I cannot believe it’s almost the end of July and I haven’t even talked yet about the Pantone color of the year! What’s the matter with me?! If you want more insight into Pantone and why they get to choose colors for entire year, read one of my very first blog posts here.
I was thrilled to see they chose Ultra Violet for the 2018 Color of the Year. I love all shades of of purple and violet! You probably guessed that, since I have lots of purple all over this blog!
The folks over at Pantone say Ultra Violet is a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade of purple, suggesting the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now. But of course!
Getting out their crystal ball, they also say Ultra Violet is nuanced and full of emotion. It symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, and pushes us to be creative. It speaks to our calmer, spiritual side. They also note that several musicians used this color to express themselves – Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix.
Even though we’re well into 2018, you can tell this color is still trending by taking a look at just HOW MUCH purple in still showing up everywhere you’re shopping. For example, check out the range of products I get when I enter “purple.”
I imagine as we get further into fall, purple as a jewel tone will start showing up too.
But let’s talk about how great this is for purple GEMS! Because there are so many great purple gems that just don’t get enough attention.
One of my favorite gemstones is amethyst. Underrated in my opinion, this is a beautiful stone with a fascinating history. Luckily for all of us, it’s easy to find in the market in all kinds of jewelry. Chances are, if you see a purple gem, it’s amethyst. Amethyst used to be considered a precious stone, right up there with rubies and emeralds, until lots and lots of amethyst was found in Brazil around 1820. It’s popularity goes WAY back, though, and is worldwide. In ancient Egypt, they wore amethysts as protective amulets. Catherine the Great of Russia loved amethysts so much she sent thousands of miners to Siberia to get the best quality for herself. And the British monarchy has tons of amethyst in their Crown Jewels.
Although amethyst is the birthstone for February, you should feel free to wear this great gemstone any time you want! Amethyst comes in all shades of purple. Typically, the more intense the purple, the more expensive it is. Today, most amethyst comes to us from South America, typically Brazil or Uruguay.
Most amethyst you see is faceted, but check out this beautiful amethyst cabochon:
Tanzanite is truly one of the rarest stones on earth, and while it’s more reliably blue than purple, there are shades that definitely fall into the ultra violet color. It’s named after the country it was found in – Tanzania. It’s a very new gemstone to the market, only discovered in 1967. The father of the first geologist on scene worked for Saks Fifth Avenue and he tried to convince them to market it to the American public. When Saks passed, he moved on to Tiffany’s. And Tiffany was definitely interested. But they were worried about what to call this new stone. While technically a variety of zoisite, they thought the word zoisite sounded too close to the word suicide, so they agreed to call it tanzanite, and it’s stayed that way ever since.
Tanzanite is a lovely gemstone. While it’s quite rare, it’s not very expensive. Take advantage, tanzanite is estimated to be mined out of existence within the next 20 years!
Iolite is another very pretty stone, with a beautiful color range. Like tanzanite, it can be blue or violet. It’s certainly not as common as amethyst, but it’s around. I typically see iolite in earrings, as little briolettes.
There isn’t a real steady supply of iolite, mainly because we don’t see a lot of demand from consumers. So if you’re looking for it, it’s great because it’s very inexpensive. I discovered that although most iolite on the market comes from India, it is an American gemstone as well. A huge deposit of iolite was found in Wyoming in 1996.
You might sometimes hear people call this stone “water sapphire.” Although it’s an outdated term, it makes sense. Iolite has a tendency to look water-y, like you’re seeing the color under water.
Iolite, to me, is another underrated gem. Because it’s so cheap, you find it in cheaper jewelry, which is a shame. This stone can be stunning when the right designer showcases it properly.
Tourmaline is a gemstone with a huge color range. While it comes in purple, it also comes in green and blue and red and orange. If you really want tourmaline in a violet shade, you can find it. But you’re going to have to be proactive. It is a very small segment of what’s on the market.
Ah, sapphires. Everyone loves them, and they too have an incredible color range. While we tend to focus on blue sapphires, they also can be yellow, orange, green, pink, and yes, purple. Also like tourmaline, these gemstones are around, but not real common. Surprisingly, I found some lovely sapphires in the ultraviolet hue on Etsy.
Also, sapphire on the market can mined (or natural) and lab-created (synthetic). Just be aware.
The other great thing about sapphires is that some cabochons have this phenomenal aspect where they show a star. It’s not always easy to see from photos, but trust me, it’s really cool in person!
Violet Gemstones are everywhere!
In this post, I only talked about five gemstones. I picked these ones because of their beauty and availability. Plus, they’re all are suitable for everyday jewelry. And they have a variety of price points that anyone could work with.
So what do you think? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments.