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The gemstone matches for Pantone's Spring 2017

The gemstone matches for Pantone's Spring 2017

Despite the falling temperatures and grey skies, the eyes of the fashion world are set on Spring.

And from what we can see in advance through Pantone’s selection of their top 10 colours for Spring 2017, it’s predicted to be a bright and invigorating rebirth for the year.

With a combination of colours from those “that are bright and vivid to those that convey a sense of earthiness”, Pantone reflects that designers are looking to the natural world for inspiration again. How better to accurately reflect the natural hues of the earth than with Mother Nature’s colourful array of gemstones?

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 and reflect on which gemstones might best be chosen to further enhance your fashion choices for this season.


PANTONE 17-4123 Niagara

"Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the PANTONE Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent color for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.”


In terms of gemstones, this is a relatively tricky blue tone to find. My personal choice is the greyish-blue natural spinel. With its calming tones and saturated pure colour this really is a gorgeous thing. The natural blue spinel might be relatively hard to find in jewellery, but hopefully the popularity of Niagara in Spring 2017 will herald more of these lovely stones in jewellery.


If you have money to spare, a greyish-blue diamond might be just the ticket for this colour. While it’s unusual to find a stone with the strong saturation that the Pantone chart indicates, the rare blue diamond is a strong investment option and will doubtless give you an excellent return on your money in years to come. 


At the more attainable end of the scale is the humble but lovely labradorite. Not only does this gemstone offer tantalising glimpses of this relaxing colour, it is enlivened by iridescence that may inspire colour matching through your wardrobe! One caveat – although this stone is beautiful, it is also quite soft and will be damaged relatively easily. Maybe consider earrings or a necklace rather than an everyday ring?


PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow

"By contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.”


This canary hue sings to us of Fancy Yellow diamonds. With both natural and synthetics available on the market, these stones will last a lifetime. As ever, a natural Fancy Yellow diamond will retain and potentially increase its value over the years. With the proliferation of synthetic diamonds on the market, the value of the laboratory created stones will inevitably drop as they become more abundant and readily available. There is always going to be a premium for the natural stones. But as most people can’t tell the difference by looking at them, go for what your budget allows!


At a somewhat lower price point there is the lovely yellow sapphire. This stone has seen its popularity rise over the last few years with prices at auction becoming comparable to those of the more typical blue sapphires in some cases. These sunny gemstones hail from Sri Lanka and Australia, and would certainly brighten up a grey day.


PANTONE 19-4045 Lapis Blue

"Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.”


Now this is an easy option. It’s even there in the name! Lapis Lazuli has been treasured by humanity for millennia. As one of the first gemstones used by mankind, it was revered as the colour of “the holy sky-realms”* by the Egyptians. Ultramarine paint was derived from the powdered mineral, and was considered so precious (and expensive!) that only the Virgin Mary’s cloak could be painted in this precious material.

*Jewels of the Pharaohs – Cyril Aldred


PANTONE 17-1462 Flame

"A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.”

What a gorgeous enlivening colour! We’re so excited to see this strong shade on the palate for 2017 and can’t wait to match it with every other colour option- we think this is one we’ll see a lot of this spring – probably mostly as accessories, but you never know. When paired with the Pink Yarrow and Primrose Yellow this is so reminiscent of early Pucci prints and those wonderful heady days of the early 60s!


As a gemstone, the go-to for this is garnet in the less well-known forms of Hessonite and Spessartine. Hessonite usually offers a slightly more brownish tone and typically has a somewhat cloudy internal appearance due to the structure of the stone itself. For the clarity and purity that Flame demands, we would recommend Spessartine. 


PANTONE 14-4620 Island Paradise

"Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.”


We have been watching Paraiba tourmaline rise and rise in the jewellery world, and if you are looking for a transparent gemstone to represent Island Paradise then this is it. Naturally occurring Paraiba is found in just 3 places around the world, but Copper bearing tourmaline may be treated to display this desirable colour. Something to bear in mind if you are offered a suspiciously cheap Paraiba stone!


Of course, no Island Paradise would be complete without Turquoise. This intense shot of blue-green is the go-to jewel of the beach holiday. Evocative of wide sunny skies and deep lagoons, the history of this gemstone is as long as that of Lapis Lazuli. The Egyptians considered it to be representative of water, which seems very apt in this tropical mode.


PANTONE 13-1404 Pale Dogwood

"Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.”


If 2017s Pale Dogwood seems familiar, it isn’t that much of a surprise after a year of celebrating Rose Quartz. This is a slight more earthy shade of that soft pink colour which was embraced so strongly over 2016. With that in mind, we feel that the most suitable gemstone to fit this colour is the rose quartz (again). How nice to be able to carry a trend over from one year to the next!


PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery

"Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”


Greenery is Pantone’s colour of the year, a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade” evoking both reassurance and revival after the tumultuous year of 2016. The best stone to fit this shade is undoubtedly the Peridot with it’s saturated tones of yellowish-green. With a hardness of 6.5-7, a bit of care needs to be taken with this stone as it is comparatively soft and will scratch if mistreated. The polish of a peridot can be affected by acids, so we definitely wouldn't advise wearing it while doing the housework!


PANTONE 17-2034 Pink Yarrow

"Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.”


Obviously, ShinyPrettyThings loves Pink Yarrow – it’s the perfect pink! Strong and bold and full of life and love, this is going to be an amazing colour to work with this year. In terms of gemstones, we would recommend the lovely (and wildly underrated) Rhodochrosite as being your best option for wear. With the jagged banding and tones of colour ranging from white through to the intense fuschia of Pink Yarrow, this stone is a perfect accessory to any outfit.  


PANTONE 18-0107 Kale

"Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.”


Kale takes us right back to nature with a deep and lush brownish-green shade reminiscent of undergrowth. The perfect gemstone match for this has to be the lovely Nephrite Jade. This rich, sombre green material has been used by master craftsmen for centuries, exemplified by Cartier and Faberge. As a foil to the brighter colours in this year’s line up, you couldn’t ask for a more elegant colour or stone.


PANTONE 14-1315 Hazelnut

"Rounding out the spring 2017 colors is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional color that effortlessly connects the seasons.”


For those of you looking for a neutral tone, this year’s contribution is the lovely Hazelnut. Personally, this colour reminds me of salted caramel and icecream -  two of my favourite things. There is a creaminess to this shade which makes it seem rich and lushious as well as warm and soothing. In terms of gemstones, the go to for this tone is agate or shell. Simple, easy materials which will wear well. Cameos are frequently made from both of these materials, and if you are starting to collect antique jewellery, this might be an good starting point; as they are relatively abundant on the market as well as reasonably priced – the fashion (and consequently the demand) for this type of jewel having died down in recent years.


Of course, the secret of any successful colour selection is in the combinations of shades, and Pantone comments in their Spring 2017 Fashion Colour Report that “designers applied colour in playful, yet thoughtful and precise combinations to fully capture the promises, hope and transformation that we yearn for each Spring”.  

Sounds like a good bit of advice to me. Mix it up to transform your appearance, and let’s keep hold of that optimism that seems to be inherent to Spring throughout the year to come!


All quotations taken from Pantone other than where indicated.

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