Gold Standard: The Evolution of Jewellery Trends in Singapore since the 1970s

Lee Hwa Jewellery

Posted on October 11 2018

Lee Hwa Jewellery has witnessed, first-hand, the evolution of jewellery in Singapore over the past 48 years, and has a finger on the pulse of what women of every era want.

1970s to 1980s: Yellow Gold Domination

When Lee Hwa Jewellery first set up shop in 1970, it met the demands of the day with a focus on yellow gold designs, which were seen as a symbol of wealth. The jewels impressed discerning customers thanks to of their superior craftsmanship and creative designs that saw intricate motifs and symbols carved in the precious gold. This was a welcome change from the trends of previous eras, where the metal was hidden by the stones, and served only as the backdrop of the jewel. This can be seen in the necklace and ring below, where the gold has been worked in such a way that it resembles a flower. During the end of the 1980s, these yellow gold pieces would be enhanced by semi-precious and precious gemstones.

Iconic Yellow Gold jewellery launched by Lee Hwa Jewellery in the 1980s

1990s: The Emergence of White Gold

As the 1990s became defined by minimalist fashions led by designers such as Calvin Klein, jewellery, too, followed this aesthetic upheaval. No longer was yellow gold in trend, as white gold began to dominate the market, and Lee Hwa Jewellery became the first in Singapore to introduce these trendy pieces into the wardrobes of the stylish Singaporean women. The arrival of white gold allowed the jeweller to innovate with modern designs, and Lee Hwa Jewellery introduced intricate floral motifs and subtle diamond designs. In 1996, the brand set up their boutique at Wisma Atria, which specialised in white gold jewellery. Simultaneously, fancy-shaped diamonds began to capture the public’s attention as well.

Lee Hwa Jewellery became the first in Singapore to introduce these trendy pieces into the wardrobes of the stylish Singaporean women.

2000s: Bold Baubles

The turn of the century saw a big milestone in Lee Hwa Jewellery’s history, as it introduced its proprietary gold alloy called Purple Gold, which, as its name suggests, gleams with a royal purple hue. Proving its longevity, it remains popular even today, and locals and tourists alike clamour to get their hands on a Purple Gold jewel.

Simultaneously, white gold continued on its path of domination in the early 2000s, this time in louder, bolder and chunkier avatars. This was a direct result of the economy picking up from 1997 Asian crisis, as the recovery saw trend-setters invest in big-ticket items. This also led to another inevitable consequence: the question of investment, as diamonds became coveted for their rare exclusivity and perceived value. At Lee Hwa Jewellery, bold jewels showcased the emergence of more audacious aesthetics, a consequence of growing confidence and prosperity in Singapore.

The proprietary Purple Gold alloy by Lee Hwa Jewellery remains a popular choice amongst discerning jewellery lovers

Current: Stacking and Layering

This trend of bold pieces spilled over in the 2010s, but in recent years, there has been increasing demand for minimalist pieces that can be stacked for maximum impact. With the advent of social media and its spotlight on personal style, fashionistas the world over demonstrate their eye for mixing and matching as they layer and stack diamond bands, gold chain bracelets, and long sautoirs—jewellery has truly transcended its function as an accessory for formal events, and has become an everyday fashion necessity.

While white gold continues to flood the market, there has been increased awareness in matching the gold alloy to your skin tone. We’ve thus seen a growing demand for rose gold jewellery, which complements the South Asian skin tone. Oh, and that old adage of wearing to the same metal tone from top to toe? Throw that old chestnut out of the window, as mixing silver and gold speaks volumes of your nonchalant sense of style.

Dainty gold and diamonds pieces are great for stacking

Trends for next year: Jewellery in the Age of Individualism

As the era of individuality reaches new heights in the global fashion scene, so too has the demand for bespoke items. Why blend in when you can stand out, goes the fashionista’s battle cry. Bespoke jewellery that nobody else is wearing goes a long way in asserting your individuality—at Lee Hwa Jewellery, there are many options for the modern fashion warrior. Its My Personal Designer service offers one-on-one sessions with experienced designers who determine your individual style and needs, and crafts a one-of-a-kind jewel that reflects your one-of-a-kind personality.

Another trend that will continue gaining traction next year is that of stackable jewellery. It again is a reflection of the individualistic sentiment pervading the market, as how you can truly showcase your personality in how you mix and match designs, colours and metals.

Women are also clamouring for an injection of colour in their wardrobes, and gemstones are a great way to add a pop of colour to their outfits. While white diamonds remain just as covetable, coloured gemstones are also finding themselves in the spotlight, for their increased rarity and perceived value, and the spectrum of colours available. At Lee Hwa Jewellery, the whimsical Charmes Les Gemmes allows users to choose the gemstone for the main solitaire, as well as the accompanying charm.

The Charmes Les Gemmes array of rings allows you to pick your favourite gemstones so you always stand out

To celebrate its 48th anniversary, Lee Hwa Jewellery is offering weekly specials from now till 11 Oct 2018. Don’t miss it! Head to to find out more.