Geometric shapes in jewelry is a trend that has been growing in popularity over the years with no end in sight. Geometric rings for engagement, geometric necklaces for all sorts of accessorizing, geometric earrings in ring jacket designs to create explosions of creativity and twists to traditional earrings. No matter what kind of design you're going for, there's plenty of options and some that you might not have thought of using before. Read on about some of the designs you can incorporate into your jewelry, so you stay in the loop.
Geometric Designs in Jewelry
Triangles and trapezoids, polygons and pentagons--all types of geometric shapes are showing up in designer lines. Even basic circle and square shapes become a part of amazing pieces when grouped together. Geometric designs are appealing because they intrigue many buyers. Some geometric pieces appear futuristic, vintage or retro while others may just have the appeal of timeless style. It all depends on how the varying shapes are put together.
The popular edgy, industrial geometric look of the past has matured into asymmetrical styles--some with a hint of tribal inspiration. Experiment with geometric shapes and patterns with bold stripes and abstract colors for statement style. You could take a page from other top designers and companies like Tiffany's (who launched a line of geometric engagement bands), or Mexican jewelry designers like Ivón Fuentes, Daniel Espinosa and Georgina Treviño. All three designers, who take their inspirations from their native country of Mexico, have different visual aesthetics, but love to use the geometric designs found in nature in their work.
Geometric designs can be bold and chunky like bib necklaces with large geometric shapes, or small and simple such as a few circle pendants on a chain. Single, oversized stones look great on bangles and rings. Another growing trend has been the overlapping of patterns to create new and unique designs such as stacking circles, teardrops, squares and triangle rings on the same finger. Just those four patterns alone could be reconfigured into 24 unique possible combinations! Another favored trend for geometric designs is negative space jewelry (where your design incorporates openings and empty space), which when combined with geometric patterns can create minimalistic but futuristic designs.
Geometric Shapes and Their Importance
Triangles, circles, squares and everything in between are the go-to for aesthetically pleasing visuals in designs because of their simplistic nature. You don't need to have complex patterns to create an eye-catching design when a simple triangle can do it better. In fact, that has been one of the greatest appeals of geometric pattern is their simplistic designs.
A rectangle dangling from the chain around your neck, lined with writing. Sound familiar? The popular vertical bar necklaces. It's elegant, goes great with many styles and, what's more, it is simple. Even outside of the world of jewelry you can see how geometric shapes can be iconic and appealing. For example, take three triangles and stack them into a triangular form and you create the iconic Triforce symbol of the 1986 video game Legend of Zelda®, created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Five interlocking rings, and you have a symbol that is universally recognized and celebrated every 2 years around the world--the Olympic Rings®.
Fun Fact: The designer of the Olympic Rings, Pierre de Coubertin, said in 1931 the following about the creation of the design: "The Olympic flag has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red. This design is symbolic; it represents the five continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colours are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time" (at the time, the five continents referred to Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas).
Let's look at some of the more popular shapes.
The simple square and other box-like shapes have been around for some time and in so many different variations. Swarovski® baguette fancy stones, for example, have been around for over a hundred years at this point, but have been gaining increasing popularity. The baguette stone was named after the French bread (no seriously!) because of its long and skinny design. You could also use rectangular shapes with your choice of findings, settings or any number of materials. As mentioned above, one of the most popular fashion trends was a simple vertical bar!
Triangles are huge for several reasons. One of the most powerful symbols in sacred geometry, it represents so much with its simplistic design. Two points form the base, one forms the tip: Earth, sky and human. It has been a symbol associated with so much since the dawning of human civilization. For the ancient Egyptians it represented fertile land on its own, and when made three-dimensional it became a symbol of everlasting. For Hinduism, a triangle pointed down symbolizes shakti, which is the representation of female energy. If its pointed upright, it becomes shiva or male energy, and if you combine the two triangles you get the six-pointed star--the unification of male and female in harmony.
The triquetra of the celts, the valknut of the Vikings, it represented all the base elements of life in alchemy. Even Pythagoras (yes, the one the math formula is named after) taught that the triangle was the symbol of life, light, and heaven and revered it as a symbol of the god Apollo. Point up or point down? The orientation of a triangle in a jewelry piece can bring additional meaning to the design. It is commonly believed that a point-up triangle represents stability because of its solid base and illustrates ascension toward the spiritual world. A point-down triangle shows a descent into the physical world.
The circle is another simplistic design that hides a deeper complexity to it than initially observed. Sometimes called the shadow of a sphere, the circle can be empty space or a solid disc. It can be filled with gemstones and designs or left bare and highlight something that it has been placed around. It draws the eye to a center point, the focus point of the circle, and reminds one of the infinite connections. In sacred geometry, the circle is considered the purist of designs, representing infinity and oneness at the same time and that all other symbols in geometry reflect the perfection of the circle.
Even in nature its status is upheld as the pinnacle shape for the building blocks of the universe; the shape of atoms, cells, planets, stars and so many other designs. When you have two overlapped circles, you create the vesical piscis that has been used for centuries to represent mutual understanding of equal individuals and seeing eye to eye spiritually. It also features heavily in Christian art as the aureola--the golden aura that surrounds figures such as Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Stars can come in a variety of flavors depending on your personal desires. They can be pentagram in nature, the five-sided star, or they could instead be pentagon using negative space to define the shape. They could also be starburst patterns, or you can also incorporate sacred geometry into your designs by using the merkaba star tetrahedron.
