Roughing It

Design Idea J32Z Necklace

by Ambyre Phelps, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

A rising trend on the fashion scene is rough, natural-looking jewelry. Freeform slabs, geode and agate slices and other materials that have a ''straight from the earth'' look are showing up in some very fashionable places. Top jewelry designers are incorporating unpolished or roughly cut adornments to create a modern statement with an earthy vibe. This style is about finding the beauty in things that are natural, and minimally altered by people.

The look is represented most often by statement pieces that use oversized components and unusual shapes. Large cocktail rings, cuffs and extra-long pendants are favorite silhouettes. Think minimalist--where a single rough material is the focus. When creating this style, natural elements pair beautifully with burnished or antiqued metals or leather. For a rough jewelry design that's truly contemporary, there are a few materials that mark this trend.

Design Idea B22M Earrings Design Idea DA0H Necklace and Earrings

Some Key Components for ''Roughing it'':

Quartz Crystal: Nothing is cooler than icy crystal quartz. Double points have a bohemian yet futuristic feel, while irregularly shaped nuggets lend an organic shape to jewelry. Tourmalinated and rutilated quartz varieties have striking visual impact, with contrasting material suspended within the transparent stone. Available in many variations, crystal quartz is a fabulously modern choice.

Rough-Cut Gemstones: Diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds have long represented wealth and power. Traditionally seen in highly polished and faceted varieties, these high end gemstones take on a hip, contemporary vibe when presented in rough-cut form. The juxtaposition of a rare material and a rough finish is the key to this look.

Agate Slices and Sparkling Geodes: These dramatic focal components are one of the most popular representations of this trend. The look here is an ordinary rock, with extraordinary characteristics. Geodes feature a rough outer surface with delicate druzy crystals in the center. For a different take, the concentric banding of agate slices creates a stunning pattern. Keeping the embellishment simple allows these one-of-a-kind rocks to shine.

Design Idea J501 Earrings Design Idea 9709 Necklace

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Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Roughing It," featured in the a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Just read the article and loved it. Guess I am on the right track since I have been using these rough cut stones since last year, folks really do love the large chunky earthy feel. Keep those articles coming! Have a great day."
- Teresa