Gemstones and Fashion: Pantone's Spring 2013 Color Trends and Color of the Year


The news just came out last week: "Emerald" is Pantone's color of the year for 2013. 

If "emerald" makes you think more of gemstones than fashion colors, welcome to my world! But it's fun for me to see Pantone and other color namers (like clothing brands and catalogs, especially J. Crew, who has the most delicious and clever color names for their clothes) use gemstone names for their colors. Ruby, emerald, amethyst–everyone knows what those colors are, and using the gem names instead of the color names is just a little more specific and interesting. As uncommon gemstones become more mainstream, those names are popping up in everyday places as well.

Pantone's Spring 2013 Color Trends in Gemstones

Each year Pantone identifies the top ten fashionable colors of the year, as shown in clothing, fabrics, home décor, purses and other accessories, including our favorite, jewelry. Even if fashion and trends aren't your thing, if you're a jewelry maker or jewelry designer, you need to know these colors. Why? Because they're the colors that almost everyone else will be using when they design their clothing and accessories–or wearing when they buy their clothing and accessories–so you'll want your jewelry designs to play along.

Naturally, you should design to your heart's vision, but whether you add color to your jewelry through gemstones, enamels, fibers, or some other way, these are the colors to watch for Spring 2013 and the gems that match them. (Photos courtesy of

  Grayed Jade: This one is easy, it does look like jade–but shades of chalcedony and larimar could also work, along with faceted apatite and fluorite. Aquamarine in this slightly greenish shade is my favorite color for that gem.
Tender Shoots: For this springy green, peridot comes to mind right away, along with grossular, tsavorite, and demantoid garnets.
Emerald: Even though it's called emerald, this color looks a little more blue-green than emerald-green to me. Chrome diopside is another rich green option, but apatite and tourmaline will give you that hint of blue.
Dusk Blue: Lovely sapphire and spinel as well as topaz and aquamarine could serve as this color in your gemstone creations, along with certain shades of chalcedony and larimar.
Monaco Blue: This blue could also be served with sapphire and spinel, as well as lapis lazuli, iolite, sodalite, and possibly even very fine tanzanite.
African Violet: Kunzite, fluorite, and amethyst have just the lovely shades of purple to match this color.
Nectarine: Fire opals, as well as spessartite, mandarin, and hessonite garnets, match up with this juicy color, along with citrine.
Lemon Zest: Lemon quartz is a good match for this one, along with yellow sapphire, tourmaline, chrysoberyl, yellow beryl, and topaz. Also look for Mali garnet, some citrine, and some members of the grossular garnet family.
Poppy Red: Even though rubies are a little more blue-red than this red, rubies certain fall in this area, as do spinel. Pyrope and other garnets can be this color, as can dark fire opals.
Linen: This pretty color immediately makes me think of pearls (surprised? ha!), but rose quartz and morganite might be a better match.

Pantone's Spring 2013 Colors in Gemstone Jewelry

In the January/February 2013 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Deborah Yonick shares how several jewelry designers who focus on colored stones are using Pantone's top ten colors for spring. Here are some bonus pieces.


Sweta Jain for Goshware, NYC
Mandarin garnet and rubellite cabochon Day 'n Night earrings in 18K gold from the G-One Collection.

Puja Bordia for Tresor, NYC
Tresor Mosaico Collection

Pratima Sethi for Sethi Couture, San Francisco
Natural Beauty drop earrings featuring blue sapphire slices topped with green and white diamond accents set in 18K gold.

(See more work from these jewelry artists and learn more about their use of Pantone's top 10 colors for 2013 in Deborah Yonick's "Flying Colors" in the January/February 2013 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.)

To learn more about faceted and cabochon gemstones–and to revel in all their juicy colors–Colored Stone magazine is a great resource. Even though it is no longer in print, you can still take advantage of the years of expertise that went into each issue of Colored Stone in digital format and in collection CDs, like the 2009-2010 Colored Stone Collection CD in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop!

Can you think of other faceted gemstone or cabochon colors that match Pantone's Spring 2013 colors? I'd love to hear your picks in the comments below!

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