Allure of Purple Gemstones and Jewellery

Allure of Purple Gemstones and Jewellery

Earlier this year the colossal global authority on colour, Pantone, announced the colour of the year 2014 as ‘Radiant Orchid’ Promptly a frenzy of creative fashion souls unleashed their magic, dishing out dozens of designs in this hypnotic hue. Radiant orchid is a magnetic shade of purple that the Mecca of Colour aptly described as “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love & health. It’s a captivating purple one that draws you in with it’s beguiling charm.”

For me as a designer, colour is a primary and powerful tool that whisk fully stirs my imagination. Honestly, purple isn’t really one of my favorite colours, although I must admit it is enigmatic. Eventually I fell for it’s mystical charm when I penciled Viola, a design that changed my appeal for purple.

Purple Invokes?
The Colour purple is associated with nobility, magic, fantasy, royalty & mystery. It extends to denote luxury, power, spirituality, wisdom, extravagance & individuality. There is also a whole perspective on colour psychology that tabulates a list of traits that belong to the people who adore it. They are said to be deep thinkers, sensitive, creative & imaginative. It is also discovered that spending too much time with the colour can toggle your mood, induce melancholy feelings of gloom & distress. Interesting !

Master Jewellers, a joyful book of sensational Jewellers got me going. Between pages, the image of an exquisite violet & royal blue enamelled 1920’s Van Cleef & Arpels cigarette case, became the source of inspiration. Art Deco was an era when Jewellers were probably at the epitome of designing the most fantastic jewellery, accessories & articles. Smoking was considered chic back then & mink fur wrapped flapper girls, often carried an ornate cigarette case and bejewelled compact in her beaded purse . Clearly the image had sufficiently stirred my mind to spew a burst of designs straight onto the sketchbook. In some electromagnetic field the hands and imagination connect and in auto pilot mode affirmed the idea.

The appeal of the cigarette case lies in bold colours and proportion. The strong geometry and colour blocking,, is what particularly Inspired my design. I used pink opals and fan shaped accents that beautifully compliment the vivid hues. Finally a light sprinkling of zircon baguettes for just enough sparkle.

Purple Gems
The press release of Pantone did not mention a section on jewellery yet there was reference to designers, fashion & beauty. Fortunately in the gem world, we have a range of naturally occurring purple gems. Amethyst, a lustrous transparent gemstone ranging from a deep to a pale purple, is the most common. It is also significant for it’s birthstone status for all born in the month of February. One of the most romantic descriptions I came across was in an article written by mother daughter duo Joyce & Jenn that curated a suite of vintage jewels in birthstones. There are other purple stones that are seen in a confluence of Pinks, Violets & Blues including:

Kunzite – a delicate pinkish lavender
Sapphires – Also appear in a pinkish or bluish purple
Garnet – Sometimes appears in a deep reddish magenta (still a purple)
Tourmaline – A deep pinkish Magenta
Spenil / Fluorite – Appears in a deep purple shade as seen in gem quality Amethysts
Blue Chalcedony – an opaque, sometimes slightly translucent appears in a bluish Lavender
Tanzanite – appears in a violet blue
Turquoise – Yes indeed. It’s also available in a patterned purple variety

Famous Purple Jewels – The Triphanes Suite
Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood Royalty known for her immaculate beauty & mesmerizing Violet eyes, devoured jewels. And so the men who loved, married and showered her with the extravagance of Jewels ‘ A La Carte, elicit me to the next book purchase ‘My Love Affair With Jewels’ by the screen siren herself. Her legendary persona will linger on in her stupendous personal jewellery collection that was auctioned in 2011 at Christie’s for an astonishing value of $115 million. One of her famous purple jewels ‘The Triphanes Suite’ was bought by her former husband Richard Burton from Van Cleef & Arpels Crafted from the finest amethysts beads & Kunzites it’s synonymous with the colour of her eyes. Another famous piece in purple is the magnificent Cartier Bib Necklace studded with large amethysts accented with turquoise.

Purple on the Red Carpet
It is rare to see Purple on the Red Carpet though if these Oscar winning beauties can rock its charm then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see it often enough.

Pantone says Colour of the Day is Dusty Lavender. Incidentally, the Olympic Gold winners today at Sochi 2014 for Figure Skating were the US champions that beautifully wore this colour in a combination of bejewelled costumes.

To read more on birthstones curated by Joyce and Jenn, please click the articles below.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Van Cleef & Arpels Collection
Violet or Purple Gemstones

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