When you think of a sapphire, a blue gemstone probably comes to mind first. This is not surprising as the blue sapphire is considered one of the three Classic Gemstones, along with emerald and ruby, and has been valued for centuries. Yet, as hallowed a place that blue sapphires hold in the gemstone world, we can’t ignore the other colors of sapphire that are special in their own right.
Sapphire is the gem variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum comes in all colors of the spectrum and is called sapphire for every color except red, when it is referred to as ruby. A sapphire’s value is determined by several factors including color, clarity and origin. Whether a sapphire is treated in some way, generally by heating, can affect its value as well. Let’s look at a few examples of some of our favorite fancy color sapphires.
Sapphires come in many shades of pink, from super vivid to a barely discernable wisp. Value is often determined by the saturation of pink throughout the gem, but with lighter pink sapphires, the quality of the cutting and clarity may have a bigger impact. A premium is placed on sapphires that are completely natural with no external enhancements or treatments. The 6.61 carat pink sapphire is one of those special, natural pink sapphires.
Named after the lotus flower blossom of Sri Lanka, the orangey-pink Padparadscha sapphire is a favorite amongst colored gemstone connoisseurs. These special sapphires are rare in their optimal color and typically demand a hefty premium over pink or orange sapphires. As you can see above with this 5.73 carat oval, we love to surround our padparadscha sapphires with rose gold to complement the color.
Some of the prettiest sapphires are in the purple family. These gems range in color including lilac, lavender and deep, royal purple. The color is believed to be a result of trace amounts of vanadium in the sapphire. We love to work with sapphires in this color range, often pairing them with pink sapphires in rose gold for a very rich look.
Fine green sapphires are rare, bold and really beautiful. The green color is caused by trace amounts of iron within the gemstone. The color ranges from pale to rich, dark shades. When we obtain a top quality green sapphire, we like to accent it with alexandrites and diamonds for an interesting combination – as can be seen in the ring above.
We could use up a lot more space going on and on about all of the different colors of sapphire, but we need to leave some for us to discuss in a future blog. Sapphires in all colors are a great addition to any collection as they are durable and have lasting value. The best part is that no matter what your favorite color is that there is a sapphire available for you in that color. We always have a great selection of fancy colored sapphire jewelry on hand or we can provide an unset gemstone for custom designs. Call or email us today.
Accessorizing with the Colors of the Season
The trend-setting institution that is Pantone shares with the world on an ongoing basis the most important fashion colors for Spring and Fall seasons. What do you do with this information? Do you immediately go out shopping, with palette in hand, to ensure you are on trend with your personal apparel? Or do you give it a quick glance, pick out a couple of your favorites and file it away for future reference? The important aspect from our perspective of this guide to the upcoming season’s colors is how do we recommend our jewelry as an accessory to outifts in these hues.
For example, let’s look at what we might suggest for Island Paradise, a light, refreshing blue color. The obvious choice if you were the type of person who likes matching accessories, would be something with aquamarine as the featured gemstone. The light, airy feel of aqua would pair beautifully with this color. What about a complementary color? We would suggest something with a pastel feel, such as a light pink or peach. A piece featuring a light pink sapphire, spinel, morganite, or in this case a Padparadscha sapphire, would be a great match.
If we look at the more “earthy” colors in this palette, aside from finding matching colors, we will also have the opportunity to select colors that really pop against a warmer base color. If we look at the the color Greenery, which is also Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2017, we would match this color with gemstones such as peridot, chrysoberyl or green tourmaline, like this ring below. On the other side of the spectrum, you would look to something in a bolder purple, red or pink as a suitable companion. As you can see from this Duet ring, we love combining green with purple spinel centers.
For another example, let’s consider a rich blue color like Lapis Blue. One of our specialties is blue sapphire, so matching this color with existing Omi jewelry is relatively easy. The complementary color for a bold blue color like this would be an equally bold orange hue – which we would find in our new orange tourmaline ring seen below. We can also find similar colors in spessartite garnets and orange sapphires.
There is a myriad of options when it comes to accessorizing this Spring’s fashion color palette with fabulous colored gemstones. Knowing and understanding how colors accent each other will go a long way in developing your fashion credibility amongst your peers and clients. Pay attention to what the trends are and take the time to pick out the best options for you to ensure you are trend-savvy in your day-to-day life.
