The stores have their decorations up, which means that the 2013 holiday shopping season has officially begun. To assist with a fine jewelry purchase you may be considering, GIA has put together a Holiday Buying Guide, a 7-part series dedicated to making you a more informed jewelry shopper, as well as a more relaxed one.The first installment in our series covers diamond jewelry trends – what we’re seeing on runways, red carpets, in stores, and fashion magazines. So if you’re looking for gift ideas to help you shop for diamond jewelry this holiday season, here are a few trends and themes you’re likely to see:

Go Bold
The runways this fall featured statement jewelry with big cuffs, big earrings, and big necklaces. But satisfying the “big” trend for the diamond lover in your life could be out of reach, since larger diamonds are rare and, as a result, expensive. You can still deliver “big” – and not break the bank – by going for jewerly designs that incorporate numerous very small diamonds, called melee, in a pavè setting to create a dazzling effect. When shopping this holiday season, don’t forget that GIA can provide a grading report and laser inscription  for diamonds as small as .15 carats. While it may seem obvious to get a grading report for a large statement diamond, it’s important to know what you’re buying at any size.

Image courtesy of DeBeers Diamond Promotion Service

Square radiant cut bezel set diamond flanked by melee diamonds. Image courtesy of DeBeers Diamond Promotion Service

Don’t Forget the Wrist
Almost all designers showed something on the wrist during the fall runway shows, and often, more than one type of bracelet or cuff worn together. For the woman who seems to have everything, you might want to consider adding a diamond bracelet or cuff to her jewelry collection.

Image courtesy of Platinum Guide Int.

Platinum bracelet with a leaf and paisley-shaped loop design. Studded with prong set diamonds. Image courtesy of Platinum Guide International.

Period Pieces Remain Hot
We’ve featured popular design eras on the blog before, including Edwardian Era Jewelry, fueled by interest in popular entertainment like Downton Abby, and Art Deco, a style beloved by Hollywood and soaring in popularity, thanks in large part to this year’s The Great Gatsby film. These trends continue to be hot, and 19th and early 20th century fancy-cut diamonds are more sought-after than ever, including “old mine cut” diamonds (which are sometimes called antique cushion cut diamonds). These vintage cuts are rare, but if you can’t find true vintage there are many contemporary “vintage-inspired” designs that are sure to please.

Image courtesy of Platinum Guide International.

Inspired by vintage design, this diamond ring in platinum features milgrained edges that frame delicate engraving set with petite round diamonds. Image courtesy of Platinum Guide International.

Bridal Engagement Ring Trends
The holiday season is the most popular time to propose, so no holiday diamond buying guide would be complete without mentioning diamond engagement ring trends. The halo style continues to be very popular. And while not a top trend yet, colored diamonds, or gemstones surrounded by diamonds, are continuing to rise in popularity. For more detail on current engagement ring trends, be sure to visit our previous blog post, 2013 Engagement Ring Trends.

Image courtesy of Platinum Guide International

Platinum ring with diamonds in both the halo and shank. Image courtesy of Platinum Guide International.

Now that you’re up to speed on diamond jewelry trends, stay tuned for the next installment in our 2013 Holiday Buying Guide series, where we talk about the importance of understanding the 4Cs when shopping for a diamond. Which of these trends are you hoping will make its way to your doorstep?