By Deborah A. Yonick
The Pantone Color Institute’s palette for spring 2019 reflects a yearning to face the future with confidence and spirit by surrounding ourselves with uplifting and joyful colors. And nowhere is that more evident than in its selection of Living Coral as the Color of the Year for 2019. Pantone describes this warm hue with a golden undertone as vibrant, yet mellow, providing comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
Other attention-grabbing red-based and orangey hues are also expected to dominate the season’s leading colors, including Fiesta, a festive orange red; Jester Red, a rich, sophisticated, russet red; and Turmeric, an enlivening, tangy orange.
Considering the psychology of color, the hotter hues, particularly those in the red family, are about empowerment, says Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director. She notes that with the onslaught of digital technology and social media in daily life, we are seeking authentic experiences that enable connection. That helps to explain the selection of Living Coral, a sociable and spirited color that encourages playful expression and symbolizes our need for optimism, as the color expected to dominate the coming year.
The other colors rounding out the season’s top 12 are inspiring and happy, including Pink Peacock, a theatrical purplish-pink; Sweet Lilac, a pink-infused lavender; Mango Mojito, a golden yellow; Aspen Gold, a zesty, sunny yellow-green; Pepper Stem, a spicy yellow-green; Terrarium Moss, a dark shady green; Princess Blue, a majestic royal blue hue; and Toffee, a caramelized light brown.
The season’s top four neutral classic shades, core colors in everyday fashion, are Soybean, a yellow-hued beige; Sweet Corn, a buttery off-white; Brown Granite, a grounded rich brown; and Eclipse, a deep midnight sky blue.
“The mindset underscores our desire for color that transcends seasonality and gender and brings together high fashion and street style,” says Eiseman. “Vibrant without being overpowering, the top colors lend themselves to playful expressionism that takes us down a path of creative and unexpected combinations.” She believes these colors reflect our desire for authenticity, creativity, and relatable, accessible design.
Color is Personal
Color is more important than ever, believes Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and special events for Jewelers of America (JA) in New York City, who notes that designers who don’t typically design with color are adding color to their collections. “I feel strongly that social media has fueled women’s desire for gemstones, and as female self-purchases continue to rise, color gemstones will continue to offer something unique that fits their style and energy. With so many gems available, there is always something new to learn and explore.”
Based on the selection of jewelry JA previewed for editors for spring 2019, green, blue, purple, and red stones were among the designer favorites. Designs mixing gems, colors, and shapes were among the standouts, including Amy Glaswand’s Glitter earrings, featuring blue topaz, green quartz, lavender shades of amethyst, and moonstone; Coomi’s Affinity earrings with morganite, tanzanite, aquamarine, and emerald; and Omi Privé’s nearly 5-carat opal ring flanked by tsavorites and framed in sapphires.
Glaswand says she aims for color combinations that are unusual, and sometimes mixes opaque stones with clear. “The Glitter earrings were a mix of soft hue topaz colors, with moonstones and stronger London Blue,” she explains. “The moonstone adds dimension with its luminescent color, and the London Blue adds some pop, yet these colors are all in a cooler tonal range.”
Glaswand enjoys exploring color variations in her stud earrings collection. “I recently discovered sunstone and have been mixing it with peridot and opals.” Also the combination of warm colors, such as Ethiopian opal, peridot, and yellow sapphire, are great with a pop of blue, such as tanzanite or sapphire. She recommends playing with a variety of gemstones to see what speaks to you.
With Pantone elevating the color conversation in style and design, Los Angeles designer Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé says that as people are surrounded by vibrant hues, they are paying more attention to what inspires and evokes emotions. “I appreciate that consumers are able to ex-press their individuality through color, and with Pantone’s new palette they have many choices.” He points out that any time bold colors make a statement in high fashion, it’s a good sign for the gemstone industry.
While Pantone may have selected Living Coral as its 2019 Color of the Year, Stuller Inc. believes green will also be a leading hue. The Lafayette, Louisiana–based jewelry manufacturer and supply house cites Swarovski’s GemVisions 2019 research that finds that Millennials, who feel passionate about the environment, see green as an affirmation of their beliefs and a universal symbol of nature, health, and healing energy.
Stuller highlights the subtle shade of green gold as a popular choice in jewelry designs, especially set against yellow, white, or pink gold. Green gold offers the ideal setting for strong green gemstones, with emerald a favorite.
Emily Graffagnino, Stuller’s gemstones director, says the world of color offers a kaleidoscope of choices and endless combinations. Among the favorite pairings—green stones, such as peridot and tsavorite, with blue sapphires and zircons; Madeira citrines and pink tourmalines; orange, yellow, and pink stones, such as citrine, carnelian, fire opal, and yellow and Padparadscha sapphires; and pink and red blends of sapphire, ruby, and morganite.