Pantone Picks Two Colors for 2021

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

Pantone colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray (17-5104) and Illuminating (13-0647)
Image courtesy of Pantone.com.

Last year wasn’t quite what anyone was expecting. Most likely, everyone is looking forward to 2021 and the start of a new year. With that in mind, let’s talk color. Specifically, Pantone’s color of the year.

Pantone has chosen two colors this year: Ultimate Gray (17-5104) and Illuminating (13-0647). These two unexpected colors may seem like unusual choices, but Pantone picked them because they are “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic.”

Stability, optimism, warmth, and energy is what most need now, so they are fitting colors for a brand new year.

Ultimate Gray is a surprising choice. However, gray is a complementing color, able to enhance other colors alongside it, match every other shade, and be either warm or cool-toned when needed.

It’s also a color that everyone is familiar with; the word “gray” (or “grey” in the United Kingdom) first came into use as far back as 700 AD and has been associated with industry and business for many decades.

Ultimate Gray is a surprising choice. However, gray is a complementing color, able to enhance other colors alongside it, match every other shade, and be either warm or cool-toned when needed.

Many artists during the Renaissance used gray lines as the base for oil paintings, and since it went well with all skin tones, it was often used as a background color.

Neutral, familiar, and modest, gray is a sharp contrast to the other color of 2021—Illuminating.

Yellow is a well-known color too, and this particular shade of Illuminating is bright and cheery, reminiscent of daffodils, ducklings, and bananas.

Yellow in fashion isn’t as common as other colors, given that it clashes with other hues. That’s why Ultimate Gray is the perfect companion!

An ancient color, the first use of yellow in art is from the Cave of Lascaux, in France. There you will find a yellow horse drawing, painted with yellow ochre, dating back some 17,300 years.

Ochre in yellows was common for artwork and a favorite of the Egyptians. They often painted gods with golden skin, and female mortal figures with lighter, paler shades of yellow. Gold was an important color to them, symbolizing eternity and strength.

It is said that Vincent van Gogh loved the color yellow and was quoted as saying it was the color of sunshine.

While the last year was perhaps not the grand start to a new decade, Illuminating reminds us to look to the things that are beautiful, bright, and colorful.

While many fashion and decorating trends will utilize these two colors, as always, natural gemstones are already a step ahead. Plenty of jewels offer a complementing hue, and some downright embody the two colors.

Diamond comes to mind, and not just for the perfect coloring. Diamonds are strong, resilient, and last forever. They remind us to shine under pressure.

With an abundance of natural inclusions, some diamonds can appear grayish, but maintain a strong surface luster. These are marketed under many names, and no two are alike.

Other diamonds, colored by nitrogen, will be yellow. These range from light and pale, to intense and vivid. Treatments can enhance these colors, and since they are still diamonds, they remain bright and fiery!

Some pearls can also be gray, and as a familiar and classic gemstone, it’s the perfect choice for Ultimate Gray.

Sunny gems like citrine and lemon quartz are great for that Illuminating vibe. Citrine is said by many to be a positive gemstone when worn. It’s considered a warm gem and is said to invite the imagination. It is also known as the merchant’s stone. Old legends speak of increased wealth to merchants that held the stone during transactions and increased protection when traveling.  

More yellow-hued gemstones to consider are yellow beryl (Heliodor) and yellow sapphire.

Heliodor is the yellow member of the beryl family and is named after the Greek god of the sun, Helios. As such, this gemstone is another that is closely related to warmth, energy, and life. Some also claim it increases confidence and the desire to learn.

Yellow sapphire, although it can range in color tones, can reach the same vibrant shade as Illuminating. Since sapphires are durable as well as colorful, this gem is a great combination for everyday wear.

The new year is upon us with great anticipation. Pantone’s colors reflect the need for familiarity and happiness, which are hoped for now more than ever.

Jewelry images by American Gem Society (AGS) members. Visit ags.org/findajeweler to find an AGS jeweler near you.


Isabelle Corvin

Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.

The Folklore of Diamond

The diamond is one of the most well-known gemstones—if not THE most well-known. This precious gem is solely made of carbon and is incredibly tough. The legends are true: only another diamond can cut a diamond. However, have you heard other the legends and lore of this beautiful gemstone?

5 diamond rings on one woman's finger

Many ancient civilizations believed that this “King of Gems” was lightning made real on Earth. They also believed diamonds had incredible healing powers, such as the ability to cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders, and draw toxins from the blood.

Hildegard of Bingen, the German mystic, said that sucking on a diamond would prevent lying and aid in the ability to fast from food. In folklore, diamonds could prevent fear and anxiety.

