismail had a lot of other really cool pieces, too, but I wasn’t able to photograph them well. Go check her out on Instagram, her designs are fantastic.
Another exciting new discovery from the JCK Las Vegas Rising Stars section: Baiyang Qiu!
This ethereal and award-winning brooch, which I think looks like a cross between soap bubbles, grapes, spiderwebs, and frost, is handmade from fine guage platinum wire. The amount of skill it took to execute this – as well as the vision it required to dream of it in the first place – is fully mind-boggling.
Delicate webbings of precious wire is Baiyang Qiu signature style; she uses the technique sculpturally, as above, or to adorn more traditionally shaped pieces like the rings in this photo. The effect is beautiful and so out of the ordinary.
Here’s another favorite Baiyang Qiu piece, a little platinum and sapphire pendant.
I know that I’ve said “favorite” a lot in this post (and I’m probably not done saying it), but you have to understand that there are thousands of pieces of jewelry on display at Jewelry Market Week; probably thousands at the JCK Las Vegas show alone. I have 10 or more appointments each day and meet more people at every turn; I see and handle endless designs. Anyone who makes it into the recap truly is a favorite.
Pyrrrha was another brand I was delighted to see in the Rising Stars at JCK Las Vegas. Their line is inspired by the symbolism in Victoria-era seals, which you can bet I’m a fan of.
This itty bitty crossed keys necklace is a design from their latest collection, which expands the brand’s offerings from all silver into 14k gold. I adore the scale of this piece; it’s so tiny and adorable!
I hope you’re ready for more gorgeous gems, because we’re about to talk about V Tse Jewelry.
V Tse’s designs are spectacularly, unapologetically, exuberantly over-the-top glamorous and they know it. Huge, exceptional stones set in designs so explosively sumptuous that it seems like they should be allowed – but they’re 100% legit and just as irresistible. This crazy yellow diamond cuff is a perfect example.
Victoria of V Tse is exactly like her designs, but in human form – she’s a spitfire with a larger-than-life personality and I had so much fun with her that I was significantly late to my next appointment (oops).
You see what I mean? Where another designer would have said “oh no, that’s too extravagant” V Tse just says “yes.” This video of her 50+ carat sphene ring will show you what I mean, if you’re not convinced already.
Just for good measure, here’s one more shot from V Tse. The diamond bracelet handful to end all diamond bracelet handfulls.
Funny story: the first thing we with these was to fasten them all on my wrist. There were so many in a stack that it was hard to get them off. Victoria and I started joking about how we might have to “cut it off.” It took a few minutes for us to realize I was joking about cutting off the bracelet stack, which she was assuming I meant we would cut off my arm.
I was very amused. Talk about #jewelrydesignerpriorities! (Please note that no diamonds or limbs were harmed.)
JCK Las Vegas was extra special this year because I wasn’t just an attendee: JCK invited me to speak at this year’s show on a panel about Influencers in the jewelry industry. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with fellow bloggers Liza Urla of Gemologue and Katerina Perez about our respective platforms’ goals, as well as having the chance to answer our fascinating audience’s questions about blogger collaborations with brands.
Thanks so much to JCK for this honor, and to my fellow panelists and our moderator, JCK’s Mark Smelzer, for making it such a great event!