Precious gems and shiny metals may come from the earth, but designers routinely look upwards, into space for inspiration. As such, 2021's next jewelry trend is inspired by the stars and moon. But the current draw goes beyond general fascinations with the galaxy or attachments to zodiac signs — as the events of the past year unfolded, one’s universal connectivity has seemingly sparked a renewed interest. “We believe people take comfort in the idea of something so much bigger than themselves, especially during dark times like 2020,” Sorellina cofounder Kim Carosella tells TZR. Her cofounder sister Nicole Carosella says there’s a whimsical draw to celestial jewelry, too. “Jewelry with celestial motifs like moons, stars, constellations, and zodiacs spark a sense of joy and magic, and are associated with luck, love, and protection,” she says — what better justification for buying new baubles with guiding or uplifting forces to them?
The Lunar New Year has similarly played into the current celestial buzz — including crescent moons, shooting stars, and constellation-inspired designs — and served as inspiration for New York-based fine jeweler Ashley Zhang. “I felt the celestial pieces were on-trend and complement the existing collections,” she explains of her new cosmic creations. “These pieces are a perfect reminder of interconnection wherever one might be, near or far, especially during this time with many separated from friends and family.”
Though celestial jewelry’s magic and mystery are an allure to Colette Steckel, the founder and designer of Colette Jewelry, she also perceives positivity and imbues her designs with it — another relevant theme for those shopping for jewels. “I feel like there’s this underlying meaning that implies ‘anything is possible’ — a ‘reach for the stars’ mentality, a reminder to always look up and ahead,” she explains. “Their talismanic-appeal plus their undeniable beauty is making them more and more popular, especially in such uncertain times.”
Another benefit to the celestial jewelry trend: introspectiveness and empowerment. Beth Bugdaycay, the cofounder and creative director of the symbol-driven jewelry line Foundrae, tells TZR that the cosmic themes she works with are some of the most ancient and universal of all of the symbols the brand uses. “[They] help us to recall and relate to the ancient belief systems about who we are and what shapes us,” she explains. “Our pieces are intended to evolve over time with the wearer and to serve as gentle reminders that everything they want is already inside them.”
Kim Carosella says pieces like Sorellina’s Le Stelle Tarot Card intend to remind the wearer that light will always rise from darkness. “This feels especially meaningful right now and offers a true sense of hope and inspiration for the future,” she says. “As the year comes to an end, people are looking for items that remind them to dream big and continue to remain open to new ideas and opportunities.”
Whether you glean deep and insightful meanings from celestial jewelry or enjoy the playfulness of a star, moon, or galaxy-inspired piece, ahead, discover the top ten motifs and designs currently making up the trend (which is undoubtedly continuing into 2021). If a treat for yourself or a holiday gift is in the stars, be sure to shop the edit and align your taste accordingly. Plus, read up on the deeper meaning of said popular symbols, as explained by the Carosella sisters, Zhang, Steckel, Bugdaycay, and more.
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Celestial Jewelry Trend: Stars
From classic five-point twinklers to abstract bursts, stars are among the most prominent symbols in celestial jewelry designs. “Since we launched, I’ve had an obsession with stars and adding them with stones in our designs,” Zhang tells TZR. “Stars are becoming more popular as people are also studying more about their celestial star signs. People feel a connection to these celestial bodies.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Crescent Moons
“This year, our celestial love has also moved into crescent moons,” Zhang shares of her latest designs. “Moons can signify cycles of time and something larger than yourself,” she adds.
For fans of the deeper meaning, Steckel explains how the moon transcends any divide, which can hit home for many in a year like 2020. “No matter what we believe in or where we are from, we all see the same moon at different points in the day and night, and there is something so powerful about that,” she says, noting a personal sense of wonder and curiosity from the motif. The crescent moon specifically has feminine connotations and is often associated with fertility and change, which Steckel sees as growth.
In Greek Mythology, Selene, the Goddess of the Moon, is represented with a crescent on her forehead and is said to signify female empowerment, according to Steckel. “I wear at least one moon piece — be it a charm, a stud, a bigger pendant — every day as a reminder to look up and move forward,” the Colette designer shares. “Aside from the obvious beauty of a moon jewel, the meaning for the wearer makes it all the more important.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Full Moon
Bugdaycay recently launched black Tahitian pearls in her latest Foundrae collection, depicting the full moon, which represents healing. “Pearls are created in the nurturing, lunar energy of water. Even their shape and glow evoke the image of a full moon,” the designer explains. “This piece resonates with people, I believe, because we must aspire too to heal when confronted with adversity, with grace, hope, and beauty. And it feels that particularly right now we need to restore harmony in our lives.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Galaxy Inspired
If a space odyssey of sorts speaks to your jewelry aesthetic, galaxy-inspired treasures are sure to delight. Stars, planets, moons, and even extraterrestrial motifs are popular depictions with varying interpretations. “As a whole, the galaxy symbolizes hope,” Steckel explains. “It’s proof that the seemingly impossible is possible.” By wearing jewelry that combines all of the elements of the galaxy like the moon, stars, and planets, the designer says, “you’re harnessing the magic of the universe to bring your dreams to life.”