Legend has it that diamonds can promote creativity and imagination in those who wear them. People have felt the gems could open their minds to impossible ideas being possible. It was also believed that diamonds symbolized wealth and the ability to manifest abundance.

Since ancient times, the diamond has been a symbol of eternal love, trust, and faith. This is why diamond engagement rings are so popular.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, a stunning diamond piece for a friend’s April birthday, or something special for yourself, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of diamonds and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

Red Carpet Rules

The 92nd Academy Awards airs on February 9, and it’s a sacred day for jewelry! Never mind who wins—it’s the bling we’ll be watching for. If AGS was an acronym for “Academy Gem Stylists,” the nominees would be wearing these show-stopping Red Carpet earrings and accessories from a few of our American Gem Society (AGS) members.

Cynthia Erivo
Actress in a Leading Role
Harriet

Cynthia would rule the red carpet in this magnificent 49.79-carat diamond necklace by TAKAT.

Renée Zellweger
Actress in a Leading Role
Judy

Renée would complement her baby blues perfectly with Jack Abraham’s Ceylon sapphire and diamond demi-parure. The set features Red Carpet ready earrings and a necklace.

Saoirse Ronan
Actress in a Leading Role
Little Women

Saoirse can raise the Oscar statuette while showing off this fabulous pearl ring by Baggins Pearls.

To end, we have a real-life Red Carpet moment at the SAG Awards that we want to share. Yvonne Strahovski from the Handmaid’s Tale wore these jaw-dropping pieces from Harry Kotlar.

Yvonne brightened up the Red Carpet with a pair of 12-carat emerald cut diamond earrings and the Kotlar Cushion Riviera Drop Necklace, featuring a 151.02-carat diamond drop.

Looking for your own red carpet moment? Find an AGS jeweler here and ask them to show you the money bling.

Three Jewelry Gift Ideas

Finding the right gift can be a little overwhelming, so here are three holiday jewelry gift ideas that a special person on your list will adore!

Hoop Earrings

 

Bracelets

 

Pendant Necklace

 

Search for an American Gem Society jeweler near you to help select the perfect holiday jewelry this season.

Spotlight on Lika Behar Collection

It’s November, so let’s talk all things Turkey and topaz jewelry. (We’re referring to the country, not the bird.)

Growing up in Istanbul, Lika Behar collected rocks from the terrain as well as beads and semiprecious stones from the shopping bazaars of her homeland. So, it’s no surprise she grew up to design jewelry that’s rich with color, textures that are rough and glassy, and all put together in a wild hive of metals and gemstones.

“When I see beautiful, original, and often organically-shaped gemstones, the design process in my mind begins,” says Lika. Those three words—beautiful, original, organic—perfectly describe her pieces, whether straightforward in their simplicity or one-of-a-kind art pieces.

Lika’s Mediterranean influence is evident not only in the colors of gemstones but also in her work with 24-karat gold.  Both hammered and smooth, this luscious gold is perfect on its own and equally stunning as a complementary setting for other metals and gems.

In celebration of the month, here’s topaz jewelry – November’s birthstone – à la Lika.

Rough Stuff

Lika may not have coined the phrase “diamond in the rough,” but she certainly mastered it.

earrings

22K Hoop Earrings with Fancy Cut and Melee Diamonds

It’s Hammer Time, for bracelets. You can touch this.

bracelet1

24K Hammered Fusion Gold and Silver Open Cuff

Are your ears ringing?  They should be earring-ing, that is, with Lika’s oxidized silver, gold, and diamond beauties.

Mediterranean Color Blast

With Lika’s Turkish pedigree, the expectation for color is great—and she does not disappoint.  Fasten your seat belts for these pieces featuring sapphire, moonstone, and more.

There’s much more beauty to see at www.likabehar.com. If you’d like to see Lika’s beautiful designs in person, ask an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler near you: www.ags.org/findajeweler.

Fancy These Four Fancy Shape Diamonds

The time has come in your relationship to finally pop THE question. Various thoughts are now running through your mind, like how to ask, where to ask, and when to ask. And then it dawns on you: what type of ring should I choose?

If a traditional round brilliant diamond is too traditional for your taste, consider one with a different shape. Fancy Shaped or Fancy Cut diamonds (as they are also known) are beautiful and sometimes even more affordable than the traditional round brilliant. These geometric works of art are created by diamond cutters who are master craftsmen with a cutting wheel.

