Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word

Design Idea F30W Necklace and Earrings

by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

A statement is a declaration of who you are and defines what you are about. You are making a claim on the personal identity you wish to project. A statement says, "This is me, this is what I stand for and this is what I like." Though it is quite often expressed in words and song ("I'm a Man" sang Muddy Waters in perhaps the ultimate statement song), a statement can also be made as an artistic, non-verbal expression.
Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word

The first statements made by prehistoric humans were most likely non-verbal, perhaps made with a weapon, such as a club or spear to claim territory and proclaim dominance. But powerful, lasting statements were also made using symbols, such as cave paintings which have survived over 30,000 years. The primitive paintings evolved into pictograms (illustrations) and ideograms (representing ideas)--the first logos.

Ancient Egyptians and Greeks communicated using a combination of symbols and words, perhaps the first use of multi-media. For many years, beads have been used as symbols for prayer, for currency and other purposes. And of course, beads are used for decoration and self-expression including making a statement. Gemstones, especially birthstones, help others connect with and celebrate who we are.

What is Statement Jewelry

Thank goodness there is no rules committee or published standards that dictate what is and what isn't a statement piece--no judges, but there is the court of public opinion. Determining what is a statement piece is an instinctive response, a perception thing: "I'll know it when I see it." And this gives us a lot of room to work with because there are as many conceptions of what is a statement as there are people considering it.

Generally speaking a statement piece is:
  • Big, bold, bright, flashy, complex, unique, an eye-grabber, a head-turner, a topic of conversation
  • Subtlety is out. "I'm good and I'm different, I know it and now you know it."
When would you intentionally set out to create a statement piece of jewelry? Here are two good examples:
  1. On commission--the artist creates a statement piece reflective of the desires and personality of the person who is paying for the work.
  2. The designer-artist wants to showcase a new, different, exciting design, technique or design element(s).
Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word

What Makes an Ideal Statement Piece

Many of the designs that have won a prize in one of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads jewelry-making contests could be considered a statement piece, but plenty of other designs certainly qualify. Let's look at a few contest design ideas typifying some of the aspects of statement jewelry.

Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word BIG

When thinking big, it's easy to think bib, as in bib-style necklace. The large size offers plenty of opportunity to use a multitude and variety of components.


This kind of jewelry statement can involve a daring use of components or to "boldly go where no design has gone before" with form.

On Dragon's Wings by Debbie Benninger makes a daring use of wirework, gemstone cabochons and Crystal Passions® crystal components, and was a Grand Prize Employee's Choice winner in the 2015 Metal jewelry-making contest.

Bright and Flashy

Crystal Passions crystal immediately came to mind to demonstrate bright and flashy as seen in this necklace. Though not sparkly like Crystal Passions, intricate wirework designs can be flashy as well, catching the eye by the complex designs that can be created with our large selection of wire.

Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word


Because of their small size, seed beads can lead to quite a complex design, presented in this Grand Prize Gold Medal winner in the 2012 Seed Bead contest.

Unique, Eye-Grabber, Head Turner

Not confined to just necklaces and bracelets, statement jewelry can come in many forms including earrings and studs.

Jewelry as home décor offers unlimited potential to make a unique statement as seen in Zena the lizard made with glass seed beads and jasper gemstone beads.

An eye-grabbing design is this necklace (below) of seed beads, Crystal Passions crystals and cane glass fashioned to look like crayons.
Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word

Jewelry Makes a Statement without Saying a Word What has been presented here is by no means an exhaustive examination of all of the possibilities for statement jewelry, however it should serve to give you a clearer understanding of what is possible.

Given the possible combinations of the many thousands of jewelry-making components, the opportunities for self-expression through jewelry are virtually limitless.

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