BUYING GUIDE

Colorful Enamel Jewelry For a Dash of Color

 

Looking for a pop of color or a tropical-inspired design? Enamel might just be the perfect thing for you! From opaque to translucent, the technique allows skilled artisans to add shades of intrigue to all kinds of jewelry. Thanks to its vibrant colors and intricate patterns, this ancient form of jewelry making is now enjoying a renewed popularity with its unique appeal. With enamel jewelry, it's easy to introduce playful pops of color to your outfits in a chic and modern way. Enamel is incredibly versatile, allowing you to incorporate pieces with any outfit, accessory, or occasion.

 
Italian Multicolored Enamel Dome Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold. #916870

What Is Enamel Jewelry?

Enamel goes back... way back! In fact, it dates as far as Ancient Egypt, 2000 BC. The colorful practice of enameling has been used in jewelry for centuries across various cultures. While also appearing in medieval and Renaissance-era items, it's believed we have the Byzantine Empire to thank for enamel's most notable fame.

In straightforward terms, enamel jewelry is the fusion of powdered glass to metal. The best part of enamel pieces is that artisans or jewelry makers don't need to rely on gemstones to bring forth those vibrant hues. Instead, enamel powder forms the core of this technique. When a craftsman begins making the piece, the color of the glass powder does not represent the final product's look. Hues and transparency of the glass powder change during the heating process. The end product results from the interactions that occur in the enamel powder during the heating procedure.

 

So, How's It Done?

Enamel jewelry is created a few different ways—epoxy-based resin is either inlaid in metal, painted, or dropped. Once the hues have been applied using a vacuum syringe to achieve the utmost precision, they're then fired in a kiln at high temperatures to become permanent. Skilled artisans work tirelessly to ensure the entire process is executed seamlessly. One wrong move could mean the entire piece is scrapped.

Some of the more popular, well-known enamel techniques are cathedral, cloisonné, and plique-à-jour. Cathedral plays on the stained-glass windows of ancient European churches. Cloisonné uses thin strips of wire to separate each section set on metal backings. Plique-à-jour, while similar to cloisonné, offers a light-filtering appearance with no backing. Another popular technique is Guilloche, where an elaborate design is engraved onto the metal. Then the pattern is enameled.

A lot of enamel jewelry is created in Italy. Known for their luxurious handmade works of art, Italians have expertly honed enameling for centuries. From exotic animal print bangles to cathedral-inspired fashion rings, enamel lets you show off your individual style. Looking for brand name designers, children's bracelets, or vintage-inspired rings? Those sought-after styles are just a few of the enamel-laden treasures you can treat yourself or gift to a loved one!

 

Beautiful Enamel Jewelry Designs

From vibrant to understated, elegant to bohemian, enamel jewelry embraces a wide range of colors and styles. Almost any type of jewelry can be enameled, so it's easy to find necklaces, bracelets, as well as brooches, earrings, and rings.

Large, chunky, and colorful cocktail rings are a hit with fashion-forward women all around the world. Enamel pieces make for stunning statement rings that are as elegant as they are striking. Add a burst of color to your outfit with a white topaz and red enamel sterling silver ring that features lovely floral patterns. It's a fabulous piece to flaunt with an evening gown or a special occasion dress in similar hues.

Looking for a modern piece that exudes bold charm? Opt for a ring with a horizontally set gemstone that radiates as the focal point. Glossy and vibrant enamel detailing surrounding the rock provides an expressive touch. If you're looking for birthstone jewelry, try a sapphire embellished enamel ring. The dazzling combination showcases the exquisite beauty of the halo gem with flanking patterned enamel detailing, adding a vintage touch to this statement ring.

Look for uncommon stones such as a red spinel ring with enamel patterning for an eye-catching piece that teams well with a burgundy gown or a little black dress. For a more feminine appeal, choose a purple amethyst studded ring with purple or pink enameling. This beautiful ring is perfect to wear with a pink or mauve lace dress.

How about adding unique earrings to your enamel jewelry collection? Jewelry designers fuse gemstones with enameling techniques for show-stopping styles. When it comes to raw beauty, nothing beats the combination of black and gold. Think of a pair of hoop earrings with gold scrollwork over a rich background of black enamel. It goes well with nearly every ensemble and is sure to turn heads and make you the star of the show.

 

Keep it Clean—and Safe

As with most fine jewelry and precious metals, you should avoid wearing enamel while swimming or working in the garden. It's always best to remove them when showering or using any kind of chemicals, such as dish soap—simple hand soap and warm water is all that is needed. These measures help prevent the enamel from becoming cloudy or discolored. To avoid chipping and scratching, you should store these items carefully to avoid brushing up against other pieces of your jewelry collection.