Given the vast variety of colored gemstones we often get asked which gemstones match or look good together.
This guide will go through some factors you should consider when designing your jewellery to make the gemstone colour combinations really come to life.
As a general rule, most combinations work if the colours are not fighting for first place. If you allow one colour to dominate while the others are placed as accents or provide support, you should be able to create a good look.
The color wheel above gives an idea of what colors are available. Looking at the wheel, we can pair the colours in several ways:
1. Complementary colours
Colours that are opposite each other on the wheel. They seem to “balance” each other out and so are called complementary to one another. E.g. Purple & Yellow (Amethyst & Citrine) or Red & Green (Ruby & Emerald).
2. Analogous Colors
These are groups of two or three colours on the color wheel that are adjacent to one another. Examples are Red and Orange (Ruby and Citrine), Green and Blue (Emerald and Sapphire).
Like complementary colors, these colours work well if one of the colours is slightly muted, where one dominates the other. For example, a Citrine Ring would look great with smaller Ruby accents, where the red is a supporting colour the orange in thue piece.
3. MONOCHROMATIC COLORS
All blues (Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Sapphire, Tanzanite) or all greens (Emerald, Peridot) or all reds (Ruby, Garnet, Pink Tourmaline), or all purples (Amethyst, Tanzanite), or all yellows (Citrine, Yellow Diamond, Yellow Sapphire) or any other colours with similar shades can be paired well with each other.
These are colours on the wheel that are equally spaced where if a triangle is placed on the wheel, each point will intersect with one colour. These colours can be slightly tricky to balance but if one is allowed to dominate while the others are used as accents, it is possible to create something wonderful.
An example is yellow, pink and blue, where a blue topaz can be paired with pink tourmaline in a silver setting.
These are three colours where one is paired with the two that fall on either side of its complementary colour. E.g. blue, pink, and yellow (Sapphire, pink tourmaline, in yellow gold).
These colours tend to create harmony more easily between the colors than other combinations.
These are two pairs of complementary colours. On the colour wheel, if you draw a square where each corner is intersecting a colour, you will have your 4 tetradic colours such as red, orange, blue, and green (Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald in Silver). It can be a bit overwhelming to have 4 colours in a piece, so it is important to create a balance between the warmer and cooler tones.
One of the 4 colours should clearly dominate when using 4 colors.
White (White Diamond, White Sapphire, White Topaz) is extremely versatile and can be paired with all colours of the wheel. If one colour is chosen as the centre stone, while the white gemstones are placed as supporting or accent gemstones, it helps bring out the hues and vibrancy of the center stone to a great extent.
Why not put them all in? This needs to be done while keeping the gemstones small enough where they do not overwhelm the piece but still add a bit of colour to the rainbow.
When designing any piece of jewellery, besides following the above suggested colour pairings, it is most important that the wearer be comfortable in the colours chosen. Colours can be kept nice and simple or be combined to create a pleasing effect. With the variety of colours and gemstones available, it is possible to find almost any colour on the wheel and have fun designing something unique and fun.