Classic Blue: Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

Pantone Classic Blue SwatchAre you ready for 2020?

This isn’t just a New Year. It’s a new decade.

And a very futuristic sounding one!

The Pantone Institute of Color is ready to look to the future, and recently announced their color of the year for 2020.

Classic Blue (19-4052) is a primary color that Pantone says is reminiscent of the sky at dusk.

The hue is deserving of the title “classic” as it is a shade of blue that is the quintessential blue color, unmarred by undercurrents of violet or green. It is a little lighter than navy, but not as saturated as cobalt.

Blue is a favorite color for many people and has always been associated with feelings of calm and serenity. It is also a color of loyalty, intellect, and thoughtfulness.

The sky and the ocean, the truest embodiments of the blue we see in the natural world, remind us that possibilities are endless, and to slow down and enjoy life.

Pantone seems to agree, stating that this is a stable, dependable hue. A foundation for stepping into a new year.

Blue pigments and dyes can be difficult to create, leading to patience and time-tested methods to produce the finest of colors.

In many ancient cultures, blue coloring for clothes and paint was made using crushed gemstones such as lapis lazuli and azurite. Due to the nature of materials needed, and the skill in which it took to craft these pigments, blue was often a color reserved for those of high status.

As for gemstones, the first stone to come to mind with this steady blue hue would be sapphire; the purest example of sapphire, with just the right amount of darkness to make it rich in color.

Omi - Sapphire and diamond

Sapphire and diamond ring by Omi Privé.

Sapphires are deserving of the title “classic” as well, having been the premier blue gemstone since antiquity. Symbolically, sapphires are said to be a stone of truth, faithfulness, and sincerity, reflecting the principals of Pantone’s color for 2020 very well.

Lapis lazuli and London blue topaz, although darker, are complementary colors sharing similar traits.

LikaBehar - Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli “Pompei” pendant, by Lika Behar Collection.

Goshwara - London Blue Topaz

“Gossip” London blue topaz and diamond bracelet, by Goshwara.

Classic Blue pairs well with yellow and white metals, leading to a fine example of the two-tone trends already seen in the jewelry industry. The blue color is definitive enough to lead to many design choices and could be accented by warm or other cool tone gemstones.

The possibilities of this color in fashion are endless, as are the possibilities in this new decade we step into.

Blue is a color that calms and stimulates the mind. This appealing shade furthers this notion by providing a standard hue that everyone can relish.

It is bold without being overpowering, subtle without being lost, and enhances other colors without overshadowing them.

Classic Blue is sure to cause a bit of nostalgia in some, and hopefully a splash of new ideas and creative endeavors in all.

2020 is right around the corner.

The start of a new decade.

The start of the future.

Take a deep breath, grasp that Classic Blue vibe and step into your tomorrow.

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


isabelle

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.

Spotlight on Lika Behar Collection

It’s November, so let’s talk all things topaz and Turkey. 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 November’s birthstone, topaz, 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.

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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.

 

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.

Fascinating Phenomena in Gemstones

There are several varieties of gemstones that display optical phenomena, which describes the many ways light interacts with the structural features or inclusions (internal characteristics) in the gemstone. Often these gemstones will be fashioned in a particular way that best displays these effects.

The science of optical phenomena can be fascinating, although the mystery and allure of these effects are what initially attract us! Below are six of the most familiar (and magical) displays of optical phenomena in gemstones.

Play-of-Color

Play-of-color is created by a combination of diffraction and interference, and is the result of the microstructure of opal: the chameleon of a thousand colors and October’s birthstone!

Opals are made up of many layers of small, stacked spheres of silica. These spheres diffract light, splitting it into a spectrum of colors. The layers of these spheres create interference allowing certain colors to dominate, depending on the angle the opal is viewed.

Asterism

Asterism, or stars, relates to the four- or six-rayed star pattern of light produced by the fibrous inclusions, elongated needles, or growth tubes in a gemstone. This singular, celestial-like phenomenon is best seen in a gemstone cut en cabochon.

 

Chatoyancy

Chatoyancy [sha-TOY-an-cee] is also known as “cat’s eye.” Fine needle-like or fibrous inclusions within the gemstone are what causes this effect. Again, stones fashioned as cabochons display this effect the best.

