Psychology of Color: Sapphire, Sphene, and Other Yellow Gemstones

November is the month of topaz. Many people think of blue when they think of topaz, due to the incredible market saturation of the heat-treated variety of this gemstone. But the most common natural color of topaz are pale “straw” yellow gemstones, through orangish or brownish yellow. The finest quality, so called “Imperial” topaz has a blush of red. So let’s look at the effects yellows are said to have on the mind and body.

ABOVE: Sphene is a gemstone coming into its own because of the gorgeous color. And what do you know, it’s still affordable. If you’re looking for a show-stopping yellow stone to enliven a piece of jewelry, look no further. Photo courtesy Thai Lanka Trading.

Yellow Symbolism

Yellow is the brightest, most visible color in the spectrum. That’s one of the reasons it is used for the fire trucks in some cities. It’s used for cautionary signs, yellow tape around construction sites, traffic lights—because we tend to see it first.

It’s the color of spring–young chicks, daffodils, bees. It represents warmth, happiness, optimism, and cheeriness. This is why, when a person exhibits these traits, we say they have a “sunny” disposition. There’s a good reason why yellow is the unmistakable color of Minions and happy faces: They’re both meant to cheer us. Emotionally, exposure to yellow stimulates happiness and a strong feeling of well-being, and gives a sense of security.

Yellow, of course, represents the sun, something you can see by looking at any child’s drawing. In ancient cultures, the sun’s yellow color was represented by gold, the color of the sun god Ra in ancient Egypt. It’s why the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs, like Tutankhamen, were sheathed in layers of gold.

Yellow represents enlightenment to many people. Buddhist monks wear robes of yellow. The yellow chakra is located at the solar plexus, and provides personal power, giving one a sense of their own inner worth and allowing one to assert oneself. The color yellow was once reserved for the Chinese Imperial family.

Yellow Stigma, Disease, and Health

While yellow has many positive attributes, it does have a stigma. In the West, yellow has come to symbolize cowardice (a yellow streak), lies (yellow journalism), or betrayal (the apostle Judas has been painted in yellow robes). Physically, it can indicate disease, such as jaundice. And many yellow pigments contain toxic metals, such as cadmium, lead, and chrome.

In the past, yellow was thought to generate energy and was used to restore muscle tone and to cure diseases of the skin. Chroma therapy also uses yellow to purify the blood, aid digestion, and cleanse the body.

yellow gemstones

This gorgeous cuff bracelet by Jacob Albee shows the incredible potential of meteorite work as a metal. Set with a 1.23 carat yellow sapphire, white, canary and golden diamonds, and accented with 24k inlay and an 18k yellow gold border, this is a piece to give you hope all winter. Photo courtesy Jacob Albee Goldsmith.

Those who choose yellow may be introspective, think things through carefully and logically, and have the courage of their convictions. (Detractors may use the words stubborn or opinionated). They may be the ones you find championing new, challenging ideas. On the livelier side, lovers of yellow are spontaneous, adaptable, creative, and energetic.

Wear Yellow Gemstones

Feeling lethargic? Choose a bright yellow stone to wear. Yellow sapphires are some of the most beautiful yellow gemstones around, but a fine citrine, a golden topaz, a golden garnet, or golden beryl will also serve. Yellow jade is lovely, too. Want something bigger to make a splash? Look for bumblebee jasper.Any of these yellow gemstones should cheer you right up.

Sharon Elaine Thompson is a GG and FGA who has been writing about gemstones and jewelry for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 1987. She also writes a line of birthstone romance novels under the name Liz Hartley.

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