When Pantone’s Fall 2017 Colors Meet Gemstones

EditorsOct 16, 2017

When Pantone’s Fall 2017 Colors Meet Gemstones

With autumn upon us, Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator again takes the 10 hot hues of the season and pairs them with colored stones.


The calendar tells me it’s fall. Up until now, the weather in New York has been saying something else.

Still, I love the season.

It always brings about a feeling of change and new adventures, and there is, of course, all of the amazing things people seem to love to make fun of others for enjoying these days: sweaters and chilly weather, changing leaves, pumpkin and apple picking, the start of the holiday season. I don’t care; I’m all about it. Experiencing fall in North Carolina as I was growing up probably didn’t hurt.

When we think of fall colors, it’s a lot of oranges, browns, dark reds and burgundies.

Many of these are included in the palette of colors that Pantone predicted would be hot this season. This year’s are slightly richer than the last, and also include some zesty hues that I think perfectly encapsulate summer’s hesitation to leave.

In the latest edition of my blog posts pairing Pantone’s palettes with colored stones, here’s how I would color block the shades with gems.

Golden Lime. I appreciate Pantone’s name of choice for this one because I feel like it puts a pretty positive spin on the color. To be honest, I look at it and think pea soup.

However, it does have some good yellow undertones that I think would be pulled out nicely with yellow gemstones, like a juicy yellow sapphire, lemon quartz, some citrine, yellow agate and the like.

Autumn Maple. If I had to pick a color to represent the whole season, this would probably be it. I know I don’t need to go over it again, but it represents all the best things: pumpkins, leaves, cooking with all the best spices.

I’m going to pair it with another color that has a fairly fall feel--purple--and its rich shades that you can find in amethyst, sapphires and spinel.

Grenadine. While a fall palette wouldn’t be my first placement for a color like this, I love how much life it has, and I wanted to give it a less obvious pairing. 

A grenadine-royal blue combination found while searching for ideas kept stopping me in my tracks, so I’m pairing this with the vibrant shades of stones like lapis, those famous blues of sapphire and even a great azurite.

Ballet Slipper. It seems Rose Quartz being one of two
Pantone colors of the year in 2016 is having a long-term effect: Various shades similar to the pink hue keep showing up, and I expect it might continue for a bit.

The tone is so soft and feminine that I want to pair it with the crispness of the whites found with pearls, agate and mother of pearl.

Tawny Port. This color screams fall to me, with its rich, heavy shade.

Rather than complementing it with a pop of color, I’m keeping on the cool side of the color spectrum for a sleek look and pairing it with black. Think black sapphires, spinel, onyx or agate.

Marina. Pantone said in late 2015 that when Serenity and Rose Quartz were paired together, the “color duo makes a striking statement on its own,” and I think they were on to something.

This color is a bit richer than Serenity, but I still want to pair it with light pinks as seen with rose quartz (the actual gemstone) and some morganite.

Navy. Navy blue is one of those deep, almost neutral shades that goes so beautifully with a brilliant pop of color.

I’m going to pair this with pink as well, but going this time with hues that are a bit more vibrant--I’m talking those shades of sapphire, spinel, tourmaline and kunzite.

Shaded Spruce. This is such a great color, but if I was wearing a piece of clothing in this shade, I would probably want to keep my accessories neutral.

I kept going back and forth between black and white as complements, and then realized that, thanks to mother earth, I don’t have to decide; there are options featuring both. So I’m matching this with the fascinating pieces of black and white agate.

Butterum. This is like everyone’s favorite pair of khakis, but with a warmer undertone.

To give it a little bit more edge, and because I always love a color block of shades from the same family, I think Butterum would be great accented with darker browns, which offers the chance to get into some great organic materials.

Gray. I had to fight the urge to go with a standard gray-black pairing on this one and get a bit more creative. Rather than thinking in a fashion sense, I turned to jewelry design for inspiration and thought, what accents usually go with a gray diamond?

Instead of the sparkle and shine of white diamonds, though, I’m getting gemmy and pairing gray with the milky, shiny hues of moonstone and quartz.

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

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