Color can have the power to lift your mood. Putting on a tie-dye tee or pastel dress can shift your mindset. But, one simple way to incorporate a little high saturation (even for neutral dressers) is the colorful neon jewelry trend. You might not think to associate acidic colors like dayglow pink, lime green, bright chartreuse, and blazing blue with fine jewelry. But, over the past year, designers have been incorporating high-powered hues into luxurious pieces like enamel and diamond rings, gleaming gold pendants, lucite hoops, and linked bracelets.
"There's a huge appetite for neon fine jewelry right now," Moda Operandi's market director of fine jewelry, Will Kahn tells TZR. "I was surprised by how popular it is. I think women are looking for something they don't already have in their jewel box, and that's neon!" Fine jeweler, Melissa Kaye — who launched a neon collection in May 2019 — tells TZR that neon is happy and a palette she wanted to explore, particularly when working with enamel. "I knew injecting neon enamel into my collection would be a risk and potentially disrupt the way people looked at fine jewelry. It was important to me that the collection remained elevated in these new striking enamel colors," Kaye says.
Starting with a best-selling earring in her collection — a marquise-shaped hoop with diamonds called the Cristina — Kaye realized how elevated the vibrant hues could be. "We found that combining the neon enamel with diamonds was the perfect representation of 'fun luxury'!"
With summer nearing, neon jewelry's vibrancy feels especially pertinent, and even more so if you're in the market for a pick-me-up post-quarantine. "I think when summer comes around, people love adding a little pop of color to their accessories," Alison Chemla, the creative director and designer of Alison Lou, tells TZR — making pieces like her neon jelly hoops, amour enamel cuff, and tiny huggies an enjoyable foray into the trend.
From Kahn's viewpoints, neon fine jewelry is fun and fresh for summer. "These bright colors are an instant mood lifter," he says. Of course, not everyone wants to or can invest in a pricy neon piece. But already, the trend is translating to the contemporary and affordable corners of the market from vibrant chord bracelets to gold vermeil pieces with neon accents. Keep scrolling to witness joyful neon jewelry and shop the edit of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Plus, take in styling tips from Kahn, Kaye, and Chemla to maximize the thrill of neon for months and years to come.
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How to Wear Neon Jewelry: Just a Pop
A statement earring is ideal for those emboldened by neon. Otherwise, Chemla recommends easing into the trend with a smaller stud. "[It will] add some color to an ear story," she says.
How to Wear Neon Jewelry: Style With Neutrals
"Neon looks great with neutrals like white, tan, and camel," says Kahn, who recommends bolder pieces like Melissa Kaye's hot-pink enamel and diamond hoops or Eera's neon Chiara earrings that look like diamond-encrusted carabiners. "They are sold as single earrings so you can mix and match," he says of the unique style.
Kaye tells TZR that, to her, neon is unexpectedly neutral. "Like many New Yorkers, I tend to dress in black. However, it's always fun to inject a little pop of color into an otherwise neutral wardrobe, and jewelry is the perfect opportunity."
How to Wear Neon Jewelry: Embrace Minimalism
A piece of neon jewelry is an excellent way to amplify minimalist attire, be it a slip dress, slim-fit tank with trousers, bodysuit, and jeans. "I think that basing your outfit around your piece of neon jewelry is the best way to elevate your look," says Chemla. "Keep the rest simple and let the jewelry do the talking!"
How to Wear Neon Jewelry: Pair With Diamonds
When designing her first neon collection, Kaye discovered how well acidic colors work in all jewelry categories and the refined effect of pairing them with diamonds. "It's the perfect combination of playful and sophisticated, she said. "We love mixing neons as well as pairing [them] with gold and diamond pieces for an uptown-meets-downtown look that's polished with a bit of an edge. There are endless ways to style your jewelry wardrobe, and there are really are no rules, so have fun with it!"