Colour – Annette Piper

15 03 2008

Colour can have such an effect on the way we feel that it is an integral part of the jewellery designer’s process.   We must consider not just the beauty of the components, their patterns and their wearability, but how they will look when in the finished piece – are the colours harmonious, will it flatter most skin tones or only a few?  Will it have to be worn over clothing to get the best impact or is it best worn against the skin?  Will the majority of your customers be able to wear such a colour? 

I love greens and yellows – to the point of where I really buy more of these coloured gemstones than I can in reality use.    Yellow is a colour that, for the most part, looks better on those with olive skin, or at the very least, someone with no ruddiness.  Yet I live in a location with a high density of fair Caucasians and I myself have fair skin with a slightly ruddy cast.  Citrine and lemon topaz look awful on me if worn against my skin, but I can get away with a little if I put such stones with some rich browns and deep reds.    

Greens have some of the same problems, but the different shades of green mean that most people can wear some version of green well and there are a wonderful array of green gemstones that are available.  Of course, just to be difficult, I personally love the yellow- greens (such as peridot) which, once again, looks awful on me unless it is surrounded with other stones or given a border of gold or silver. 

Everyone, it seems, loves blue and it tends to look very good on a high proportion of people.  Naturally, blue is one of the most difficult colours to obtain in gemstones.   Sapphire of course is the best known blue gemstone, but at a substantial cost.   Likewise, other costly varieties include blue diamonds, blue topaz, aquamarine, spinel, zircon, tourmaline, and so on.   More affordable blues are found with iolite, kyanite, turquoise, blue lace agate, blue chalcedony, lapis lazuli, sodalite …. but the vivid, desirable blues in less costly stones are still difficult to find. 

I am often asked for jewellery made with red stones.  I show these people the deep reds of garnet and orange-reds such as found in coral and carnelian, but no, they want bright, fire-engine red.   I usually have to tone down their expectations at this point of getting affordable gemstone jewellery in this colour.     At least with reds most people can wear them –  albeit with limitations (with either the cool reds (blue-red) or the warm reds (orange-red) being suitable ).   

I have the added limitation with my jewellery that those that make their own beads don’t have – unless I go to treated stones, I am limited to what nature provides.  If I can get people to look beyond their immediate desire for a particular shade, however, they soon learn the delights that can be afforded by looking deeper into gemstones and the value of something natural and unique. 

Lemon Citrine Necklace by Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

A beautiful lemon citrine necklace, but a hard colour for some skin types to wear .



3 responses

15 03 2008

I love Citrine but find being fair and blue eyed it’s a difficult one to carry off unless say accompanied by amber. Or with a great tan in the summer.
A great piece – what have you placed between each citrine? Kylee

15 03 2008

Hi Kylee and thanks for the comment! I have used a small rondelles of prehnite and 12ct gold fill balls. Keeps the look simple and lets you enjoy the lemon citrine fully!

6 04 2008

I love that lemon citrine, but I agree, it is a difficult color for some. But JOY when the right person snags it off the table!

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