Zhang says stars and moons together can signal spiritual guidance and direction, which spoke to her when designing new pieces. “Mixing up colorways, metals, and stones was part of the modern version of the celestial trend I envisioned, allowing the pieces to be unique and beautiful,” she tells TZR.
Personalization often fuels the interest in galaxy-inspired designs, like Sofia Zakia’s best-selling Stardust Locket. “I hand-engraved the exterior with a celestial pattern, and the interior can be engraved with any quote of your choosing,” designer Sofia Ajram explains. “I think folks are drawn to the personalize-able nature of these pieces, especially since celestial motifs have been around for so long, it’s nice to have it be unique in some way.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Constellations
As celestial jewelry trends continue to evolve, Nicole Carosella predicts new iterations of constellations in 2021. These star formations are a popular way to depict zodiac signs and the basis for Jessie Evans’ constellation collection. “[It] was born because I wanted a piece of jewelry of my star sign, Capricorn, but a goat motif wasn’t appealing to me at the time,” the Jessie VE designer explains. “This led me to think about all of the signs and then onto the constellations — each sign as beautiful as the next.”
For a more individualized take, Ajram’s Written in the Stars rings can be personalized with two horoscope constellations and an engraving — a great piece to commemorate a friendly, familial, or romantic relationship. “They can be immortalized,” she says. “Written in the stars together, forever.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Sun
From literal rays of sunshine to modern abstractions, the sun is most often associated with strength and power, Steckel explains. “I also see it as a symbol of glory, pure joy, happiness,” the designer muses, likening the current popularity to a “here comes the sun’ moment” — a light at the end of the tunnel, looking forward to better, brighter days. “It’s the perfect talisman to lift our spirits and an image we will never tire of.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Zodiac
No matter the season — Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, Virgo — horoscope jewelry is one of the most sought after trends. “Horoscopes have been popular as ever as we look for answers during this unique moment in time, and because of this, there’s been a fusion of the celestial and personalization trends in the revival of zodiac jewelry,” Steckel tells TZR. “I think moving in 2021, wearing your astrological sign will be just as evergreen as any signature piece, like initials, evil eyes, and hearts.”
“I think because we hold our star signs so close to our hearts often, that’s why they make the perfect sentimental piece to gift,” Evans says. “Because celestial jewelry has been around for centuries, I think even with a slightly more contemporary twist, they are timeless pieces.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Charms
Charms are among 2020’s buzziest trends, and celestial designs are no different. Various interpreted meanings of symbols feel powerfully connective, especially when it comes to divine stars, skyscapes, and the solar system.
Expressions of love are deeply tied to them, too, like Zhang’s Star Love Token, which says “Etoile D’Amour,” meaning star of love. “Opal is my son’s birthstone, so I’ve been exploring exciting ways to add it to our collection. This charm says ’a la lune et retour,’ meaning to ‘the moon and back,’” Zhang explains. “I like the way the scattered diamond stars spray across the pendant like the night sky.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Colors
Many opt for neutrality when investing in jewelry for versatility, but color creates even more impact when it comes to celestial designs. “For years, my Galaxia pieces were very monochromatic, set in black or white gold, with black and white diamonds,” Steckel explains. “I’ve introduced color to the collection using vibrant enamel and hard stones like malachite, lapis, and turquoise. The contrasting splashes of color give the pieces a more playful and laid back feel that’s synonymous with our more casual approach to dressing.”
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Antique Revival
Celestial jewelry dates back to the Victorian era, with ancient stories like the romantic tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice tied into many designs. “I think a lot of my clients have always had an affinity for pieces that told a story,” Ajram says. “We always come back to the same stories, so we’ll see those being shaped in different, new ways through the eyes of various designers.”
Ajram also notes a movement towards an antique revival that she predicts will bloom in 2021 with patinas, a medley of tiny prongs, and rose-cut gemstones in oval and hexagonal shapes. Zhang also sees vintage celestial pieces resonating. In addition to her original creations, the designer sells antique jewelry and says the symbolism and beauty of many star and moon designs (some of which are over 100 years old) are popular among her clientele today.
Celestial Jewelry Trend: Abstract
For those with an appreciation for subtly, celestial abstractions are worthy of note. Be it a sculptural pair of lunar-inspired drops, modern moon studs, or a golden pendant faintly depicting a starry sky, an interpretation such as these are elevated and unique.