When it comes to fine jewelry, diamonds are often key—and the clearer, the better. But coloured stones are a beautiful way to expand your jewelry repertoire, with nuances and variations that catch the eye in just the same way that a sparkling diamond will. Even diamonds themselves aren’t always white; in fact, some of the most sought-after natural diamonds come coloured.
Coloured diamonds: The peak of indulgence
Because diamonds are so often prized for their clarity and lack of colour, shoppers may be surprised by the value of coloured stones. Some colours (like light brown tints) may devalue the diamond, but others (think watery pinks and bold reds) raise the cost of a diamond exponentially. While your typical diamonds sells for $3,000-20,000 per carat, you can expect to pay around $100,000 per carat for a desirable colour like orange or violet. A top-quality diamond in a vibrant red or violet hue can easily sell for over $1m per carat.
Yes, that’s over $1,000,000 per carat!
I love coloured stones, but like most run of the mill consumers… Oh boy. That’s too rich for my blood! I find my compromise in other coloured gemstones, often lab-created. They deliver all the sparkle and luxury that I could desire, but at a price tag that knocks quite a few zeros off the end.
Birthstone gemstones for good fortune
My first gemstone love was the ruby. I’m a July baby, so rubies are my birthstone. My upbringing was full of tiny rubies on necklaces and ornaments, whether as lab-created gemstones or simply ruby-coloured glass. Plus, as a Chinese person, I’m used to red being emphasized as the colour of good fortune, success, and good luck.
Having a lucky birthstone felt like twice as much of a sign, and I’ve always liked the colour red regardless. It makes me an easy person to buy a gift for, and means that I can always find something in a jewelry shop with my favourite gem in it. Other months are represented by other stones, with different attributes, but they have one thing in common: it’s always a little easier to find jewelry that features birthstones. They’re ever-popular, so you’ll often have a wider selection and price range to select from if you’re shopping for a stone that doubles as a birthstone.
Birthstones are an excellent way to customize a gift for your recipient, and they’re easy to match to other pieces. Setting up birthstone traditions is easy as long as your recipient loves their birthstone, and lets you change your purchasing habits throughout the years to suit each life stage. May babies, for example, can start a jewelry collection with a beautiful piece like this teardrop emerald pendant, and you can add matching earrings, bracelets, or rings as the years go by.
Coloured stones in from green to blue
Emeralds are a great place to start if you’re looking for an eye-catching coloured stone, but they’re far from the be and end all! I’ve always thought that blues and greens can straddle a spectrum. On one end, you have your deep navy blue sapphires and murky emeralds. On the other, you have lighter colours, like watery blue topaz or aquamarine.
Topaz is an excellent stone choice for a “just because” gift. It’s a little softer on the Mohs scale, and a little more affordable thanks to its abundance. Like sapphires (and many other stones), topaz comes in a very wide variety of colours. Yellow and light blue are the most common (“honey” and “aqua” topaz), but you can find pink, khaki, and even violet variations. White topaz has become a very common diamond substitute, too; it has less sparkle, but looks stunning and makes a great choice for a secondary stone. The two are often used interchangeably, to offset costs or maximize sparkle. In this set of ethereal stud earrings, for instance, you’ll notice a stunning centre topaz with a halo of tiny, radiant diamonds.
The styling is similar in this sapphire halo ring, but with a completely different feel. Where the lightness of topaz gives a youthful look to a set of earrings, a deep sapphire draws the viewer in. Sapphires, which symbolize purity and protection for September babies, are said to transform the characteristics of the wearer. An irritable partner suddenly grows a good temper; a slightly slow one gains wisdom beyond their years. Like the topaz, this sapphire is set in a halo of diamonds to highlight. It’s complimented well with matching earrings like this set of studs, which I bet would make a pair of blue eyes absolutely dance.
Express yourself with colour
Birthstones and good portents aside, the best part about a coloured stone is its ability to help you express yourself. Diamonds make a statement and a sparkle, but their variation comes in size, shape, and cut. Coloured gemstones go a step further, and let you express yourself with all of those designs and an eye-catching colour.
I’m at a place in my life right now where my entire wardrobe trends towards beige. I still have many pieces in black, white, and grey from other periods of my life, but all of my new purchases are in soothing, subtle tones. It’s a manifestation of my life stage: I’m moving forward, but it’s slow and steady and feels reliable. It feels beige.
As a result, I’ve trended away from the bright silver pieces that I loved in my childhood. Instead, I find myself drawn to gold and rose gold jewelry, adorned with watery-looking stones in pinks and purples. I express myself best by blending in with pieces like this Pink Sterling Silver & Morganite Halo set, which offers a lovely alternative to rose gold. It’s a non-precious metal that’s slow to tarnish, so it’ll highlight the glow of your morganites for years to come. Amour offers a similar set of earrings on their own, with an extra ring of pink plated silver on the outer edge for extra luxury.
Colour is one of those funny little things. You’d think that it was made to express yourself with big pops and bold statements, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, you can take a coloured gemstone in any direction you want—from big and bold to a quiet whisper.
Shop coloured stones and jewelry online at Best Buy.