Fancy shaped diamonds can also come with diamond grading reports so that you can best understand the diamond’s characteristics.  AGS Laboratories pioneered the light performance cut grade for fancy shapes, which means between the diamond cutters and AGS Laboratories, you now have more options of beautiful diamonds to choose from.

Here are four different fancy shapes to consider when shopping for the perfect ring.

Pear

The pear-shaped diamond has become a popular fancy shape among celebrities and modern brides who are looking for an elegant, eye-catching engagement ring. This beautiful rose gold ring from Tacori features a pear-cut diamond framed by a pear-shaped halo.

 

 

 

Emerald

Emerald cuts are another great alternative. Take this showstopping emerald cut from Harry Kotlar, which is flanked by two spear-like diamonds.

 

 

 

Oval

Ovals are classic diamonds that are just a bit more cheeky than a round brilliant. They say, “I have a classic style, with a bit of an edge.” Just like this stunner from Valentina Diamonds.

 

 

 

Marquis

The long, narrow shape of this fancy cut is often credited for making the finger appear more slender. Check out this diamond halo marquis-cut engagement ring from Norman Silverman Diamonds.

 

 

The right ring can be found with a little research and shopping around. One thing the right ring needs, though (besides the right person to give it to) is the right jeweler. Find the perfect jeweler here.

Jewelry Trend Watch: East-West Settings

If you’re looking for a style that takes traditional in a different direction, check out the east-west setting. It’s the lastest jewelry trend that places the gemstone horizontally vs. the classic vertical setting. Whether the cut is oval, pear, marquise, or emerald, the east-west setting will be noticed!

We’re spotlighting a few designs from our AGS members that feature this eye-catching setting. Click on the images to get a closer look at east-west settings in rings and necklaces.

 

 

Looking to see some east-west ring settings or necklace settings in person? Visit an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler near you.

Go for the Gold!

Throughout history, gold has been one of the most sought-after metals in the world. It’s been used as currency, to decorate objects as a thing of beauty, and is also used for industrial purposes.

likabehar.png

“Reflections” ring made of 24k hammered gold set with diamonds, by Lika Behar Collection.

In the jewelry industry, the word “gold,” when used by itself, means “all gold” or “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metals called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should accompany any claim that the item is gold.

The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other metals. Fourteen-karat (14K) jewelry contains 14/24 or 58.3% gold, with 10/24 parts of an alloy metal. The higher the karat rating, the higher the proportion of gold in the piece of jewelry.

Jewelry should be marked with its karat quality. Near the karat quality mark, you should also see the name or the U.S. registered trademark of the company that will stand behind the mark. The trademark may be in the form of a name, symbol or initials. If you don’t see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on a piece of jewelry, look for another piece.

Are you ready to go for the gold? Below are some designs from our American Gem Society members that feature yellow, white, or rose gold, which is a mixture of gold with copper to create the pinkish, soft glow.

 

 

When it comes to cleaning gold, visit your jeweler for a professional cleaning. To clean your jewelry at home, be sure to ask your jeweler what at-home products are best for cleaning gold, especially if there are gemstones in the piece.

Four Fine Jewelry Trends for Spring 2019

Spring is here and we’re ready for some fine jewelry trends to help us celebrate this much-welcome change of season! Now that the weather is warming up, what’s hot? We’ve gathered some season-sensational (We just made that up!) designs from our AGS members.

Quite possibly the most quintessential symbols of spring are flowers, butterflies, and bees. Naturally, their likenesses are found in a variety of fine jewelry designs.

Next on the list is chains. Big chains. Little chains. This trend is an ode to the Eighties and they’re everywhere!

It’s been said that pearls never go out of style, but these aren’t your grandmother’s pearls! Modern designs have re-imagined the classic jewelry wardrobe staple.

The warmer weather has us looking towards the sky and the sea for a much-needed getaway! Both celestial and nautical-themed designs inspire us to seek the outdoors (and beyond) for our next adventure.

Are you ready to add a bit of bling to your spring wardrobe? Find an American Gem Society jeweler member near you to help you incorporate these fine jewelry trends.

Every Day Should be Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re celebrating a romantic relationship, a forever friendship, or a family bond, Valentine’s Day helps us express the love and devotion we have for one another.

Of course, it’s been said that “Every day should be Valentine’s Day,” yet there’s something about February 14 that gives us that extra boost of affection. There is also the anticipation and expectation of giving and receiving a heartfelt memento that marks the significance of this annual occasion.

We have a few gift ideas that are apropos for the holiday. Here are a few examples from some American Gem Society (AGS) members:

 

Have any of the above designs given you some ideas or do you have something else in mind? An AGS-credentialed jeweler is happy to help! Find a jeweler near you.