It is cold. Every time I step out into the single & subzero temperatures, I find myself thinking hopeful thoughts of Spring. Among those thoughts are a swirl of ideas for new jewelry designs and the gemstones I would use for them. The selection of colors for the Pantone Spring 2014 Forecast reminds me of a palette from a tropical beach. Blues & greens from the sea, pale beige & gray sand and the vivid splash of tropical flowers. Some of the colors I really love. Others – not so much. The question in my mind was – what gemstones could be used for jewelry that would mimic these colors. So, after giving it some thought, I compiled a list of gemstones to match Pantone’s Spring 2014 Fashion Color Forecast.
This shade of blue is a pumped up version of Baby Blue. While still remaining a tranquil hue, it packs a bit more visual punch than its paler cousin.
Blue Calcite: This lovely gemstone is relatively unknown in jewelry and in my opinion, woefully underused. I’m thinking I need to start using more of it. It is a near perfect match for Placid Blue.
Aquamarine: This beautiful stone is the blue to greenish blue variety of Beryl. Shades range from palest blue or slightly greenish blue to deeper, richer shades of blue & greenish blue. The pale, true blue shades make a good match for Placid Blue.
Sky Blue Topaz: This rich light blue shade of Topaz is eye catching, yet subtle. It makes a pretty decent, but not perfect match for Placid Blue.
To view a selection of jewelry using Placid Blue stones, click here.
Periwinkle is one of my all time favorite colors, as you can tell by the color scheme throughout my website. This cool bluish lavender is flattering to just about everyone, but is usually difficult to find in clothing. I’m pretty jazzed by the thought it might show up more often this year.
Holly Blue Chalcedony: Chalcedony, a variety of microcrystalline Quartz, occurs naturally in many lovely colors. There is also a lot of dyed Chalcedony out there in a rainbow of colors. The naturally occurring, rare shade known as “Holly Blue” makes a perfect match for Violet Tulip.
Angelite: Angelite is another name for Anhydrite. This gorgeous gemstone is gaining in popularity. It is a fairly soft stone that is best suited to pendants or earrings. The delicate, slightly sparkly color makes it a wonderful choice for this Pantone color.
Tanzanite: This beautiful gemstone is dichroic (it appears different colors in different lighting conditions) and is found only in Tanzania. Most often, it is brown when found in its natural state. The wonderful periwinkle color is achieved through heat treating.
To view a selection of jewelry using Violet Tulip stones, click here.
This calm, sophisticated shade of celadon green is so attractive. Some of my favorite gemstones to use in jewelry fall under the heading of Hemlock.
Variscite: Variscite is a variety of Aluminum Phosphate. Often, it is confused with Turquoise, but it has a much greener color. This gemstone is a rare one. There are many synthetics on the market claiming to be Variscite and they are poor imitations. Genuine Variscite is expensive due to it’s rarity, but it is well worth the price because it is a truly beautiful stone. This stone is my personal pick for the best Hemlock color match.
Green Fluorite: Fluorite is a type of Calcium Fluoride. It is a fluorescent stone and will exhibit a neon glow under ultraviolet light. This stone naturally occurs in many colors, but the pale sage green variety fits the Hemlock color beautifully.
Serpentine: The name Serpentine actually applies to an entire group of 20 different stones that have the same mineralogical composition, but vary in appearance. This particular variety of Serpentine is an attractive translucent celadon green. It is often marketed as “New Jade”.
Prasiolite: Also known as “Green Amethyst”, “Vermarine” or “Greened Amethyst”, this stone is a pale green variety of Quartz. Naturally occurring green Quartz is quite rare. Most of the earth-mined Prasiolite on the market is light colored Amethyst that has been heat treated to achieve the delicate pale celery color Prasiolite is known for.
Prehnite: Currently one of my favorite stones to work with, Prehnite is a translucent stone which occurs most commonly in shades that range from yellow to light green. Very rarely, other colors such as blue, white & orange have been found. The soft, pale green variety which is the most common is a beautiful match for Hemlock.
To view a selection of jewelry using Hemlock gemstones, click here.
This pale Pearl Gray is soft and elegant. It pairs beautifully with any of the other colors from the Forecast.
Gray Agate: Agate is a fairly common form of Chalcedony. Gray Agate has beautiful striations of varying shades of gray, white & black.
Gray Moonstone: Moonstone is an Orthoclase Feldspar. Due to the crystal structure, this stone exhibits a rolling glow in the light (an effect known as Adularescence). Gray Moonstone colors vary from very pale almost transparent gray to deeper more opaque gray.