The Merkaba star tetrahedron, sometimes called a three-dimensional Star of David, consist of two interlocking tetrahedrons (three-dimensional pyramids) and is said in sacred geometry to embody the geometric and energetic representation of heaven and earth, the human body, male and female and is sometimes considered to represent the physical shape of human energy on higher planes of existence. It is not uncommon for sacred geometry to incorporate the metaphysical aspect of crystals, so if you decide to use geometric patterns like the merkaba star you should keep in mind the metaphysical properties of gemstones to enhance its power.
Designing with Geometric Patterns
When it comes to designing with geometric patterns, remember that form can say more on its own than anything else. You can create a design that is very minimalistic, very sleek and designed to draw the attention toward other parts of the body. Triangles to draw the eye in lines across the body, squares and circles as focal points while stars can be used to send the eyes scattering.
Circles are a visually appealing look that you can incorporate by themselves or with other shapes. If you take a design that uses very little to embellish it, you will be surprised by how many of your friends or customers will start asking questions about it. Take for example this design here, featuring two circles and a star that has five jet hematite crystals embellished into it. The negative space inside of the two circles and the star create a powerful look that doesn't feel clunky. Its design is simplistic enough that you can combine it with multiple outfits with no modification necessary. Replace the long chain with a smaller chain to change its length into a bracelet or include a longer chain for a plunging neckline look.
By contrast, this set of earrings here scream the atomic nature of the circle. The inclusion of the wire loops of different lengths and at different levels means that as the earrings move, the circles will shift in their orbit like an atom. Include a tiny gemstone and you have a nucleus or sun which the planets orbit. Both designs are extremely simple, with very little in terms of materials. And yet both have such a powerful feel to them, utilizing geometric patterns to invoke feelings in the onlooker.
Triangles are pleasing to the eye in jewelry designs since they naturally follow the "rule of three" design principle. The idea behind this principle is that objects grouped in odd numbers are more appealing and create more impact than even-numbered arrangements. Odd-numbered designs create harmony and force movement and visual interest. Make a simple statement with a triangle-shaped Swarovski crystal pendant necklace or combine multiple triangle-shaped jump rings for dangly earrings. Jewelry artists are also incorporating the triangle-inspired chevron pattern into beads and designs for a bold appearance.
Start your own triangle-motif jewelry designs with a wide selection of triangle-shaped beads, pendants and jewelry-making components. There's a style for everyone in this trend with triangle shapes available in wood, crystal, metal and clay materials. Thanks to its simple geometric lines, the triangle lends itself well to extravagant colors, extreme sizes and over-the-top details.
Squares can serve a similar design choice as circles, drawing the attention to areas, but also can act as lines on the body for the eye to follow. How you might ask? Just turn them slightly and your square is suddenly a diamond, which indicates the paths for your eyes to follow. With the inclusion of gemstones into the design, you can highlight the gemstone and make it the centerpiece attraction such as this design here. The eyes are drawn immediately to the stones in the center, and then the slightly thicker gold around it acts to block the eyes from focusing on anything around the gemstones.
Similarly, you can use designs that incorporate the square and little to nothing else to maintain the minimalist design. Use square shaped gemstones or open components for negative space and you have a chic and simple design, or turn it sideways and you create a diamond-shaped pendant or necklace to draw the eye. Use elongated gemstones, the baguette cut, to create slimming designs that require little work to match them to outfits.
You can also use diamond-shaped focals, especially the Swarovski® crystals, for geometric designs as well as beautiful crystals all in the same look.
Star Patterns and Combining Shapes
Stars can be a fun and colorful way to design your jewelry. One option is to stick to the traditional design, combining it with Swarovski® crystal rhinestones to create a light catching and brilliant look, such as the design here. However, experiment with additional designs such as using seed beads to create an explosion of stardust, which goes well into combining geometric shapes together. Using just the concept of triangles and squares, you can create the below design, a minimalistic but impressive look that mimics the look of a starburst.
Or use circles and triangles and you get an exciting yet clean design, highlighting the gemstone featured in the center of the open circle while the individual lines coming from the inner circle create an almost star-like appearance behind the triangles.
Architecture jewelry, while not strictly related to geometric jewelry, still uses some of the same elements but with an eye toward more open structural elements, three dimensional designs and artistic expression over status and wealth. For example, architectural rings will have clearly separated pieces, such as placing the gemstone pronouncedly higher than the base of the ring, or placing the gemstone into a setting of a different size. Meanwhile, architectural necklaces might include a clearly building-designed motif; this piece, which features the building entrance into a mountain fortress with clear elephant motifs around the entrance, uses geometric patterns on its surface but also architectural themes.
All of these are up to you to take inspiration from, and its always fun to mix and match designs. Find the patterns that you or your customers will enjoy the most; look at the geometric patterns that are around you for inspiration. If there are a lot of circles in your area, maybe focusing on circle-themed gemstones to be more appealing. Use colors that pop, because geometric patterns work very well with vibrant colors, and remember that you don't need extravagance and instead can focus on small and simple patterns. Now, while you look for your next pattern, I'm going to figure out if we have any geometric bears since it's the mascot of our area here at Fire Mountain Gems.
Design with ...
Additional Resources ...
How did you like this resource? Your feedback helps us provide resources that matter to you most.