James Avery Jewelry Complete Guide-Review: Sterling Silver, Gold, Gemstones
James Avery is a classic American company: started by a self-made man as modest family operation, it has grown into an all-round complete enterprise that offers jewelry for men, women, and children in a wide range of styles and materials. The company declare they want their jewelry to be “functional yet expressive” – and we would like to suggest that brand designers have indeed achieved their goal, the popularity of James Avery jewelry serving as the ultimate litmus test for this success.
One of the most important aspects of James Avery design is the desire to amalgamate existing ideas, and create strong, effective blends. This company doesn't look to innovate or set new trends – it is at its best in preserving and refreshing what is already there, while giving it all a unique brand streak. In today's competitive climate, when innovation seems to be prized for its own sake, this traditional approach emerges, surprisingly, as bold and independent.
James Avery defined four principles to guide the craftsmen: Simplicity, Integrity, Meaning, and Universality. The jewelry displays unambiguous, strong characteristics – expressive, well-defined forms, nature inspired, carefully stylized motifs from the flora and fauna, various geometrical and linear themes, and more. Another quality that's difficult to pinpoint, yet that permeates the entire assortment, is the spontaneous, effortless sense of charm.
Sterling silver occurs most often in James Avery rings, bracelets, charms, and other types of jewelry; its subdued yet persistent sheen accords well with brand design principles, and the undertone of modesty that knows its way into the playground – but won't abuse the path. Most of the pieces can be had in 14K and 18K gold as well, addressing the taste of customers who prefer the warmer, yellow tone of this precious metal.
Semi-precious stones play an important supporting role, occasionally rivaling silver (or gold) for attention. Peridot, citrine, zircon, sodalite, amethyst, sapphires, topaz, pearls, garnets, amethysts, tourmaline comprise only the partial list (though Silpada's is probably longer – this brand, however, focuses on alloys rather than silver); laboratory grown emeralds and rubies also make an appearance.
Let's take a closer looks at the jewelry (click on the links for dedicated reviews:)
Charms include over five hundred creations, categorized according to types and purposes. Themes feature a wide range of every day objects, symbols, and play jewelry: Indian inspired motifs (canoes, tents, headgear feathers, arrows); sports representations of tennis balls, fencing, aerobics; other pieces: fans, flashlights, cabins, animals, crosses, and more. James Avery's most versatile and playful department.
Rings enter a more serious territory, where close attention is paid to scroll and metalwork, gemstones, and supporting aesthetic qualities. This segment offer lace (filigree) rings, quite oriental in appearance, classic bands with stones (Julietta, Remembrance rings), heart and cross bearing pieces, wedding bands, and a several more adventurous models that echo the charms spirit.
Bracelets encompass almost the entire arch of contemporary jewelry designs: basic chains, identity bracelets, filigree bangles, heart and cross motifs, leather ropes, charm, link, and cuff bracelets, gold and silver two-tone variations, floral and geometrical themes, and more. Several engravable models.
Earrings offer hooks, post, drop (semi pendant) and wire categories, usually produced in classic, familiar patterns. Dangling earrings contain onyx, garnets, pearls, and other stones and materials; floral and botanical motifs reappear quite often, resulting in a calm, “rustling” effect. Several models match the rings and the bracelets to produce jewelry sets.
Necklaces/Pendants take us back to charms, but only from bird's eye view – the themes presented by the pendants are usually more mature, and fully fledged – only the general shapes and modes of attachment bring to mind the playfulness of the charms. A versatile category that includes, besides nature-inspired ideas, various crosses, and recognizable cultural symbols.
Crosses comprise a separate category that reaffirms James Avery emphasis on family and Christian values; this jewelry department offers serenity, nail, fleuree, ribbon, Latin, St. James, St. Teresa, and other types of crosses – almost a hundred all in all.