Delicious Chocolate, Caramel and Vanilla Gemstone Jewelry
This year, warm-hued jewelry is popular, both on the catwalk and on the red carpet, with the emergence of more rose gold, yellow gold and bronze metals. Colored gemstones appear to have warmed a little too; golden and brown gems are in fashion. However, in the gemstone industry, off-white and brown colors are not attractive-sounding options, so more enticing names are used. This has been the case for many years with diamonds, where pure white is more highly valued than yellowish or brownish stones. Light-yellow to brown diamonds are referred to as "champagne" and "cognac" diamonds, and have increased in popularity in recent decades.
Yellowish and brownish diamonds actually occur more commonly than white diamonds, but are cleverly marketed as something rare and special. Yet, it seems that alcoholic beverages are not as sought-after as previously. A more recent trend is for colored gemstones that are advertised with the use of delicious-sounding food associations, such as "chocolate", "cocoa", "mocha", "vanilla" and so on. Let's face it, scrumptious, sweet treats are much more appealing than "off-white", "brown" or "yellowish"; terms which suggest dirtiness. Chocolate Diamonds® and Vanilla Diamonds®, along with several other terms have been trademarked by Le Vian, which sells jewelry fashioned from Australian brown diamonds. A more affordable chocolate-colored gemstone is smoky quartz, which is a very similar color, but a fraction of the price. Smoky quartz is a transparent to translucent type of quartz which forms as visible crystals (macrocrystalline) like amethyst and citrine. As well as being affordable, smoky quartz is a chocolate-colored gemstone which is extremely versatile and durable.
Another chocolate gemstone is a variety of opal with a brown body color called chocolate opal. It can range from light to dark-brown and has the distinct opal play of color. The darker brown chocolate opal gems generally show a more pronounced play of color because of the contrast between the dark background and the bright colors that seem to emanate from within. Chocolate opal is mined from an area of Ethiopia, and is a relatively recent product.
Another recent chocolate gemstone trend is "chocolate pearls". These are cultured Tahitian pearls which have been bleached to achieve a brown color. Bleaching pearls is a common practice, and they are often bleached to a uniform cream or white color so that matching pearl beads for necklaces can be made. For chocolate pearls, black pearls are bleached to get a lighter brown hue. More affordable chocolate pearls are made from less expensive pearls that are dyed rather than bleached. Natural brown Tahitian pearls have been known to occur, but they are incredibly rare.
The advantages of neutral-colored stones are that they can be worn with anything and they complement any skin tone. Brown and golden gems and jewelry can also be less brash than stark, white gems in severe, white metal. While some like to use white metal for neutral-colored gems, rose gold can bring out pinkish tones and yellow gold nicely complements stones with more yellow tones. Alternatively, mixed metals or brown rhodium can create an interesting setting for these gems.
For many years, gemstone jewelry has been associated with luxury and colored jewels have always been compared with similar hues that are found in nature, such as pigeon's blood ruby, cornflower-blue sapphire and lavender jade. Referring to gemstone jewelry as chocolate, caramel, vanilla and suchlike cleverly combines opulence with sensual pleasure. This suggests extravagance, beauty and indulgence all in one accessory. Thus, the chocolate gems are dripping from the fingers, necks and ears of celebrities and jewelry lovers everywhere.
- First Published: November-06-2015
- Last Updated: November-07-2018
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