 

Color Change

A small number of gemstones display the color change optical phenomena. Depending on the lighting environment, the color change appearance can vary due to the shifting wavelengths. The technical term for this is photochromism or photochroism; “color-change” is a lot easier to say!

The best-known color changing gemstone is alexandrite. When viewed in sunlight, it appears greenish. When placed under incandescent light, it appears reddish. Other varieties of color-changing gemstones include sapphire, garnet, spinel, diaspore, and tourmaline.

 

Adularescence

Adularescence is the phenomenon typically seen in moonstone, which is a member of the feldspar family. It produces a billowy soft blue to milky white light that appears to move across the gemstone. This occurs when light hits the alternating layers of albite and orthoclase, which are two differing forms of feldspar within the gem.

The layers of feldspar interfere with the light rays causing them to scatter and the eye to observe adularescence. The effect is best seen when the gemstone is cut en cabochon [en CAB-ah-shawn]—that is, with a polished, domed top and a flat or slightly rounded base.

 

Labradorescence

Labradorscence [lab-ra-dor-es-cence] is an optical characteristic often seen in labradorite. The effect is a spectacular play-of-color that is metallic or iridescent, displaying blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. This is an interference effect within the gemstone caused by internal structures that selectively reflect only certain colors.

 

Are you ready to see some of these displays in person? Visit an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler near you and ask to see some gemstones that exhibit optical phenomena!

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.

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“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.

American Gem Society Members Sparkle in Nashville

The American Gem Society (AGS) Suppliers’ Reception and Showcase occurs annually during the American Gem Society’s Conclave, the industry’s premier educational and networking event.

This year’s Conclave was held in Nashville, TN, and the AGS Suppliers’ Reception and Showcase featured 16 AGS members. Below are photos from the highly successful evening, featuring the incredible jewelry and the lovely ladies who modeled them.

Click on each photo to get a closer look.

 

If there’s a design you like and want to know more, contact an AGS-credentialed jeweler near you.

Get to Know Your Brown Diamond

AGS Laboratories recently unveiled their new Colored Diamond Document, a grading report that presents the technical aspects and nuances of colored diamond grading to jewelry buyers with easy-to-understand verbiage and graphics.

Brown diamonds will no longer be described simply as “a brown diamond,” but will be communicated in an easy-to-understand visual way, highlighting the nuances within the diamond’s color. For example, a diamond with even distribution of brown throughout and hints of orange, could be described as a deep, rich, brown diamond with moderate orange accents.

Click the image below to view the Colored Diamond Document.

AGSL-CDD

“Brown diamonds are beautiful and are an alternative choice to the more traditional colorless diamonds. They are also trending as an affordable choice for fine jewelry,” said Jason Quick, Laboratory Director at AGS Laboratories. “We recognized a growing need in the market and decided to create a tool that will truly enhance consumers’ buying experience.”

AGS Laboratories encourages jewelry buyers who are shopping for diamonds to always ask for a diamond grading report from an independent third-party laboratory so that they can better understand the quality of the diamond they are buying. To find an American Gem Society retailer, visit americangemsociety.org/findajeweler.

To learn more about AGS Laboratories Colored Diamond Document, visit agslab.com/browndiamonds.

Here are a few designs we love from members of the American Gem Society that feature brown diamonds.

Celebrate the Year of the Dog

As we continue to celebrate the Chinese New Year, we are very excited that it’s the Year of the Dog! Were you born during the Year of the Dog? See if your birth year is on this list:

1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, (2018, 2030)

The Dog is the eleventh animal of the Chinese zodiac and as no surprise to those who love the cuddly canine companion, anyone born under the Dog sign is considered honest, loyal, and is the truest friend and most reliable partner. They’re also very good at helping others find and fix their bad habits. Good to know!

Here at the American Gem Society (AGS), we happen to love dogs just as much as we love jewelry and gemstones. A few of our members have expressed their affections for man’s best friend in their designs.

 

Oh — and the team at the AGS would never pass up an opportunity to share photos of their adorable pups!

 

If you’re in search of dog-themed jewelry that pays homage to your favorite hound, be sure to visit an AGS-credentialed jeweler near you!