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Glass: a trend in jewelry

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Learn about the 5 characteristics that have made glass one of the favorite materials in jewelry.

I am fascinated by precious stones. I love that they are authentic, natural, unrepeatable. I have declared myself a fan of Colombian sapphires and emeralds, with which I work every day. But amid this scenario, there is an undeniable truth: the presence of alternative materials in jewelry making is increasing.

Gems continue to reign in the goldsmith's ecosystem. Even a new generation of designers is valuing the existence of inclusions as a defining characteristic, which gives the stones a character of uniqueness. And in the midst of "mass production", collectors look for rare specimens, filled with crystals, gases, halos and colors, such that they cannot be imitated under laboratory conditions.

On the other side is the glass: mostly with only one colour, but incredibly versatile, varied and within everyone's reach (and not just because of its manufacture!). But what actually has caused this growing demand of glass for jewelry? What characteristics does this material have to make it one of the industry favorites?

Stay with me, and discover why glass has positioned itself as one of the most appreciated elements in jewelry design and making.

1. The size: forget the words "carats" and “shortage"

When it comes to jewelry, the size of the stone is important. The larger the gem, the scarcer it is. And the bigger and scarcer the stone, the more expensive it is.

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

But size is also related to calibration. Normally, the stones are sought to be calibrated when making eternity rings, or when using the pavé and micro-pavé settings. On the one hand, this is due to the classic style of the jewelry. On the other hand, using the calibrated stones in groups or in their entirety allows the color and shine to be distributed evenly throughout the piece, making it more attractive and desirable.

Even so, it is not always easy to obtain calibrated natural stones (of course, I say this as a jeweler and not as a gem cutter). The calibration depends not only on the lapidary, but also on the material to be cut: availability, color, quality.

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

Photos: The Sapphire | Glass cut by Oscar Bautista

Therefore, when it comes to size and quantity, glass gives you points in favor. Of course, the size will influence its price. But it will hardly be valued as the jewel in the crown.

In the same way, the production and accessibility of the material gives the possibility of making calibrated cuts on request, always thinking about satisfying the needs raised in each design.

2. Variety: the rainbow range at your fingertips

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

The glass is made in almost all possible hues. Of course: this does not guarantee that you will have a PANTONE or a color on request. But it does give you the freedom to choose between colours and saturations. You would be surprised how many combinations you can have when using glass.

One of the timeless is the fantastic transparent. It goes well with all occasions, with all events and with all outfits and accessories.

Photo: The Sapphire | Glass cut by Oscar Bautista

3. Hardness: an advantage of the material in the cutting process

The glass has an appropriate hardness. It is hard enough to be used in jewelry; therefore, it can be set in a jewel using various techniques and resist pressure (of course, we cannot exaggerate because some materials will always be more resistant than others).

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

Photo: The Sapphire | Glass cut by Oscar Bautista

On the other hand, glass can be cut fluently. This allows different shapes and designs to be created, effectively responding to trends and customizations.

4. Availability: the guarantee of continuity for your projects

The reduction or lack of material conditions the development of jewelry pieces or collections. One of the advantages of working with glass is that you can find it more easily and in more quantity.

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

Photo: The Sapphire | Glass cut by Oscar Bautista

Also, from a large piece you can obtain a considerable number of fractions that can be cut to measure. Of course, glass can also be sold out. Maybe the colour you bought today is so incredible that tomorrow there will be no more in the store. But unlike natural stones, you will always have more options to get them.

5. Sustainability: an intrinsic value

Sustainability is a factor that worries many designers, jewelers and goldsmiths today. It has become imperative to think about the impact of mining on the environment and local communities.

Although there are brands that promote a balance between the economy, society and ecosystems, it is also true that there are still areas in the world hurt by unethical practices.

Glass for Jewellery in Portugal, Europe. Oscar Bautista gem cutter.

Under this concept, glass is being recognized as a highly sought-after alternative. Perhaps there is not a single activity in the world that can be considered as 100% sustainable. However, the use of glass generates a lower environmental impact, turning jewelry into a more eco-friendly art.

And tell me, have you already used glass in the elaboration of your designs? Or have you worn jewelry with glass as the main piece?




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