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Earthly Delights

Jill Newman

Like a breathtaking sunset, an exquisite orchid, or a fresh snowfall, an exceptional gemstone is the awe-inspiring product of Mother Nature. This season, a refreshing array of exotic stones in shades of icy blue, feminine pink, and juicy orange makes traditional emeralds, rubies, and sapphires appear almost dowdy. Even naturally luminous pearls break free from classicism this season, radiating chic spirit in irregular keshi shapes and pure white conch varieties. In the hands of a skilled designer, such bold jewels require only minimal embellishment and, perhaps, a dash of whimsy to create unique and spectacular treasures.

Orange Crush
Vibrant mandarin, or spessartine, garnets are winning favor among adventurous designers who cannot resist their fashionably intense orange hue.

Mandarin garnet snake earrings with tsavorite eyes, $18,500, Gioia (212.223.3146); mandarin garnet, diamond, and pearl starfish brooch, $26,000, Martin Katz (212.759.7900); mandarin garnet and 18-karat green gold ring, $2,650, Michele Mitchell (at Bergdorf Goodman, 212.872.8744)

Sea Changes
In contrast to the typical brilliant, translucent stones, dreamy opaque rocks in captivating shades of blue, green, and purple can be sizable without compromising an understated and serene sense of style.

In the Pink

While sapphires come in a rainbow of shades from lemon yellow to bright orange to traditional blue, designers have a newfound appreciation for pretty shades of light pink, lavender, and violet for decidedly delicate and feminine designs.

Pearl Pleasures
A classic strand of white pearls symbolizes elegance and refinement, but exotic variations in shape and color are today’s sensual and stylish status symbols.

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