There was a time in this great land, not too long ago, when a great behemoth of a company ruled the airwaves with a constant barrage of commercials stating that “A Diamond is Forever”. One would have been considered weird or rebellious to get engaged with anything other than a diamond. Well, things have changed here in the 21st century with a renaissance of color emerging in engagement rings. Women and men are choosing gemstones for their most important and symbolic piece of jewelry that better reflect them as individuals. It is a new age, free of any pressure or traditional bonds to choose fabulous color over the monotony of the colorless.
Prior to the days of mass marketing’s influence on the population, colored gemstones were far more popular as a symbol of one’s love for another. In fact, sapphires were the gemstone of choice in early engagement rings, not only for their beauty, value and symbolism of love, but they were also believed to reveal any infidelity of the wearer. In the 18th and 19th century, colored gemstones were valued higher than diamonds, so it was more special for a bride to receive a rarer, more valuable colored gemstone than a more run-of-the-mill diamond.
Today’s brides-to-be can choose from an incredible array of gemstones and hues. There are so many reasons that a person may connect with a particular type of gemstone. It could be as simple as a favorite color. It could be the origin of the gemstone. It could be a special cosmic trait that a gemstone posesses and creates a bond with the wearer. Whatever the reason, there is a universe of options available to the newly unshackled engagement ring shopper.
There are some practical considerations that should come into the decision-making process when choosing a colored gemstone engagement ring. One of the most important factors is durability. You will wear your engagement ring for a long time, so it is imperative to select a gemstone that will stand up to the daily grind of life. Really durable gemstones include sapphires, rubies, chrysoberyl (alexandrite), topaz and spinel. Within this list, you will find every color in the rainbow to select from. Your choices are endless and it is entirely up to the wearer as to which gemstone speaks to him or her.
Colored gemstones are returning as the symbol of love and romance as they have been throughout history. The few decades-long blip on the radar of mass marketed colorless stones is being replaced by a new era of freedom of choice and personal expression. We are honored and proud to be able to play a role in so many new special moments involving our beautiful colored gemstones and award-winning jewelry designs, and look forward to many more as color returns to its rightful place in the realm of romance.
A little holiday season inspiration for that special someone……..
What do you buy for that certain someone who has everything? Well, we at Omi Privé specialize in the rare and extraordinary, so here are a few of our suggestions for this year:
Incredible Australian Lightning Ridge Opal Ring
An amazing palette of color swirls around in this 13.46 carat opal. We surround this magnificent gem with grass-green tsavorite garnets, deep ocean blue sapphires and diamonds – all set in platinum. No two opals are alike and very few look anything like this one.
Pastel Pinks, Purples and Blues in a Cacophony of Color
In this design collaboration with artist/designer Remy Rotenier, we started with an amazing 12.27 carat cushion-cut pink kunzite in the center then surrounded it with rose cut sapphires in pleasing pink and purple tones. We added in a few pretty blue sapphires as accents to round out this18K rose gold ring for the free form loving artist in us all.
Luck be a Sapphire Tonight!
If you know someone who needs a little good fortune – how about this 7.77 carat emerald cut blue sapphire from Ceylon set in platinum and surrounded by baguette diamonds and a pair of blue sapphires? Imagine looking at this beauty everytime you pull down the handle on a one-armed bandit.
You Can’t Buy Me Love
But, you can buy this fabulous ring……featuring a passion-inspiring, unheated 4.01 carat oval ruby from Mozambique and over a carat of diamonds set in platinum with 18K gold prongs. This is truly one of Mother Nature’s true works of art, released by the hands of a master gem cutter.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Thanks to an effect known as asterism, certain cabochon-cut sapphires exhibit a star-like pattern when light is reflected off the internal silk of the gem. Finding a fine quality sapphire that exhibits this is rare, finding a pair is much rarer. Check out these star sapphire earrings, accented with blue sapphires and diamonds in 18K white gold. These are sure to be a conversation-starter at any event.
Emerald by Day, Ruby by Night – Introducing the Alexandrite
A lot of history and lore surrounds the magical color-change gemstone Alexandrite. What is truly factual is the beauty and rarity of this very fine gemstone. This 3.76 carat emerald-cut Alexandrite exhibits a deep teal blue-green in daylight and a rich raspberry-purple color in warm candlelight. The gem originated in the exceptional chrysoberyl deposits of Brazil, which have all been played out at this time. The gemstone is framed by a halo of diamonds, then framed again with more alexandrites that change color along with the center when the lighting conditions change. The platinum ring shank features more alexandrites and diamonds – this is a true work of gem wizardry.
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and remember that the more you give, the more you get!
