The demand for colored stones of any kind is at an all-time high.
Just ask Ryan Akhavan, sales director at Ryan Gems: “Throughout history gemstones have always been very popular but there’s a recent increase in popularity,” he says. “Recently you even hear it in hip-hop lyrics. We used to hear all about ‘ice’, in reference to diamonds. Today it’s Quavo rapping about ‘color stones in my infinity link’ in the song ‘Hotel Lobby.’
“My experience has been that every decade or so, a new timeless elegance re-emerges, which I think is fair to say is happening with gemstones,” he adds. “For example, Elizabeth Taylor owned some of the most beautiful gemstone jewelry and that retro charm is being appreciated again.”
More specifically, a number of Plumb Club members report increased demand for gems in shades of blues and greens: blue topaz, turquoise, opals, emeralds, and tourmalines.
The feedback aligns with trends that are either emerging or well-established across the industry at large. “Sapphires of all colors continue to do well, and Montana sapphires have been selling well among better gem dealers for upwards of five years now,” reports Jennifer Heebner, editor in chief of AGTA’s media & the CPAA’s #thisispearl digital magazine.
“Just this fall, I’m hearing more about sapphires from Australia available from select dealers and for the recent 2022 Spectrum Awards in Dallas, trends among entries included spinel and tourmaline jewels, as well as more yellow gold,” she adds.
One of Wilkerson’s recent best-sellers is a sapphire-and-diamond clover pendant “because of the quality of the sapphires, high sell-through rate, and a competitive price point,” says Scott Smith, express sales representative.
“We are seeing a high demand for tanzanites and emeralds,” says Francis Brown, accounts manager at Sandeep Diamond Corporation. “People are gravitating towards the tried and true, gemstones that are well known overall.”
At Samuel B, “We’ve been seeing a lot of sleeping beauty turquoise, blue topaz and amethyst,” says Nicole Benham, director of operations. “We usually have a lot of blue topaz and sleeping beauty sales leading up to December.”
Turquoise styles are also doing well at Chic Pistachio’s Aurelie Gi, according to Kat Whitacre, national sales director.
Meanwhile, several jewelers are reporting inquiries for green gems after J. Lo got engaged with a green diamond, according to Heebner.
At Brevani, a division of Color Merchants, the trend translates to peridot: Between J.Lo’s green diamond and Megan Fox’s emerald engagement ring, green has definitely been having a moment,” says creative director Allison Peck.
And looking ahead, “For both Aurelie Gi and Ania Haie, we have new green tsavorite-focused styles launching for Spring ’23 as the interest in green continues,” says Whitacre at Chic Pistachio.
Many shades of freshwater and Tahitian pearls cover off on the blue/green trend nicely, but the big news over at Imperial, according to business development director, Kathy Grenier, is a new collection that pairs pearls with colorful enamel.
Kicking off with a tonal blue story, new colorways are slated to be announced in January. The possibilities are limitless since “we are well connected with specialists to execute this very cool new way of adding color to our pearl world,” she says.
At Asian Star, the product development team is seeing similar success with their Opa collection, which combines gold, diamonds and ceramic. Named for the Greek word for “Cheers!”, “the collection advocates the ritual of celebrating everyday life with joyous colors,” explains Nancy Almeida, general manager of marketing and corporate communications.
She reports a strong customer response to styles in a luminous deep blue and peacock green.
“Both have a balancing effect, elevating and complementing any ensemble, which also allows the wearer to experiment with layering of pieces,” she says. “They’re very distinctive, elegant colors created for a more discerning, individualistic wearer.”