Labradorite: Labradorite is a Plagioclase Feldspar. What makes this stone so beautiful is the Schiller Effect or Labradorescence. When light hits the stone from various angles the stones displays a stunning array of metallic rainbow colors against the pale gray background.
Spiderweb Jasper: Jaspers occur in many different varieties and colors. Jaspers are quite often dyed and used to imitate other gemstones. Spiderweb Jasper is characterized by black lines that crisscross the cream to pale gray background.
To view a selection of jewelry using Paloma Gray gemstones, click here.
Like Paloma, this lovely neutral pairs well with all the other colors in the Forecast.
Riverstone: This alluvial stone is a very common one. The name says it all. What makes it special is the soft delicate shades of gray and creamy beiges the stone occurs in.
Fossil Coral: Fossil Coral was formed when the silica in sea water replaced the calcium in dead coral, transforming it into a form of Agate. It is also known as “Agatized Coral”. The natural colors of this coral can vary considerably depending on what other minerals were present in the water. Most commonly, it occurs in gray, brown, black, yellow, white and sometimes, red. The buff and beige colored variety are an excellent match for Sand.
Champagne Zircon: This fiery gemstone occurs in an array of colors ranging the entire spectrum. It’s high refractive index gives it brilliant sparkle, so much so that colorless Zircon was often used as a Diamond substitute. Champagne Zircon is a beautiful rosy beige that makes a good match for Pantone’s Sand shade.
Caramel Diamond: Brown diamonds occur in a range of shades from the palest champagne to the deepest chocolate. The lovely caramel color of these diamonds makes them a very good match for the Spring Pantone Color Sand.
Fossil Ammonite: Ammonites were sea dwelling creatures similar to todays’s chambered nautilus. They went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Over time, the calcium in their intricate spiraled shells was replaced by silica in the sea water, hardening them and transforming some with beautiful iridescent colors.
Smokey Quartz: This member of the Quartz family occurs in a range of shades from transparent beige to opaque black. The pale yellowish beige variety also known as “Cairngorm” is a beautiful match for Sand.
To view a selection of jewelry using Sand Beige gemstones, click here.
This vivid Goldenrod Yellow is a show stopper. While I don’t wear any sort of yellow unless I want to look like an extra for The Walking Dead, I keep finding myself using yellow gemstones in the jewelry I make. This rich shade is guaranteed to get noticed.
Honey Jade: This stone is actually not Jade at all. It is a translucent type of Golden Jasper. The vivid marigold color of this stone makes it an excellent match for Freesia.
Yellow Calcite: Calcite is a mineral that occurs in a number of colors. Yellow Calcite exhibits a rich creamy shade of yellow that works beautifully as a Freesia stone.
Citrine: Citrine is a golden yellow variety of Quartz. Quite often, more common Amethyst is heat treated to change it to the beautiful golden color known as Citrine.
Songea Sapphire: Sapphires are the mineral Corundum, which comes in virtually all colors. All colors of Corundum with the exception of red are considered Sapphires. Red Corundum is considered Ruby. These gorgeous Sapphires come from the Songea mines in Tanzania. They occur in a wide array of vivid, saturated colors. The rich yellows are a spectacular match for Pantone’s Freesia shade.
Golden Fluorite: Fluorite is a fluorescent gemstone which will glow with neon intensity under ultraviolet light. It occurs naturally in a wide range of colors, including this rich golden yellow.
To view a selection of jewelry using Freesia gemstones, click here.
This muted red is actually a pretty interesting color. Some days I like it, others it looks to me like bloody pepto-bismol. It is one that is hard to match with gemstones, but I think I found some decent matches.
Rhodochrosite: This lovely gemstone is a Manganese Carbonate. Most of what is seen on the market is Banded Rhodochrosite, which has varying shades of pink & white bands. Although these specimens which are used mostly for beads and cabochons are beautiful in their own right, they are lower quality specimens which contain many impurities making the color more pale. Pure gem quality Rhodochrosite is a deep, saturated translucent pinkish red that makes an excellent color match for the odd shade that is Pantone’s Cayenne.
Red Coral: Also known as “Precious Coral”, this organic gemstone has been used for jewelry since antiquity. What makes it special is the intensity of the color and the durability of this type of coral. It can be polished to a high gloss and the intense pinks and reds do not fade. The red variety of this coral is also a very good color match for Cayenne.
Red Jasper: Jaspers are an opaque variety of Chalcedony. They occur in many beautiful colors and patterns. Red Jasper gets it’s coloring from iron in the crystal structure. It is a little too orangey to be a real match for Cayenne, but it is pretty close.