Being born in October is not the easiest thing – you were either the youngest kid in your class or you missed the cutoff and you were one of the oldest. Depending on where you live, the dreary Fall weather sets in and you can’t do outside birthday parties like all of your friends who have spring and summer birthdays. But one thing that helps make it all better is that you get not one, but two fabulous gemstones as birthstones – opals and tourmalines!
Let’s start off with opals, they are literally a phenomenal group of gemstones. Opals are incredible spectacles of nature, formed by silica-laden water filling in cracks in rock over a hundred million years ago. No two opals are alike, each tells their own story in colors and patterns unique to the individual gemstone. There are many varities of opal as well. The best known, and most valuable, opals are the Australian black opals found deep in the Outback. Australia’s opals range in color from a milky white to plays of color including bright blues, greens, oranges and reds (the most desirable color) and can be opaque to transluscent in its crystal forms. Mexico produces vivid orange opals, with or without a play of color, called fire opals. A very popular form of opal that has hit the market in recent years is the Ethiopian opals, which have great plays of color. Singular color blue opals are found in Peru, and domestically in the state of Oregon. Opals are a favorite of Omi Privé head designer Niveet Nagpal, who has been recognized for several of his opal-centric pieces, including the 2015 Grand Prize winner in the JCK Jewelers Choice Awards.
Tourmalines, on the other hand, are wonderful gemstones that come in almost every color hue in the rainbow. Trace minerals mixing within the tourmaline crystal structure help determine the hue of the gemstone. For example, the electric neon blue color of Paraiba tourmalines is due in part to the presence of copper. Tourmalines also have special properties, they become electrically charged when heated or put under pressure. They are also doubly refractive, which means that light separates when going into the gemstone and causes the tourmaline to appear to have more “life” than other gems. At Omi Privé, we use tourmalines of all colors, but tend to use more greens, blues, pinks and reds (rubellite). They are fabulous gemstones to be featured in the center of rings or pendants, either on their own or surrounded by accent stones.
As you can see, people with October birthdays have an incredible array of gems and colors to choose from in celebrating their special day. Opals are like small canvases of art drawn by nature, while tourmalines are charged full of life and found in all your favorite colors.
Omi Privé recently won two AGTA Spectrum Awards, a jewelry design competition that has been held annually for over 30 years. What does winning a design competition mean for the designer, and the consumer who might be considering buying a winning piece? There are many factors that go into the value of the award for all involved.
Let’s look at the Spectrum Awards specifically, which is considered one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world This competition is produced annually by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), a trade association who’s mission is to promote colored gemstones. The competition provides value for the association by encouraging jewelry designers to use colored gemstones in their designs, hopefully purchased from AGTA gemstone dealers. What helps set the Spectrum Awards apart is that each piece of jewelry is physically judged by a panel of jewelry industry experts that changes each year, ensuring that not one form of design is ever favored over another and that the smallest of details can affect the final outcome. To win a Spectrum Award is a benchmark that many designers aspire to achieve.
2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Spinel ring
Many gem dealers and designers collaborate on individual pieces to take advantage of the opportunity for exposure for individual gemstones and design aesthetics. Each year the competition receives between 500 and 600 entries. Each entrant knows that they are going to be competing against the best jewelry designers in the US and Canada, so everyone tends to put their best foot forward and sends in their best work. As the judges work their way through each of the entries, they must consider the quality of the gemstones, the quality of the workmanship and the design aesthetic. It usually takes two days of judging to determine the winning entries. Winners are announced the following day and the media are invited to see all the winners and other entries. The media values the competition because it offers a rare opportunity to look for new trends and emerging designers all in one location.
2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Alexandrite ring
designed in collaboration with Remy Rotenier
Winning designers benefit from an incredible amount of exposure driven by AGTA’s public relations efforts to share the results of the competition. AGTA and the media feature the winning designs throughout the year until the following year’s competition. The designers themselves publicize their wins through traditional marketing channels and social media. Yet, the true value for the designer who wins is that their work stood out against some of the top designers in the world. If they are a new designer, this exposure can serve as a launching point for their collection. For an established designer, a win reinforces their standing and provides additional caché for their jewelry lines.
For the pieces that win, many are sold quickly to collectors of those designers. For a client to be able to own an actual award-winning design gives them another opportunity to talk about the jewelry they love. Other designers hold on to their winning pieces and feature them in shows and museums. Many designs are incorporated into the designer’s collections in a bigger way to take advantage of the exposure and potential trends developing as a result of their win. We love to see our pieces being worn and enjoyed by our clients, so our award-winning designs are made available to our collectors. The awards are a welcome recognition for the quality of work we do, but in the end, it is all about these pieces adorning the people who appreciate their beauty.
