Jewelry made of simple shapes has been cycling in and out of fashion for centuries, and it’s currently in vogue with designers and fashionistas.

 

Geometric jewelry, which is how style watchers refer to this trend, is made of basic design elements like triangles, squares, and ovals. Necklaces, pendants, and earrings somehow become greater than the sum of their parts, turning them into bold statement pieces.

This style is found across centuries and cultures, evidence that these patterns are universally pleasing. The theory is that certain patterns remind us of beautiful things in nature that create peace of mind, like snowflakes and leaves.

Photo by Orasa Weldon/GIA, courtesy Dr. Geoffrey Smith.

Repeating patterns of triangles, diamond shapes and circles are the design elements in these pre-Columbian earrings (900-1400 AD). Photo by Orasa Weldon/GIA, courtesy Dr. Geoffrey Smith.

Geometric jewelry was extremely popular during the Art Deco era (1920s – 1930s). With skyscrapers arising in cities and airplanes whisking travelers across the country, a new style of jewelry was needed for a new era. Bold geometric patterns set with diamonds and colored stones in contrasting primary colors captured the spirit of this progressive time.

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA,  courtesy  Private Collector

This emerald and diamond bracelet in white gold (circa 1925) by Mauboussin is classic Art Deco style. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy Private Collector

Geometric design experienced a revival during the 1960s and 1970s, and is once again having its moment in the sun.

The necklace pictured below caught the eye of GIA staff who attended JCK Las Vegas 2014, the  jewelry industry’s largest event in the U.S. They admired the simplicity of the design – it’s just squares, rectangles, and triangles with an oval drop – and the unusual color palette. Browns and grays are not the typical hues you’ll find in statement pieces.

Courtesy of Bounkit

The muted colors of labradorite and brown quartz make for a reserved look in this necklace by Bounkit. The removable carved labradorite pendant is a charming touch. Courtesy of Bounkit.

If you’re looking for a reason to splurge on geometric jewelry, research indicates that certain patterns can “reduce stress levels by as much as 60 percent.” Now there’s a simple solution to a complicated challenge: enjoy more geometric jewelry, and watch your stress levels start to drop.

For your viewing enjoyment, we’ve singled out a few of  pieces with stunning design patterns below. Which one is your favorite?

Photo by Eric Welch/GIA, courtesy  Gold Museum of the  Banco de la República.

Photo by Eric Welch/GIA, courtesy Gold Museum of the Banco de la República.

Ancient or edgy? This piece of pre-Columbian jewelry looks ultra-modern. The repetitive pattern cut in the simple shapes are all the more impressive considering that the artist didn’t even use a saw. The final piece is raw and powerful.

Image courtesy of Silver Promotion Service

Image courtesy of Silver Promotion Service

Geometric doesn’t necessarily mean repetitive. This bracelet by Thistle & Bee is made of shapes evoking a honeycomb. GIA staff spotted it at JCK Las Vegas 2014, so it may be the start of a trend.

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy Ronald Lee Schultz

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy Ronald Lee Schultz

The “Esmeraldas Tequila Sunrise” necklace is made of emerald, sunstone, and brown diamonds. Notice how the shape of the emerald in the center is surrounded by more round emeralds and this outline is repeated  by the band of gold circling the piece, and how the two large, intersecting triangles create numerous smaller triangles.

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, gift of Miriam Mirna Korolkovas.

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, gift of Miriam Mirna Korolkovas.

Take a look at Miriam Mirna Korolkovas’ “Cocar” necklace made of anodized niobium and titanium, and you’ll see that it is made of two simple shapes: rectangles and the oval collar upon which they hang. “Cocar” looks both tribal and futuristic. Part of the Brazilian Jewelry Collection.