Munich. March 19, 2020. Interchangeable jewels that offer multiple looks in one main piece are a jewelry lover’s dream! At this year’s Inhorgenta Fair in Munich, held in mid-February, convertible options were on offer at both low and higher price points.
Nine-year-old Fruit Bijoux out of Sopot, Poland, is the handiwork of Simon and Marta Ciechorski. Simon is a onetime product designer who experimented with myriad jewelry concepts until his screw-on sterling silver, 24k gold plate, and geometric-shape resin and metal rings took form.
“The concept allows you to have one band with multiple different tops,” he explained at the Fair.
The aesthetic—though not the interchangeability—carries over into earrings and necklaces, with nugget-like silhouettes also available. All jewelry is made in Poland, and retail prices start around €30. While the line is widely sold throughout Europe, you’ll have to travel to Pistachio in Chicago find it stateside.
Retail prices for interchangeable rings in sterling silver and 24k gold plate with geometric-shape resin or metal tops start at €30; email email@example.com at Pistachio in Chicago for availability and purchase.
Seasoned jewelry designer Marcel Roelofs (in business since 1977) makes high-end interchangeable jewels by way of the Vario clasp system, an invention by the Jörg Heinz company in 1974. Once Heinz’s patent period expired in the mid ’90s, firms like Roelofs were able to utilize it in their designs.
“The clasp is spring-loaded,” Roelofs explained at the fair. “You push it in and give it a quarter turn, and you can feel it lock. It’s like a little key.”
He made the convertible clasp concept his own through bold designs in 18k gold and platinum with graphic freeform slabs of one-of-a-kind gemstones sourced from vendors largely based in Brazil. U.S. stone cutter Steve Walters frequently provides custom-cut gems to Roelofs.
Some of Roelofs’ latest works include steel chains with black PVD coatings and the occasional 18k gold link to offer a lower price point. He’s not using sterling chains because the deep black color he loves eventually wears off on silver, though not in steel. Every chain requires one of his Vario clasps, some of which feature Murano glass instead of gems to keep costs lower.
While the Dutch-born artist works out of Dusseldorf, Germany, his favorite clients hail from the U.S.
“The U.S. mentality is that they are willing to show and wear what they have,” he says. “I can sell bigger pieces in the States.”
Necklace with natural-color pink freshwater pearls and platinum and 18k yellow gold Vario clasp featuring pink opal with colorless diamonds, $10,300; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
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