Gone are the days when women waited around for a parent, fiancé or spouse to buy them jewelry. Today, according to research done by Mintel in 2015, 30% of women report buying themselves non-diamond jewelry* as a treat or even for no special reason, 19% of women report buying themselves non-diamond jewelry as a birthday gift, and 20% of women report buying themselves non-diamond jewelry as a holiday gift or for some other special event or occasion. Another 7% of women actually buy their own anniversary gifts! All that adds up to a lot of women buying jewelry for themselves these days!
Jewelry is an incredibly personal purchase. We all have different tastes, respond to different stories, and are concerned about different features. At Omi Privé, we don’t get too hung up on “selling” jewelry. Sure, all businesses need to sell, so that’s certainly something we do. But we spend far more time thinking about the design of our jewelry, the characteristics of the gemstones we select for each piece, the places those gems were found and mined, and the stories that surround these very precious gems. We know that when women go looking for something special, they know it when they see it, and they want to learn more about it. So instead of “selling,” we get to engage in conversations about natural beauty, design, and extraordinary craftsmanship. And that’s why we love our work!
* Jewelry in which diamonds are not the primary gem material, including primarily metal jewelry.
Pantone, the world-renowned authority of color, has announced their color predictions for Spring 2015. Although we don’t yet know the official color of 2015 (stay tuned in December for the announcement!), we are seeing prominent colors at Fashion Week including; aquamarine, lucite green and strawberry ice. Pantone executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, states “The color choices for 2015 follow a minimalistic, ‘en plain air’ theme, taking cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated. Soft, cool hues blend with subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.” Colored gemstones are the perfect natural representation or accent to spring’s hottest colors! We’re excited to present 9 of the most striking tones for the upcoming season with descriptive notes by Pantone.
“Both tasty and tasteful, Strawberry Ice is a confection color that evokes a feeling of being “in the pink,” emitting a flattering and healthy glow.” Our Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring is the perfect delight accented with 18K rose gold filigree. Pairs well with Tangerine and Toasted Almond.
“Aquamarine, an airy, ethereal blue with a cool, dreamy feel mixes will with other blues and greens in this season’s color palette.” Feel the breeze of the ocean all day with our 6.80 carat emerald cut aquamarine and diamond ring. Pairs well with Marsala, Classic Blue and Lucite Green.
“Classic blue is a strong and reliable anchor color and, with its waterborne qualities is perceived as thoughtful and introspective.” Classic Blue seems best represented by sapphire, as seen in these cushion sapphire and diamond double halo earrings. Classic Blue combines well with Lucite Green, Scuba Blue and Custard for bold looks.
“Custard serves as an all-encompassing yellow for the spring palette, which can be combined with Classic Blue for a maritime look.” Say “Ahoy” with our round yellow sapphire and diamond ring set in 18K yellow and white gold.
“Fresh and clarifying, cool and refreezing, Lucite Green has a minty glow. Light in weight and also in tone, Lucite Green seems almost transparent.” We can’t help but point out this color and transparency is perfectly represented through Paraíba tourmaline! Two Paraíba cabochons totaling 25.31 carats are cradled by 18K yellow gold surrounded by diamonds and round Paraíba tourmalines. Pairs well with Classic Blue and Scuba Blue.
“Sensual and bold, delicious Marsala is a daringly inviting tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul.” A robust shade, hints of Marsala can be seen in this imperial topaz, ruby and diamond ring set in 18K rose gold. Pairs well with Aquamarine.
“Scuba Blue offers a feeling of escape as it is reminiscent of a tropical ocean. This stirring and energizing shade takes us off to an exotic paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.” Make your fantasy come true by keeping this vibrant blue close to your heart with our blue zircon and diamond pendant. Pairs well with Classic Blue and Lucite Green.
“Spontaneous and gregarious, Tangerine is a juicy orange shade that is energizing, yet not jarring to the eye. Versatile Tangerine is striking enough to stand on its own and adds vitality to a printed pattern.” This fancy orange sapphire and diamond ring set in 18K rose gold is a great stone/metal combo to represent this tangy color! Pairs well with Strawberry Ice and Toasted Almond.
“A sun-tanned neutral, Toasted Almond offers comforting warmth and is indicative of a spontaneous spring, summer feeling.” Because Toasted Almond pairs well with Tangerine and Strawberry Ice, a great combination of those two hues can be found in our 21.88 carat cushion morganite and diamond earrings.