Songea Sapphire: Sapphires are the mineral Corundum, which comes in virtually all colors. All colors of Corundum with the exception of red are considered Sapphires. Red Corundum is considered Ruby. These gorgeous Sapphires come from the Songea mines in Tanzania. They occur in a wide array of vivid, saturated colors. Technically, the rich reds are Ruby, but they are mostly marketed as Sapphires. Some red shades of this gorgeous Sapphire are a really great color match for Cayenne.
Red Beryl: Also known as “Red Emerald” or “Bixbite”, this variety of Beryl is extremely beautiful – and extremely rare. It has only ever been found in a couple of locations in the states of Utah & New Mexico. It rarely ever occurs in large crystals, so high carat sized stones are virtually unheard of. Excellent quality Red Beryl can sell for upwards of $10,000 a carat. Needless to say, unless I discover a deposit of Red Beryl in my backyard, I will not be working with this gorgeous gemstone anytime soon. A girl can dream…
To view a selection of jewelry using Cayenne gemstones, click here.
This eye-popping orange reminds me of Indian Paintbrush and Hibiscus flowers.
Fire Opal: Fire Opal is the only variety of Opal that is strong enough to be faceted. The colors range from colorless “Girasol” or “Water Opal” through yellow & orange to deep cherry red. Most often Fire Opal doesn’t display the characteristic fire of precious Opals. But, sometimes it does, with the orange & red varieties showing a play of mostly green or red fire. Clear Fire Opals can show color play in a range that spans the entire spectrum. This is most often seen in Mexican Boulder Opals, also known as “Canterra Opals”. The bright, almost neon orange variety of Fire Opal is a perfect match for Celosia Orange.
Carnelian: This vivid orange variety of Chalcedony can span the range from light fiery orange to deep orangey red. It gets it’s distinctive color from iron oxides in the crystal structure. Carnelian is often heat treated to make the color more vivid.
Peach Aventurine: Aventurine is a silicon dioxide mineral. The most commonly seen color is green. One of the distinctive traits of this gemstone is the slight sparkle in the stone. Peach Aventurine can span the range of color from palest peach to vivid orange. The vivid orange versions of this stone are a beautiful match for Celosia Orange.
Sunstone: Like Labradorite, Sunstone is a Plagioclase Feldspar. It can be transparent to opaque and range from the palest hint of peach blush to vivid lava orange red and sometimes green. It’s name is derived from the fiery sparkle it exhibits when turned in the light. This Schiller effect is caused by tiny inclusions of Copper platelets embedded in the stone that catch and reflect light.
Crab Fire Agate: This lovely stone is not technically Agate. Most of what we see on the market is a Spiderweb Carnelian that has been heat treated to give it the crackled appearance and increase the intensity of the color. Quite often it is dyed in a wide range of colors. I have seen examples of this stone that were translucent and others that were opaque. The fiery orange translucent version of this stone makes a beautiful Celosia Orange.
Songea Sapphire: Sapphires are the mineral Corundum, which comes in virtually all colors. All colors of Corundum with the exception of red are considered Sapphires. Red Corundum is considered Ruby. These gorgeous Sapphires come from the Songea mines in Tanzania. They occur in a wide array of vivid, saturated colors. The rich orange hues of this beautiful Sapphire make a great match for Celosia.
To view a selection of jewelry using Celosia Orange gemstones, click here.
Ugh. It’s the color formerly known as Puce. Really???? It’s not just Puce. It’s Puce injected with a dose of neon ugly and imbued with the superpower to nauseate. It would be alright in very small doses – as accents, but an entire garment in this color? NOT. OK, gemstone matches, here goes…
Phosphosiderite: I don’t know a whole lot about this stone since I’ve never worked with it. Occasionally I consider buying some, but so far I haven’t because I can’t decide whether or not I like this color. Sometimes I do but mostly, it turns me off. This stone gets it’s name from the minerals that make up it’s composition – phosphorus and iron. This opaque stone occurs in shades of pink, lavender & purple and sometimes has yellow veining. It is a fairly soft stone, so jewelry made with it must be treated with some care. The orchid purple variety is a perfect match for Radiant Orchid.
Lilac Spinel: Spinel is a beautiful, hard stone with a high refractive index, which gives it lots of sparkle. It can occur in virtually any color and the crystals are commonly free of inclusions, making for wonderfully clear cut stones. It is one of the few gemstones that is rarely ever subjected to enhancements of any kind. The lilac color range makes an decent match for Radiant Orchid, however it lacks the strange pinkish undertone needed to really match.
