Pairing Pantone and Colored Stones

EditorsOct 14, 2016

Pairing Pantone and Colored Stones

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator takes the 10 hot hues of autumn, as predicted by Pantone, and coordinates them with a variety of colored gemstones.

Pantone’s fall colors, released earlier this year following the fashion weeks in February, take a “unilateral approach to color and trend toward gender neutrality,” it said at the time.

In February, Pantone released the 10 colors it thought would be prevalent in fashion and design this fall.

The list, which included six new hues, is dominated by warm red and pink tones, but also features some bold, strong green and blue hues and solid neutrals.

The colors that Pantone predicts will be hot don’t always translate well to colored stones, and often have a much stronger influence in clothing and accessories.

So, rather than trying to match the colors to gemstones exactly, which can be tricky with some of the more out-there shades, I thought it might make more sense to pair them with complementary colored stones, creating a look that coordinates clothing or accessories in Pantone’s fall colors with the shades that can be found in colored gemstones.

Spicy Mustard. This is a very specific hue of yellow, one that I don’t imagine many people wear, but it adds a nice bold look to the fall palette.

What about matching the yellow shade to another warm tone, like a bright tangerine? Gems like spessartite garnet are a perfect fit for this.

Potter’s Clay. The warm, almost-burnt-orange tone of this color seems like it’s verging on the edge of a neutral, and rather than getting crazy with a super colorful stone to bring it out, I think this would pair better with more neutrals, like something in the taupe family.

Grab a jewel with a great smoky quartz or smoky topaz at center and you’re good to go.

Aurora Red. There is something about a vibrant red/vibrant pink match-up that I love. Celebrities have done it on the red carpet, and with the right pieces it creates an extremely interesting visual.

Now, I know that you probably have to be a pretty brave dresser to put on two colors like this, but having one in your jewelry could make it a little more understated.

Dusty Cedar. Pantone referred to this one as a dustier rose-toned pink with some complexity that gives a nod to one of the Colors of the Year for 2016, Rose Quartz.

It’s “dustier” quality gives it a little more of an icy, gray hue to me, so I wanted to pull that out with some silvery gray tones, like those in gray moonstone, hematite or some pearls.

Bodacious. Colors in the same family, when done right, can look really cool together as well.

and purples are what I have in mind when I say this, so I’m pairing this vivid, vibrant violet color with a light pink, like those found in rose quartz, certain morganite stones, tourmaline and more.

Airy Blue. Probably my favorite color in the palette (because of its resemblance to Carolina Blue), this shade is light, refreshing and beautiful.

When pairing it with colors, I chose to go with black and white jewels to leave the blue to be a subtle pop of color and create a clean look.

Riverside. A dark blue, like the one found in this Pantone shade, is so versatile and can mix with so many different colors.

I love the way a vibrant, rich green looks with it, like the shades found in tsavorite garnet, some green tourmalines or emeralds.

Lush Meadow. This is also one of my favorite colors in the palette, but I suspect it might be the same for many people. There’s something so pleasing to the eye and calming about a rich green shade.

To keep it cool and lush, I like the idea of pairing it with some black jewels, such as black spinel--that underrated, beautifully priced gem--black diamonds, or longtime jewelry classic onyx.

Warm Taupe. Taupe is such a soft, neutral color, and it goes great with a lot of different pastels.

Something about this swatch made me think of a crisp pencil skirt, blazer or pants, and I immediately thought it would pair so well with the luminescent shades of a nice pearl.

Sharkskin. I don’t know what it is about a gray and pink combination, but it’s always a good option. It’s a subtle, clean mix.

Again, I’m going to pair this shade with the soft hues of light pink stones like rose quartz, pink sapphires or tourmaline.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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