Colored Gems at the Oscars: Part 2

Our favorite leading ladies stepped onto the red carpet in vibrantly colored gowns bedecked with glittering jewels for this year’s 85th Academy Awards. Yesterday, we covered breathtaking blue gemstones, which enhanced bold sapphire-colored gowns worn by celebrities such as Lilly Collins and Jennifer Hudson. Today, we’ve compiled a list of colored gemstones in celebration of the glamorous demonstrations of color Oscars fashion has inspired.

Carmen Electra_400

Carmen Electra wearing Sutra Ruby and Diamond Earrings.

A perennial Oscars favorite, bold crimson hues were donned by Jennifer Aniston, Sally Field and Olivia Munn, just to name a few. GIA experts have selected some stunning red gemstones that could have elegantly amplified their ensembles.

Ruby

Ruby

Fun fact: The color must be neither too dark nor too light to be considered finest quality. If the color is too dark it has a negative effect on the stone’s brightness. At the other extreme, if the color is too light, the stone is considered pink sapphire, even if color strength or intensity is high.

Ruby is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species and can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. Corundum has excellent toughness, and is harder than any other natural gem except diamond.  Color is the most significant factor affecting a ruby’s value. The finest ruby has a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish-red color, and vivid color saturation.

Dona Dirlam, Director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center expresses her admiration for red gem varieties. “The world of red gems is fascinating, and each stone tells its own story. Ruby – the king of red gems – will always be a classic choice, while red garnet offers a durable alternative that is great for everyday wear.”

Red Garnet

Garnet

Because rough is plentiful, rhodolite is often cut by designer lapidaries into buff tops and free-form cuts with curved surfaces instead of facets.

Garnets are a set of closely related minerals that form a group, resulting in gemstones in almost every color, although red garnets are the most well-known. Rhodolite is the most valuable of the red garnets, and ranges from a dark, purplish raspberry red to a light reddish purple. In the best gems, the tone is medium to medium dark. Pyrope and almandite combine to form rhodolite and other red garnet varieties, but can also exist as separate species. Although both pyrope and almandite were important as gems in the past, mixtures of these two garnet species fill the red garnet marketplace today. Garnets are often remarkably free of inclusions that might reduce clarity and brilliance.

According to fashion reports, a pastel palette took the Oscar for red carpet fashion this year. Amy Adams, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence all wore stunning gowns in muted pastel shades, sure to spark Spring fashion trends moving forward. Commenting on the trend is no less an authority than GIA’s museum curator, Terri Ottaway.

“Pastel-colored gems such as aquamarine and morganite – both varieties of beryl – are a great way to lighten up a spring wardrobe. They’re popular gems and can really make a fashion statement.”

Below are some spectacular pastel-colored gemstones selected by GIA to pair with your favorite spring pieces.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

Fun fact: Aquamarine’s blue colors are reflected in its name, which comes from the Latin for “sea water.”

Aquamarine is the green-blue to blue variety of the mineral beryl. Its color is usually a light pastel greenish blue. The color of untreated aquamarine is often strongly greenish; heat treatment usually gives it a more bluish appearance. Aquamarine crystals are known to be large in size and relatively clean and well-formed, making them particularly valuable to collectors of mineral specimens.

Morganite

Morganite

Fun fact: George Kunz, then-Tiffany’s colored stone specialist and a noted gem scholar, named the discovery after J.P. Morgan, an American banker and gem enthusiast.

Pink beryl is known as morganite in the gem trade, or even “pink emerald,” although many in the trade consider the latter term to be misleading. The gem was first discovered in Madagascar in 1911. Strong hues in morganite are rare, and gems usually have to be fairly large to achieve the finest color. Morganite’s color range includes pink, rose, peach and salmon. The gem is almost always heat-treated to improve the pink color. The resulting color is stable and won’t fade.

 

Which is your favorite red carpet-worthy gemstone option for Spring?

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