Lepidolite: This pretty lilac stone is a lithium bearing variety of stones in the Mica group. “Lilac Stone” is another name that it is labeled with in the market. It has a subtle sparkle and somewhat pearly luster to it and can occur in shades of pink, lilac and grayish purple. Lepidolite is an extremely soft stone and must be impregnated with resin in order to be used for jewelry. Once again, the shade is close, but a bit too lilac to be a perfect match for Radiant Orchid.
Lavender Fluorite: Fluorite is a fluorescent gemstone which will glow with neon intensity under ultraviolet light. It occurs naturally in a wide range of colors. The lavender variety can be clear to translucent and range in color depth. This beautiful stone comes close to Radiant Orchid, but once again, lacks the strange pinkish undertone.
Cape Amethyst: Amethyst is the purple variety of Quartz. Lighter lilac varieties are often marketed under the name Cape Amethyst.
Lavender Jade: There are actually 2 different types of stones that fall under the heading of Jade, Nephrite & Jadeite. Nephrite has a more resinous luster to it and Jadeite is generally considered the more valuable stone due to it’s greater translucency. Jadeite occurs naturally in a wide range of colors such as green, white, yellow, blue & purple. True Lavender Jadeite is one of the rarest colors of Jadeite and is a truly beautiful stone, however, there are many imitations out there being sold as Lavender Jade.
Charoite: This stone is found only in the region of the Chary River in Russia. It occurs in shades of translucent lavender to purple. It has an unusual swirling, fibrous appearance, making it a stone that is easily identifiable in the rough.
Bertrandite: This beautiful, unusual stone is also known as “Tiffany Stone”. It is an Opalized Fluorite and displays a gorgeous array of creams, purples, brownish reds and sometimes blues.
To view a selection of jewelry using Radiant Orchid gemstones, click here.
This brilliant shade of Peacock Blue is, quite simply, spectacular. I am in L-U-V with this color.
Cavansite: This rare gemstone gets it’s name from the chemical composition – calcium vanadium silicate. It generally forms in blades or crystals that mostly are too small to cut as gemstones. Larger sizes are quite rare. For this reason, it is mostly cut as druzy cabochons or used as small balls of crystal clusters. This vivid gemstone is a perfect match for Pantone’s Dazzling Blue.
Indicolite: The Tourmaline group of gemstones encompasses a number of stones that are grouped by color. Blue Tourmaline, known as Indicolite, is the rarest and one of the most desirable. Large, clean crystals of Indicolite are rare and the larger they, the more of green undertone the blue has. The medium slightly greenish-blue shades of Indicolite make a beautiful match for Dazzling Blue.
Blue Agate: Agates are a banded form of Chalcedony. They typically exhibit bands of varying colors and opacities within the stone that create beautiful & interesting patterns. These stones are often dyed in various colors for sale. Peacock Blue Agate is a good match.
Hemimorphite: This Zinc Silicate mineral occurs in beautiful shades of blue ranging from pale ice blue through vivid peacock blue, pale pink and pale yellow. Quite often, it forms as a crystalline crust on other minerals and these deposits and often cut as druzy cabochons. The rich, vivid peacock blue shade of Hemimorphite that is called “Angel Blue” is a superb match for Dazzling Blue.
Blue Diamond: The hardness and high refractive index of Diamonds makes them highly desirable for jewelry. They occur naturally in a wide range of colors and lower quality stones are often treated to change the color and increase clarity. Blue Diamonds are more of a greenish blue than a true blue and the make a pretty decent match.
Blue Sapphire: Sapphires are the mineral Corundum, which comes in virtually all colors. All colors of Corundum with the exception of red are considered Sapphires. Red Corundum is considered Ruby. Blue Sapphires can occur in a wide ranges of blues from true blues to greenish, grayish or purplish blues. The greenish blue range would work pretty well.
Kyanite: Kyanite is a gemstone that occurs in a range of very rich blues, teals and greens. The crystal form as long blades which can be difficult to cut due to their tendency to splinter. The stone can be opaque with a silvery chatoyent luster or clear & vividly rich in color.
Blue Jade: There are actually 2 different types of stones that fall under the heading of Jade, Nephrite & Jadeite. Nephrite has a more resinous luster to it and Jadeite is generally considered the more valuable stone due to it’s greater translucency. Jadeite occurs naturally in a wide range of colors such as green, white, yellow, blue & purple. Blue Jadeite is a beautiful stone and California has some large deposits of great quality. Like other varieties of Jade, there are many imitations out there.
To view a selection of jewelry using Dazzling Blue gemstones, click here.
Well, for better or for worse, that’s my list of potential gemstones matches for Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Forecast. My next post will most likely be a continuation of the “Is This Gemstone Real Or Synthetic?” thread followed by something about upcoming jewelry trends for Spring.