Gemstone jewelry is strutting its peacock feathers this season. Emeralds, rubies, and blue sapphires are accenting classic diamond pieces, and gemstones are bringing a rainbow to contemporary rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces
“My clients wear haute couture, and they want something new, something provocative that’s a conversation piece,” says Parisian designer Lydia Courteille, whose imaginative collections reflect myriad colors and emotions. “You can wear multiple colors at once, or you can choose one color to match your lipstick, your eyes, your nails, or even your shoes.”
She adds that when you wear a colorful outfit, “you should choose coordinating gemstone colors, not matching ones, which is old-fashioned.”
Nadine Aysoy, a London-based designer, suggests wearing gemstones of different shades of the same color for an elegant, understated look.
“You can wear colored gemstones from morning through evening,” she says. “You can add and subtract color depending on the circumstances. My earrings, for example, are designed so that you can wear studs in the office and add parts for special occasions.”
Layering is another way to make a statement. “You might take several bracelets or rings of different colors and wear them together. Be playful with your combinations,” Aysoy says.
Graziela Kaufman, a Brazilian designer based in Chicago who is launching a rainbow collection, prefers pairing colored gemstones with solid colors.
“You also should have separation between the gemstone colors you choose,” she says. “If, for instance, you’re wearing a necklace and earrings, only one should be colorful. Colorful studs in the ears, however, are OK to wear with a colorful necklace because they make less of a statement. And if you’re wearing earrings and a ring, both can be colorful because they are farther apart.”
Kaufman says hands and ears are the best places to display colors. “You can stack colorful rings all in one color on one finger,” she says. “Or you can have three stacked rings on each hand, each a different color.”
Another way to wear all the colors of the rainbow is to choose pieces made with tourmalines, which change colors depending on the light and/or angle. Aysoy, for instance, pairs bicolor and tricolor tourmalines with pearls. Kaufman, too, is partial to the stone. “The Paraiba tourmaline is my signature,” she says. “Its colors are almost electric.”
London-based jewelry specialist and gemologist Katerina Perez suggests tailoring rainbow gemstones to complement the suit, dress, or the jeans, as well as the occasion.
“It is best to pair multicolored jewels with a simple monochrome outfit— anything white, or one of the colors reflected in the gemstone jewelry you choose,” she says.
The real beauty of gemstones, says Jean-Christophe Bedos, president and CEO of the Canada-based luxury-jewelry brand Groupe Birks, is that they are made to be mixed and matched.
“Pearls are making a comeback in a very high-fashion way in modern silhouettes,” he says. “People are wearing layered earrings up the lobes, long strands of pearls, and multiple bracelets stacked up the arm. They look great mixed with brighter stones to create high impact.” Gemologist social-media influencer Danielle Miele, the founder of Gem Gossip, says the rules for wearing rainbow gemstones aren’t diamond-hard. “Wearing jewelry however you like to suit your own personal style—and if it makes you happy—is the right way to go,” she says.