Each year, the paint company Pantone selects one color as its “color of the year” – and this year, Grand Jewelers is thrilled to announce that “ultra violet” has been chosen as 2018’s official color. We’re crazy about violet-hued gemstones, from amethyst to tanzanite, as well as the metals that complement them, including silver and white gold. If you’re shopping for a gift for a loved one – or a little something special for yourself – consider this on-trend hue as you peruse.
Wild About Amethyst
The word “amethyst,” the traditional birthstone for the month of February, derives its name from the Greek word “methysko,” which means, “to intoxicate.” Originally believed to protect its wearer from drunkenness, amethysts have long been prized for their luminous, purple hues. One of several forms of quartz, this semiprecious stone owes its color to irradiation, the presence of iron, and several other trace elements. Suitable for use in jewelry, amethysts boast the same hardness as quartz.
Ranging in color from pale violet to deep purple, the best amethysts are typically sourced from Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and the Far East. In Tibet, amethyst is held as sacred, and Buddhists create prayer beads from the stone. In the Middle Ages, amethysts signified royalty, and Old World jewelers considered it one of the Cardinal Gems–the five most valuable gemstones at the time.
Trichroic (or pleochroic) gemstones, including tanzanite, reveal three different colors depending on how they’re held and viewed. Prized for its alternating blue, violet, and burgundy coloration, tanzanite was named by Tiffany & Co. after Tanzania, where the gemstone was first discovered. In 2012, the American Gem Association deemed tanzanite the December birthstone – the first change to the birthstone list in a hundred years. Tanzanite joins turquoise, blue topaz, and zircon as gemstones representing December, and it’s also been chosen as the gemstone to represent a 24th anniversary.
Tanzanite is especially valuable because it’s sourced from just one location on earth – Tanzania. As such, it’s even more rare than a diamond. Its ever-shifting rainbow of hues is bound to dazzle, especially as ultra violet steps into the spotlight.
he Story of Silver: Accenting Ultra Violet
Silver is one of the world’s favorite metals – and it’s easy to see why. This soft, lustrous transition metal exhibits the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of any metal – and it’s the most reflective metal, too. Long used as currency, silver today is prized for use in jewelry—from rings to earrings, necklaces to timepieces.
Historically, silver provided protection against mythical beings, like werewolves, witches, and monsters. Today, this luminous metal is sourced throughout Latin America, Asia, China, and even Poland and Serbia. Commercial-grade silver is 99.9% pure, and Mexico is one of the world’s top producers. Exquisite when placed against ultra violet gemstones, including amethyst and tanzanite, silver is the preferred metal of choice for myriad settings.
White Gold: Ultra Violet’s Favorite Setting
White gold represents an alloy of gold and one other metal, typically copper, silver, and platinum—at least where jewelry is concerned. The term “white” actually covers a broad spectrum of hues, from pale yellow to light rose. A popular alternative to silver and yellow gold, white gold delivers a moon-like color that perfectly complements ultra violet gemstones, like amethyst. White gold is radiant and slow to tarnish, and its cool coloration means it’s the perfect pairing for luminous, blue- and violet-hued stones.
As you’re shopping for gifts this spring, don’t forget to consider ultra violet. This surprising color, found in a range of precious gemstones, will deliver dynamic beauty and inspiration for generations to come. And don’t hesitate to peruse Grand Jewelers’ collection of amethyst and tanzanite, available in a range of appealing settings.
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